Kara Kozhukatai – South Indian Savoury Dumplings

It was Vinayaka Chaturthi on 3rd September, 2008. I had taken off from my monotonous days at work. Being at home, its quite mandatory to follow certain protocol for the special days. So my plan to extend my sleeping hours wasn’t encouraged as my mom started playing her favorite songs on Lord Ganesh since 6 in the morning. It was 7.30 when I actually made my way to the living room and I saw my dad entering with the new clay–made Ganesh idol. My dad gave the typical cynical look for being so lazy and seeing his reaction, I tossed my way for a quick shower and was all set to help mom with her cooking. Well, she was almost done with the menu. I just  deep fried the vadas for her. The prayer was done in about 30minutes and we were all set to taste the scrumptious meal on a banana leaf. 

We make “Neivedyam”(Religious ritual) in the evening, so I was given the responsibility to make the sweet and spicy Kozhukattais. The sweet kozhukattai as its name suggests is a sweet dumpling which is stuffed with grated coconut and jaggery with a dash of cardamon while the savoury one is a spicy version of the steamed dumplings, stuffed with lentil fillings, generally a combination of soaked urad dhal, green chillies and ginger.

Today I was reminded of that day for some reason. Hence I gathered the energy to make some savoury dumplings for breakfast. My son loved it and it is a simple breakfast to enjoy on a lazy Sunday morning. Kara Kozhukatais are usually made as evening snacks. In Southern part of India especially Tamil Nadu, it is enjoyed with a glass of aromatic filter coffee.  They are mostly made on festival days and it’s a popular “prasadam” (food offered to Gods) in South India. I made it last September when we celebrated Vinagayar Chathurthi and it’s been more than 6 months since I prepared it at home. Last year, I made the dumplings with brown rice flour. You can find the recipe here. Kozhukatai /Dumplings are gluten free and since it has very less oil, it’s healthy too.

This month’s theme for World on a Plate is DUMPLINGS.World on a plate is a blogging cultural exchange. On the last Sunday of the month, bloggers from all over the world get together to interpret a food through the lens of their home country cooking. Each blogger will produce a wonderful dish featuring the food chosen that is typical of her/his home country and will tell us a bit about the dish”. I am participating in this event after a long break. I honestly missed the fun. Today I am really happy to be back. Now I will wait to see what other members of the group have made.



Source: Amma
Yields: 20 medium sized dumplings /kozhukatai
 For the rice dumplings:
  • 1 cup Rice flour
  • 1 cup Hot water (use as needed
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
For the filling:
  • 1 cup Urad dhal (white bengal gram)
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1” ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon asafetida
  • 5-6 chopped curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil or olive oil
For the filling:
  1. Soak the urad dal for 30-45min in water. Drain the water completely and make a fine paste with green chillies and ginger in a food processor. Add salt. 
  2. Steam cook them on idly plates (any shape) or bamboo steamers. Once cooled, break them into fine pieces (powdered coarse texture).
  3. Now add little oil in a kadai and heat it. Add mustard seeds asafoetida and curry leaves. Add them to the above mix. Adjust salt to taste.
 For the dumplings:
  1. Firstly, wet your left palm with sesame oil. Take a little of the dough about the size of strawberry or Indian gooseberry/Amla. Roll into a ball.
  2. Place the ball on your left palm. Press them with your right fingers to form a circle. Work gently as they might break part.
  3.  Place about ½ tablespoon of the filling in the centre of the circle and cover it to form a “Modagam/Modak”. (Have a look at the pics for the shape).
  4. Easy way is the roll it again into a ball sealing the filling well and pinch the top to form a peak. Gently work with your fingers to form a onion like shape.
  5. Seal the edges with oil/water.

Steam cook them in idly maker or bamboo steamer.

If using a idly maker, add about 2-3 cups water to a pressure cooker and place these Kozhukattais on the greased idly plates and cook it for 12-14 minutes (without the whistle on)

Share & Print

0 0 100 0


  1. I love uppu kozhukattais as well as the sweet modhakams. You made it for breakfast before going to work??/ Woman, you are amazing!
    I could keep eating them and lose track of them!


  2. You made all of these in the morning? I consider myself as having achieved a lot if I can make tea in the morning! Those dumplings though look more than delicious!

  3. I love the little insight into your family’s celebrations. These dumplings look just marvelous and your photos are, as always, gorgeous 🙂

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.