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The bite sized, savoury version of kozhukattai- is almost always made on days when the regular sweet version is made. It probably is a dish that was invented when some resourceful Iyer woman decided that she would put the left over rice flour dough to good use.
Having grown up in a household where kozhukattais were(and still are) made at the drop of a hat and not just for Ganesh Chathurti, it is little wonder that this bite sized, savoury version is something that I have fond memories of eating.
The only time when dough is made exclusively for ammini kozhukattai, and not as an after thought to the sweeter modak cousin, is during Navaratri when this is made as Neivedyam/prasadam – an offering to the deity.
Rice flour – 1 cup
Water – 2 cups
Salt – to taste
Fresh grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Chana dal – 1 tsp
Broken red chillies – 2
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
- Mix rice flour with one cup of water to a thick, smooth paste.
- Heat the remaining cup of water along with salt in a heavy bottomed, large pan.
- When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat and add the rice flour paste. Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens to a dough like consistency. Switch off heat.
- When the dough is warm to the touch, remove it on to a plate, add a teaspoon of coconut oil and knead well.
- Apply oil on your hands, pinch out small bits of the dough and roll into marble sized balls. Steam these balls in an idli plate/steamer for 8-10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes after switching off the heat.
In a pan, heat a teaspoon of coconut oil. Add urad dal, chana dal and broken red chillies. When the dals start to brown, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add in the curry leaves and the grated coconut. Saute on low heat till the coconut turns reddish brown. Add the cooked kozhukkattais to this. Mix gently but well, taking care not to break the kozhukattais and heat for 2-3 minutes.
Enjoy as an evening snack or a light tiffin.
- Variations : Omit grated coconut. Knead in some red chilli powder to the dough and then proceed with the recipe.