Serving Size/Yields: 15 Nos. of gooseberry size
Soaking Time: 40 minutes to 1 hour
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes for batter, 20 minutes for filling
Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Filling – Poornam
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Jaggery – 1/2 to 3/4 cup (depending on sweetness of the jaggery)
Water – ¼ cup
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp
Outer covering batter – Maavu
Raw rice – 1/2 cup
Water – 3/4 to 1.5 cup (see ratio below)
Salt – a pinch
Ghee – 1 tsp
Raw rice to water ratio
1:1.5 to 2 for rice varieties that don’t take too much water and are newer stock and upto 1:3 for rice varieties that need more water or are older stock.
Preparing the Poornam
- Melt the jaggery with water in the kadai or non-stick sauce-pan/saute-pan on medium fire, stirring from time to time with a wooden spatula.
- Once the jaggery is completely melted, strain it.
- Pour the strained syrup again in the pan and heat again stirring continuously. The syrup will start to boil in bubbles, and redden in color and start to thicken.
(For some jaggery, you may not need to strain it as there would not be any dirt or other particles.)
- When the syrup’s consistency is One String Consistency (similar to honey), add the grated coconut and stir well.
(Checkpoint: Try to drop the syrup with your spatula and the syrup should drop down in ONE thin, continuous sticky strand, which is called the One String Consistency, like honey.)
- Add the cardamom powder and ghee and mix well.
- When the mixtures starts sticking together to form a semi solid mass, put it on a plate and cool.
(Checkpoint: Put a little of the mixture on a plate and try making a small ball. If the ball does not stick to your hands and stands well, it is done. Basically, there should not be any liquid jaggery straying out. But it shouldn’t be too hard either.)
- When the filling is cooled make little balls out of about 1 tbsp of the filling and keep aside.
Preparing the Maavu/Dough
- Soak the ½ cup of rice after washing it, in 1 cup of water for about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
- Strain the soaked rice and collect the water in a cup.
- Grind the rice finely by adding half of the water collected.
- Pour the remaining water in a non stick saucepan.
- Add a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp ghee.
- Bring to a boil.
- Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat.
- Stir in the finely grounded rice liquid.
- Stir continuously until the dough thickens and becomes one big mass that does not stick to the pan.
(Checkpoint: Try making a small ball from the batter. It should not stick to your fingers and should be easy to mould. The consistency should be soft, smooth and silky and not sticky, like Chapathi dough)
- Now turn off the heat and close the pan with a lid and let cool.
(The batter will cook a little more in the heat and moisture provided by the closed pan.)
Preparing the Kozhakkattais
- Grease your hands lightly with ghee.
- Knead the Maavu (dough) well so that it becomes soft and easy to work with.
- Take about 1 tbsp of dough and make a ball.
(Note: Ideally, the ball of the dough should be a little bigger than 3/4th of the size of the filling ball.)
- Flatten the ball and make a cup by pressing down softly with your thumbs around the flattened ball.
(Checkpoint: The cup should be thin but thick enough to hold the filling without tearing up.)
- Place a filling ball in the cup.
- Use your fingers to close the cup gently and roll it into a ball gently making sure not to tear the outer covering or break the ball. Tear out any extra dough.
- Make as many such balls as you can. It should yield about 15 balls of the size of a gooseberry.
- Steam the balls in a greased plate in a pressure cooker on medium heat for 15 minutes. Do not keep the whistle.
- Once it is done, take out the plate from the cooker and let cool for about 2 minutes.
(Checkpoint: If the kozhakattais are done, they would be shiny with moisture on them and look like they’re sweating.)
You can use the Idli cooker or rice cooker to steam the kozhakattais.
- It is said that this dish is the favorite of the elephant headed Lord Ganesha, and is hence prepared on Vinayaka Chathurthi along with other variations of the filling.
- It is very auspicious to prepare this dish on Maha Sankatahara Chathurthi and on other Chathurthis (4th day after the full moon day and the 4th day after the no moon day in a Lunar calendar month).