Brown Rice Modak / Kozhakattai
Tomorrow we celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi. Ganesha is considered the remover of obstacles and is typically prostrated to / worshipped first before any other task is taken upon (and that includes the pooja or worshipping of other deities as well.)
The archetype of Ganesha features a young plump lad, with an elephants head. He is unhurried in his gait, relaxed in his nature, and loves to eat all sorts of food. His favourite food (esp in the south of India) is a sweet steamed rice dumpling called the Kozhakattai in Tamil (Modak in Marathi).
The recipe below is a healthier version of the already healthy dish. This recipe uses brown rice flour.
To make the brown rice flour:
- Soak brown rice (2 cups) in warm water for a few hours until it is well soaked
- Drain all the water out and let it dry outside (but not under direct sun) for a few hours till all the surface dampness is gone.
- Dry grind the rice in a blender to yield a fine powder.
To make the kozhakattai:
- 1 cup fine brown rice flour
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 1/2 cup grated jaggery
- A pinch of cardamom powder
- In a thick bottomed skillet, add the grated jaggery and coconut, stir on a low flame till they are incorporated into a nice gooey mixture. Turn off the flame, and add the pinch of cardamom powder to it and mix well. Set aside to cool
- In another skillet, pour 1 cup water, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of oil and let the water boil. When it begins to boil, turn it off, pour the brown rice flour into it as a heap, and close it with a lid.
- Few minutes later, open the lid, the flour must have nicely absorbed the warm water into it and must be pliable like dough.
- Grease your fingertips with some oil and make a small ball of dough, start flattening it from the tips till you have formed a nice wide cup with the dough.
- Fill a teaspoon of the coconut jaggery filling (called the poornam). You can see a video of how to do it in this link: Kozhakattai Dumpling
- Make the whole lot of it and place it in a steamer and steam the dumplings for 5 to 7 minutes. (You will get an amazing fragrance of steamed rice)
- Cool and serve.
As always, would love to hear from you. Do try it out and let me know how it came. Wish you and your loved ones a very happy Ganesha Chaturthi.