Sweet and Spicy Kozhukattai/ Modak

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all readers celebrating! 

Kozhukattai/ Modak is an easy sweet/ savory dish that is prepared mainly on Ganesh Chaturthi. 

Being a Labor day long weekend, we Indians residing in America gets to celebrate this special occasion in an elaborate manner. Lord Ganesha is born in our home this year. An incredible activity to involve kids to enjoy as we create an eco-friendly (edible) idol to celebrate Lord Ganesh's Birthday. We made the idol using rice flour (dough) and decorated with pulses and lentils. Be wary, as it dries it doesn't withstand for long. Lesson learnt to use clay on our next to preserve the idol to a certain extent.

Kozhukattai/ Modak being Lord Ganesha's favorite is offered as prashad on his day. I have 3 different delicious versions that are easy to make with assorted shapes here. The coconut stuffing and the spicy kozhukattai is inherited from my grandmother who passed it to my mom and now to me. I came up with the sesame and nuts stuffing. 

The authentic elaborate method to make kozhukattai is quite time consuming. The soaked rice is ground like idly batter and then cooked in a pan for close to 10 mins. To prevent lumps continuous stirring is required until right consistency - soft and smooth dough. But for the past few years I picked up the easy version of using idiyappam flour, which even bachelors can enjoy making these effortless kozhukattais. Trust me you can never go wrong with this method of preparation. Enjoy shaping and hogging!

Preparation: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Cuisine: Indian
Yields: 10-15 nos

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

Stuffing or Pooranam:
Sesame and Nut poornam:
Sesame seeds (white) - 2 teaspoons
Nuts (almonds, cashew-nuts, walnuts) - 1/2 cup
Brown cane sugar/ Karumbu Sarkarai (powdered) - 4 teaspoons
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch

Coconut poornam:
Coconut (grated) - 4 teaspoons
Sugar - 2 teaspoons
Cardamom powder - 2 pinches

Spicy Kozhukattai:
Oil - for seasoning
Mustand - 1/4 teaspoons
Urad dal - 1/4 teaspoons
Channa dal - 1/4 teaspoons
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt to taste
Green chillies (finely chopped) - 2-3 nos
Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - few
Curry leaves (finely chopped)- Few 

Sesame and Nut poornam:
Dry roast the nuts and the sesame seeds until aromatic. Grind to a fine powder. To this add the brown cane sugar powder and cardamom powder, mix well and set aside to use as stuffing. 

Coconut poornam:
Mix all the 3 ingredients together and set aside. You may fry the grated coconut in ghee if you prefer.

Outer layer:
1. In a large bowl add the rice flour and salt. Slowly pour in warm water little by little to the flour and knead the dough until you get a soft and smooth dough. For the right consistency you should be able to make a ball with no cracks. (check tips #2)
2. Grease your palms and divide the dough into small balls. I also divided them for all three versions. 
3. Use a ziplock or banana leaf (greased with oil) as a base to make the desired shapes effortlessly.   
4. Flatten the ball into round shape using greased finger tips and in the center add about 1/2 teaspoon of your desired poornam and make any shape you like. Make sure the seams are closed well and no cracks are visible.
5. Place them in a greased idly pan or a bamboo steamer and steam for 10 minutes. (Check Tips #1)

For the spicy version:
1. Heat about 1 teaspoon of oil and add the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal and allow it to splutter. now add the green chillies, asafetida, salt, curry leaves and remove from heat. 
2. Now add the coriander leaves and tennis ball sized dough (for approximately10 spicy kozhukattai). Mix well. 
3. I usually place a small ball of dough (gooseberry size) in between my 4 fingers and palm. By giving it a gentle press/squeeze to get the spicy kozhukattai shape.
4. Steam as stated above for 10 minutes.

Notes and Tips:
1.  Make sure the steamer basket/ idly pan has at least 2 inches of boiling water and also check if the water is below the idly plate or steamer.
2. There is a quick fix if the dough seem to get dried, or if it breaks or cracks while shaping. Sprinkle some warm water to the dough and knead again until a soft and smooth dough is formed. Vola! Also keep the dough closed while preparing the kozhukattai. 


  1. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi...looking awesome...we are missing it this year...Enjoy...Hats off to your creativity...asusual

  2. Amazing... so tempting and yummy. Love the different shapes. SuperπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘πŸ‘

    1. Thanks much Priya :) Enjoy shaping your kozhukattai's differently!

  3. Wow.. yummy n delicious.. Great post in this festive season.. Awesome presentation


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