Vinayagar Chaturthi is celebrated all over India every year in a grand manner. Idols of Lord Ganesha floods the streets. After pooja, the idol is immersed in river, pond or sea. Usually mom made kozhukattai and sundal for neivedhyam along with some rice flakes and jaggery. And we never bought ganesha idols. Whenever we went for shopping on previous day of Ganesh Chaturti, I was always tempted seeing all those cute idols, but mom never bought. I think the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are fantastic in Karnataka. When we were in Mysore, the area boys used to collect money from all the houses and do a grand celebration every year. For one year I took part in all the celebrations as one of the guys organising the celebration was my brother’s friend. It was fun filled Ganesh Chaturti that year and I didn’t get another opportunity like that. Writing this itself makes me nostalgic.
I still remember all the preparation we made every year for the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. My mom used to prepare kozhukattai flour in bulk and stock it up in advance. It was a lengthy process and I used to help mom preparing the flour. We never went to the flour mill to grind the rice. Mom used to grind it in the mixer grinder in batches. And then comes the process of steaming the ground flour. Once the flour is steamed, it is then spread on a white cloth and let out in sun to dry. And once in a while I went to the terrace to give it a stir. The pure white flour would look so nice in the bright day light and I really loved that work. When completely dry, the flour is then sieved and stored in airtight box. This is the same flour we use to make idiyappam also. Kozhukattai made with this flour stays soft even after it comes to room temperature and doesn’t break.
My mom’s favourite filling is the channa dhal jaggery filling and she used to do it every year. And there are some easier fillings such as coconut and sugar, roasted gram flour and sugar, till seeds and jaggery and so on. If you have the flour ready, you can be very creative with the filling. Halwas, kesari, khova are some variations. You can also make savoury filling with paneer or vegetables. Kozhukattai is such a versatile dish, you can do anything with that.
Makes 14-16 Kozhukattai
For The Dough:
Kozhukattai Flour-1 cup
For The Filling:
Grated Coconut-1/3 cup
White Sesame seeds-1/6 cup
Cardamom powder-a pinch
For The Dough:
Heat water along with salt and oil.
When it starts boiling, add the flour and stir immediately to incorporate.
Remove from stove and mix thoroughly.
Cover with a damp cloth and set aside until warm.
For The Filling:
In a mixer jar grind the sesame seeds coarsely.
Add it to the grated coconut along with sugar and cardamom powder.
In a pan add ghee and the coconut mixture.
Saute for a minute and remove from flame.
Allow it to cool completely.
Making The Kozhukattai:
Knead the dough into a smooth mixture.
Divide into 14-16 equal portions and roll each into a ball.
Take a ball and holding it in both the hands, press with both the thumbs to make a small bowl.
Place some filling inside the bowl and close the dough to resemble half moon.
Pinch the edges to seal.
Arrange the prepared kozhukattais in a steamer plate and steam cook for 5 minutes.
click on image for the method of preparation of flour
Linking this to WTML going on at Gayathri’s Cook Spot. If you have any childhood favourite recipes link it up to WTML to win a Flipkart Gift Coupon.
Here are some more recipes you can use for Ganesh Chaturthi: click on images for recipes