Friday, December 17, 2010
Kozhukattais, the sweet version as well as the savoury version, have been part of our festive menu since times immemorial especially in South India . It gains presidence over all other dishes during Ganesha Chaturthi. It is prepared during Christmas in some parts of Kerala. No one really cares to prepare them on other days. It may be defined as the south Indian counter part of Momos which is currently a globally appreciated dish.
The soft and easily digestable outer covering and the spicy lentil filling make khara kozhukattai ( Spicy Dumpling ), a refreshing breakfast meal. My college mate S had recently arranged for a farewell lunch party for a friend of ours who was going away to join her son at Australia. Ten of us were already here and few more girls ( Girls we are! But all over sixty! ), were expected from Mysore as well, for the lunch. S had elaborately arranged for a lavish lunch through her caterer.
As all of us were chirping and chattering , reminiscing over 'old times tales' , the starters were being served. I was in for a surprise when steaming hot khara kozhukattais were served as starters with mint chutney as a dip. My surprise was pleasantly doubled when another friend said that khara kozhukattais were served at another friend's wedding party. Wow ! Our traditional kozhukzttais which are usually limited to feasts connected with poojas have come out as a party dish !
The sweet version and the savoury version have already been posted in Chitra Amma's Kichen. The spicy version here has a slight variation.
Ingredients for the outer covering
Rice flour - 1 tall glass
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Gingelly oil (Til Oil) - 2 tbsps
1. Boil 1 1/4 glass ( use the same glass used to measure rice flour ) of water in a pan.
2. Add salt and oil.
3. When the water is vigourously boiling reduce flame and stir in the rice flour.
4. Keep stirring until the flour is cooked and becomes a mass.This process will get over very quickly.
5. Immediately switch off flame and cover the dough with a lid and let it cool.
Ingredients for the filling
Split black gram dal - 1 cup
Bengal gram dal - 1 cup
Red chillies - 8
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt - 1 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
1. Soak the dals for 1/2 an hour with red chillies.
2. Drain the dals and chillies thoroughly and grind coarsely adding asafoetida and salt.
3. Mix in coriander leaves and keep aside.
TO MAKE THE KOZHUKATTAIS
1. Knead the cooked dough well into a very smooth ball.
2. Place a lemon size ball on your palm and press it with the mount under the thumb of the other palm to make flat even rounds.
3. Place a spoon of filling on the flattened dough.
4. Fold into a crescent shape and pinch the edges together to seal the kozhukattai.
5. After making a batch of kozhukattais, steam them in a pressure cooker for fifteen minutes on a greased idly plate similar to steaming idlys. Cover the Kozhukattais with a damp cloth till the whole batch is ready for steaming.
Relish the silky smooth outer covering and enjoy the crumbly spicy lentil filling simultaneously, as you bite into the khara kozhukattais with any dip of your choice. It is a perfect comfort snack for the cold Christmas season.
Here is a recipe for a delicious onion dip - VENGAYA CHUTNEY
VENGAYA CHUTNEY - ONION CHUTNEY
Onions - 3 ( Chopped )
Red chillies - 4 ( Broken )
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - 1 marble size
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split black gram dal - 1 tbsp
1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
2. When the mustard seeds splutter add the black gram dal.
3. When the dal turns golden in colour add the broken red chillies.
4. Add chopped onion and saute for a few minutes.
5. Cover and cook for few more minutes on low fire.
6. When the onions turn transparent add the tamarind and switch off flame and let it cool.
7. Grind the above with salt and little water into a smooth paste.
8. Adjust consistency as required by adding water.
Relish with Khara Kozhukattai. Vengaya chutney is a very delicious accompaniment for any snack. It can be savoured with steaming hot rice too.