Serving Size/Yields: 11 Nos. of gooseberry size
Soaking Time: 40 minutes to 1 hour
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes for batter, 10 minutes for filling
Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Filling – Poornam
Sesame Seeds (Ellu or White Til) – 1/4 cup
Jaggery – 1/4 cup
Cardamom/Elaichi Powder – 1/2 tsp
Ghee – 1/2 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
- Fry the sesame seeds in ghee, in low heat till it begins to somewhat splutter and becomes light brown color.
(Checkpoint: The aroma of sesame seeds will be evident at this stage.)
- Let the fried sesame seeds cool.
- Grind the sesame seeds with jaggery into a powder.
- Add cardamom powder to the sesame seeds powder and mix well.
Preparing the Maavu
- Soak the rice after washing it, in 1/4 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 the 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 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)
- 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
- 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.)
During festivals, usually you would want to make the other sweet kozhakattai and ulundu kozhakattai along with ellu kozhakattai. So you can make the outer batter for all three types of kozhakattais together at the same time, and just add a little more salt to the batter portion kept for the ulundu kozhakattais.
- Ellu Kozhakattai is prepared on Vinayaka Chathurthi along with the other kozhakattais.
- Ellu or sesame seeds represent immortality, and that is why this kozhakattai is prepared on auspicious days.
- This is also prepared for Varalakshmi Pooja or any Lakshmi Pooja, because Goddess Lakshmi is believed to represent all the qualities or properties of sesame seeds.