Salt/Ulundu Kozhakattai Recipe

Serving Size/Yields: 20 Nos. of gooseberry size
Soaking Time: 1 hour for poornam and 40 minutes to 1 hour for maavu
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes for batter, 20 minutes for filling
Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Filling – Poornam
Urad Dal or Ulundu Paruppu – ¾ cup (1 cup if not using toor dal)
Toor Dal or Tuvaram Paruppu or Yellow Pigeon Peas – ¼ cup (optional)
Water – ½ cup
Red chilli – 4
Green chilli – 2
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
Urad Dal – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 4 or 5 nos.
Hing/LG Powder – 1 tsp
Chopped Coriander/Cilantro leaves – 1/4 cup
Salt as per taste
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

  1. Soak the dals for 1 hour in water.
  2. Strain the soaked dals and grind coarsely with the red chillies and green chillies using 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Steam the dal poornam in the pressure cooker for one whistle.
  4. Cool the steamed poornam.
  5. Grate the poornam using a vegetable grater and keep aside.
    (This is done for ease and convenience and to be able to handle the poornam better.)
  6. Heat oil in a kadai.
  7. Add the ingredients for tempering (mustard seeds, urad dal and chopped curry leaves).
  8. Once the mustard seeds splutter and the urad dal turns lightly brown, add Hing/LG Powder, the grated poornam and salt.
  9. Saute well.
  10. Add the coriander leaves and saute again.
  11. After the poornam cools a bit, make little balls and keep aside.

Preparing the Maavu

  1. Soak the rice after washing it, in about half the quantity of water taken for about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Strain the soaked rice and collect the water in a cup.
  3. Grind the rice finely by adding half of the water collected.
  4. Pour the remaining water in a non stick saucepan.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp ghee.
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat.
  8. Stir in the finely grounded rice liquid.
  9. 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 dough. 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)
  10. Now turn off the heat and close the pan with a lid and let cool.
    (The dough will cook a little more in the heat and moisture provided by the closed pan.)

Preparing the Kozhakkattais

  1. Grease your hands lightly with ghee.
  2. Knead the Maavu (dough) well so that it becomes soft and easy to work with.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.)
  5. Place a filling ball in the cup.
  6. 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.
  7. Make as many such balls as you can. It should yield about 15 balls of the size of a gooseberry.
  8. Steam the balls in a greased plate in a pressure cooker on medium heat for 15 minutes. Do not keep the whistle.
  9. 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.)
  10. Serve.


You can use the Idli cooker or rice cooker to steam the kozhakattais.


  1. 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.

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