Fruit and Nut Modak/ Beetroot Kozhukattai/ Sweet dumplings

An energetic, eye catching and deliciously sweet recipe to satisfy the sweet toothed healthy eaters. Stuffed fruit and nut rice dumpling with a different outlook, replaces the traditional modak/ kozhukattai (rice dumpling) with its shape and pooran. 

"Vinayagar Chadhurthi", Lord Ganesha's birthday marks this time to make these sweet treats as offerings. May the Lord of obstacles bestow us with the strength to overcome this phase of difficulty to be safe and sound. 

Naturally colored with beetroot powder (outsourced) to make life easy is mixed with the rice flour to form a dough. its then filled with the protein rich energy ball with dry fruits and nuts.

The beetroot does not emit its flavor or aroma after the modak is steamed. If you don't have beetroot powder handy, just extract the clear beets juice about 1 1/4 cup and bring it to a boil for the raw odor to escape. Replace the water with this this juice it can be an easy fix which might not strike at times.

Coarse textured nuts and seeds blends in well with the dried fruits. Jaggery powder is sparingly added for extra sweetness which is optional. The fruit and nut roll I made earlier is what prompted to transform it as a pooran/ stuffing for the steamed rice dumpling.

I have tried different shapes, but stuck with just one this time to elaborate the shaping process. Shaping is actually easy and therapeutic, you will see it in the stepwise pictures below. Try and tag me to take a look at your creativity. 

The same dough can be mixed with basic tempering along with some green chillies, but this time I left it plain and accompanied it with celery chutney.

Making eco friendly Ganesh is another ritual in my house each year. I tried with the same rice dough, turmeric and wheat flour so far. I missed to take a picture this year. Let's hop on to the recipe.


Category: Sweets
Cuisine: Indian 
Level: Medium
Yields:  10-12 nos

Nutrition Facts
Servings 10.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 114
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4 g6 %
Saturated Fat 1 g3 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 23 mg1 %
Potassium 75 mg2 %
Total Carbohydrate 17 g6 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g4 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 2 g5 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium0 %
Iron1 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Outer layer:
Rice flour (or Idiyappam flour) 1- cup
Beetroot powder - 3 teaspoons
Oil - for greasing and seasoning
Salt - generous pinch
Warm water - 1 1/4 cup (approximately)

Stuffing/ Pooran:
Dried fruit and nut poornam:
Sesame seeds (white) - 1 teaspoon
Pumpkin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Nuts (almonds, cashew-nuts, pistachios, walnuts) - 1/2 cup
Dates - 10 nos
Raisins , goji berries and cranberry- 1 teaspoon each 
Jaggery powder - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Desiccated coconut - 1 teaspoon
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Sesame and Nut poornam:
Dry roast all the nuts and seeds until aromatic. Grind coarsely in pulse mode and add the jaggery, desiccated coconut* and cardamom powder, mix well. 

Dried fruits:
Grind the dry fruits (dates, raisins and cranberry), mix this to the above nuts and seeds stuffing. If your mixture is dry sprinkle about a teaspoon of water if required. Now, mix this to the above nuts mixture and make gooseberry sized balls and set aside. 

Outer layer:

1. Run the beetroot powder through a sieve to avoid any lumps. In a large pan, dry roast the rice flour and beetroot powder. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to prevent over roasting as it tends to change color. 

2. To this mix in some salt to taste. Slowly pour in warm water little by little to the flour using a whisk or spoon until you get a soft and smooth dough. For the right consistency you should be able to make a ball with no cracks and the dough shouldn't stick to your  fingers. 

3. Grease your palms and divide the dough into small balls. I got 10 equal balls. They are usually double the size of your pooran balls.

4. Use a ziplock or banana leaf (greased with oil) as a base to make the desired shapes effortlessly.  I just greased my palms with sesame oil and it works just fine.

5. Flatten the ball using greased fingertips and in the center add one of your pooran ball or stuffing. Now coming to shaping the above flower pot/ money bag shape however you see it. Cup your palm and place the flattened circle with the stuffing.  Using your other hand, gather the ends. Make a C using the index and thumb and gently press at the neck of the shape for the flower like design. It should be more like a gentle hug and not strangle the neck too much to maintain the flowery frills.  

6. Gently arrange them on a greased idli pan or a bamboo steamer and steam for 7-8 minutes. Remove and serve hot to enjoy the sweet nutritious treat.


If you are using fresh coconut you may fry the grated coconut in ghee if you prefer.

I had some left over pooran balls which acted as an energy ball and it was gone in no time. 


  1. Fantastic!! How did u make Beets powder though! It will be wet right!! I was wondering how did u make it...but no one can beat your creativity amudha...

    1. Thanks Kiru! I outsourced the beets powder as mentioned in the post. But you can always make it, by cooking until the moisture evaporates, that process it quite tedious. Read the post for the beets juice method, its relatively easy. Tag me when you try, I would love to hear your feedback.

  2. The color is so vibrant. Just looking at it is making me drool 🤤 So unique. Beautiful pictures. The photography itself makes it so captivating. Super o super. Hats off Amudha! Love it!

    1. Thanks a lot Priya! You are too generous with your kind words :)


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