Monday, September 17, 2007

Celebrating Vinayaka Chathurthi

Vinayaka Chathurthi was on the 15th of September and I was thrilled that it was on a Saturday because it meant a leisurely celebration ... especially for this festival, since the preparation of kozhukattais can be rather time consuming.

The outer covering has always been the most daunting aspect of kozhukattais for me. I've tried several methods.. the one with rice flour and water - what a disaster that was. Then my friend Raji and my mom said that the method I use for my Ammini Kozhukattai can be used and that was a shade better but still kind of tough. Recently I saw Viji's recipe which had exact measurements and was similar to my ammini kozhukattai so I set about following that and this time the outer dough was pliable and soft after it was steamed. Thank you so much Viji. I'm sure that I'll master this method in the coming years but for this year, this was a definite improvement from my past attempts. The art of shaping them is yet another thing that needs quite a bit of practice.. all in time.

Here's Viji's recipe :

For the Kozhukattai - maavu:

1) Soak 1 cup Ponni Raw Rice for an hour. Drain. For 1 cup rice, we need 2 cups of water so measure that and keep the water aside.

2) Grind the drained rice in a mixie with water, as required (from the 2 cups measured out) to a very smooth paste.

3) Now, heat the remaining water in a thick pan, with 1 tbsp of oil, 2 tbsp of milk (optional) and a pinch of salt. When it boils, add the ground rice paste and stir. Once a lump is formed, lower the flame and keep stirring for about 15 mins till it's well cooked.

4) Switch off the stove, cover with a damp cloth/tissue and cover with a lid as well. Let this rest for an hour before kneading well and shaping into kozhukattais.

For Sweet Pooranam:

Grated coconut - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Elaichi - powdered, a couple pinches.

1) Heat Jaggery with water and once it melts, allow to boil for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the grated coconut and elaichi powder and stir well till it thickens.

For Ulundhu Pooranam: (my favorite filling)

Ulundhu (Urad dhal) - ½ cup
Green chili - 2 small
Ginger - ½ inch
Salt to taste
Coconut - 1 tsp, (optional)

1) Soak Ulundhu for 30 minutes. Grind it coarsely with green chili, ginger and salt.

2) Steam cook it for 5 minutes and crumble it.

3) In a small pan, heat a tsp of oil and temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida, then add the crumbled ulundhu and saute for a few minutes. Finally add shredded coconut and switch off the stove.

Viji, Thanks once again for such a well documented recipe, with so many tips that one can gather only after years of experience.

Here's a snap of the kozhukattais :


  1. Me too has made Modak yesterday n they were super hit at home.

  2. While you are at it, you can shape the maavu into small rounds and drop it in a mixture of jaggery+coconut milk+milk, you get paal kozhakattai.

  3. there are modakas everywhere :) I too made them, but unfortunately could not take any pictures :(

  4. On Saturday, even I too made undrallu for Lord Ganesha. Really time consuming for preparation. You can see them in my blog. Looks good. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Belated Vinayaka Chaturdhi wishes Lavanya :-)
    Unfortunately this time I was busy the whole day with my MBA class :-)

  6. Cute Ganesha Laavanya, sweets are yum!:))

  7. laavanya..yumm..they look great..

  8. just thinking about that sweet poornam makes my mouth water :)

  9. wish you Happy ganesh chaviti! the modaks look lovely. I too wanted to try viji's but didnt have time so used rice flour-readymade:)

  10. Lavanya, Modaks look good, I made them first time this year

  11. Hi Laavanya, I am happy that my post helped you to succeed. You will become expert in few attempts. Hope you had a great celebration. Have a good day. Viji

  12. Thank you everyone and may Lord Ganesha shower his blessings upon all your families.

  13. Happy chouthi Lavanya. I am sure you family must have had fun eating all those yummy chouthi special dishes.

  14. I think I've eaten Kozhukattai just once in my life and did not like it though my mom used to make something like this occasionally. I have never even bothered to find out how she prepared it but then, I had no interest in cooking till I stumbled onto Mahanandi!
    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you and your family!

  15. ganesh chatuethi celebrations, seems to be happening all over the blogosphre....steamed modaks, never had them though

  16. hey...we both followed the same procedure given by viji for the kozhakattais...mine too came out very well...all thanks to viji

  17. hahaha kids i tell you!! who knows why they do what they do! :D


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