Sep 5, 2013

Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayagar Chaturthi

Ganesh chathurthi is the festival celebrated by Hindus in India.
Its the birth day of Lord Ganesha who is always considered as a favourite god of all from small baby to oldies. Ganesha idols are made in various forms from ancient dancing , sitting postures to the modern computer Ganesha. These idols are painted in various colours. On this auspicious day Modhaka/Kuzhukattai’s which are favourite to Ganesha are made in households and offered to god. These are then distributed among poor and rich as prasadam. This festivals extends for 10 days in northern part of India especially Mumbai. Ten days poojas are done then the idol of Lord Ganesha is immersed in sea water. This is done as a farewell and ask Ganesha to come back next year again.
Lets now learn how to make his fav dishes J

There are essentially two ways of making the dough…One is by soaking the rice and grinding it, which is pretty elaborate but very tasty, and the other is using rice flour. I shall explain both the procedures below.
Raw rice-1 cup
Coconut oil.
  1. Soak the raw rice for 2-3 hours and grind in the mixer or grinder to a smooth batter. It does not matter how much water you use as it gets cooked in it finally.
  2. Pour the batter in to a kadai. Make sure that there are no clots and add 1/2 -3/4 spoon of salt and a spoon of coconut oil.
  3. Switch on the stove setting it on medium low  and keep stirring to avoid clots.
  4. After a few minutes, you will find that the water content is rapidly used up to cook the rice batter, and it slowly thickens.
  5. After a few more minutes, it will thicken and be cooked. The signs for that is you will find that when you stir, it comes together as a ball.
  6. Also the whiteness of the raw rice will give way to a very slightly off white cooked rice ball.
  7. Immediately transfer to a bowl and add a spoon of coconut oil.
  8. With your hands, knead the ball inside the bowl by smoothing it and bring it together. This step is very integral as this is what binds the dough and takes away the stickiness.
  9. At this point, the dough should be well cooked and seamlessly shape in to a ball.
  10. Set aside in the bowl and cover with a lid.

Rice Flour-1 cup
Water-2 cups
Coconut Oil- 2tbs
  1. In a kadai, pour the water, add coconut oil and salt and allow to boil.
  2. Immediately, simmer the stove and add the measured 1 cup of rice flour in to the water.
  3. Use a whisk and remove all the clots quickly.
  4. With a spatula, rapidly stir in the mixture as if will thicken using the water to cook the rice.
  5. As before, keep stirring until you see that the water is all gone and the entire batter scoops up in your ladle as a single mass.
  6. Stir for a few more minutes until you are satisfied and the batter does not stick. This would happen only if, the water is not used up so do not fret.
  7. Transfer to a bowl, add another spoon of coconut oil and knead well to form a  ball.
  8. Set aside covered in the bowl.

Use this smooth outer dough to make delicious Vella Kozhukattai, Uppu Kozhukattai and Ammini Kozhukattais.
Grated coconut-1 cup
Grated jaggery(Depending on brand, degree of sweetness etc)- 1/2 – 3/4 cup
Powdered cardamom-1 tsp
Milk-1 tbsp
Water-2-3 tbsp
  1. Always prepare the poornams or filling ahead as the outer dough has to be made last just before consolidating the Kozhukattais.
  2. In a kadai add the jaggery and very little water about 2  Tbsp and 1 tbsp milk and allow to melt.
  3. When the jaggery is well melted add the fresh grated coconut and mix well.
  4. Also put in the powdered cardamom and stir in well until the mixture leaves the sides.
  5. I prefer to make my poornam a little thicker by keeping it on the stove for a longer time to enable me to make them in to balls.
  6. Cool the poornam filling and make them in to little balls.

  1. Keep the Kozhukattai outer dough prepared and ready as per instructions. Keep it covered under a moist cloth and over that a lid to preserve the moisture and the warmth.
  2. Create an assembly line with the Poornam balls, outer dough, greased idli plates and a small cup having 2-3 spoons of coconut oil.
  3. Grease your palms with coconut oil and then take a ball of the outer dough and smoothen it between your palms.
  4. Make a little depression with your thumb and make it in to the shape of a diya with smooth sides.
  5. Fill the depression with the coconut jaggery poornam and close the edges and seal it with your fingers.
  6. Continue until you finish the poornam filling.

  1. If your sweet poornam/filling is not as thick as you would like it to be, don't fret. Allow it to sit on the stove for a couple of minutes more and add 1 spoon or two of wheat flour. This will bind them together.
  2. Another option is to make rough balls and pop them in to the refrigerator for a few minutes. This will automatically firm them up.
  3. Before steaming the prepared Modhakas, keep them covered as if they exposed to the air etc, they get dry and crack up. This might render the  poornam to seep out during steaming.
Bengal Gram- 1/2 cup
Urad Dhal-1/4  cup
Green Chillies-3- 4
  1. Soak the Bengal Gram and Urad Dhal for about 3 hours just as you would for Paruppu Usili.
  2. Used the proportion of 1/2 cup of bengal gram to 1/4 cup of urad dhal. If you want more numbers, of Urad Dhal balls,  you can extrapolate it to 3/4 cup of bengal gram to 1/2 cup of urad dhal.
  3. Grind the bengal gram and urad dhal in the mixer with salt, green chillies  and curry leaves with as little water as possible. The water added is  important as this affects the final consistency of the urad dhal crumble.
  4. It should not be ground too smooth but a little short of that, a little coarse.  Add hing and  a spoon of oil and mix it in well.
5. Place a seasoning kadai on the stove, add oil and mustard, When the mustard splutters, add it to the ground paste.

  1. Grease 1 or 2 idli plates and fill the firm ground  paste in the idli plates. Steam in the pressure cooker for 12 – 15 minutes. Switch off gas and remove the plates and allow to cool.
  2. Transfer the cooked dhal idlis to a plate and pour 1 spoon of coconut/gingely/canola oil on them and slowly crumble them with your oiled fingers.
  3. Try to do this when its still warm.
  4. Now with the help of a oil greased hands again, press the crumbles in to 1 inch balls. Keep covered in a container to retain the moisture.
  5. Close like a coconut and make a little tuft resembling a coconut.,
  6. Keep your hands oiled when you are working with the Outer Dough.
  7. Place the prepared modhaks in greased idli plates and steam in the pressure cooker for 12 minutes.
  8. Switch off stove, and after a few minutes transfer.
Green chillies -2 cut in to small pieces.
Curry Leaves – 2-3 strings
Broken Urad Dhal.
1.      The outer dough of Kozhukattais have negligible salt. So take the dough and add sufficient powder salt and mix it in by kneading well. If you feel the dough is a little dry, add a few drops of coconut oil to your hands.
2.      Make a smooth ball.
3.      Greasing your hands, shape it in to smaller balls, say, the size of naphthalene balls and keep covered in a bowl.
4.      Complete the dough by making small balls and arrange on greased idli plates.
5.      Steam them in the pressure cooker without weight for 10 minutes on high. As they have already been cooked once, it will cook in steam pretty fast.
6.      Once the cooker is switched off, wait for a few minutes and collect all the balls on the serving bowl.
7.      In a seasoning kadai, add 2 spoons of oil. When hot, add broken urad dhal, mustard, green chilies, hing and curry leaves.
8.      Drop over the kozhukattais and mix well.

Delicious Mini/Ammini Kozhakattais are ready to be served.

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