Kozhukatta / Kozhukattai or Modak is the most favorite naivedyam of Lord Ganesha. And today being Ganesh Chaturthi, I made kozhukattai / ukdicha modak as offering to the food loving, pot bellied, Lord Ganesha. I normally prefer making sheera or sooji ka halwa for naivedyam and was a tad bit apprehensive about making kozhukatta / modak, until today. But this year, I decided to give this a shot and hoped it would turn out well. Once I got rolling, it seemed really easy, so my advice to all those as yet unsure people, do try it, it is not so difficult. As you can see I did not get the shape right but a little practice will definitely yield a modicum of success.
I did check a few sites for exact measurements and tips and primarily followed the recipe given on chitrasfoodbook.com & tarladalal.com. Both these sites give good tips and pointers on getting the kozhukattai right. Below is the recipe that worked for me. I used readymade rice flour to make the dough.
Outer rice dough
Rice Flour - 1 cup
Water - 1 + 1/3 cup and about 3tbsp more in case needed
Salt - 1tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Coconut grated - 12tbsp
Jaggery - 12tbsp
Elaichi pwd - 1 pinch
In a kadhai add grated jaggery and 2tbsp water on low heat and start melting the jaggery. Stir it and press any jaggery pieces with the back of the spoon to melt it quickly. Once it is done, take off the heat and sieve it to remove any impurities. Put the clean jaggery syrup back on heat and add the grated coconut and mix well. Keep on very low heat and stir so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom. Keep stirring till the mix starts coming together, take it off the heat and keep covered.
To make the rice dough, I followed the recipe given on Chitra's blog. Heat water, add the salt and bring to a boil. I would suggest then take 3tbsp water out and keep it nearby if needed. When the water is boiling add the rice flour slowly in a steady stream stirring all the while with a wooden spatula. I used the recommended 1 1/3rd cup and since the flour was still dry I added 3tbsp water additionally to get a soft and pliable dough. Once the dough wasn't as hot, I took it into a bowl and kneaded it well and applied oil onto it and kept it tightly covered.
To make the kozhukatta
Make equal sized balls of the rice dough and the filling, this mix should give you 11 equal balls. I did not make equal balls and hence got 9 kozhukattas mostly big sized. Flatten each ball to about 2 or 3 inches diameter circles. Place the ball of filling in the center and bring the ends of the stuffing together to form the shape of the kozhukatta. I tried making folds at the top when bringing the covering together and then pinched it at the top to make that mooku. Once all kozhukattas are done heat water in a cooker or idli cooker, place these kozhukattas on the stand making sure the water does not touch the stand. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes. Open the steamer a minute after taking off the heat and then after a few minutes take the kozhukattas on to a platter. The kozhukattas should look shiny from the outside. Serve after offering to Lord Ganesha.