This is going to be a very quick post. As per the Hindu calender, today happens to be THE day Lord Vinayagar / Ganesh was born. This festival is called as Vinayagar Chathurthi in Tamil. It was this same day five years back my husband bought his first home. So it happens to be a very special vinayagar chathurthi for us. Since its a week day, I woke up around 5.30 am to pack lunch for the three of us. The plan was to just pressure cook the kondakalais (chickpeas) which I soaked the previous night. But something in me motivated to put that extra effort to whip few kozhukatais to celebrate Lord Vinayagar’s birthday and also enjoy the fifth anniversary with a sweet note. It is a tradition to make fresh kozhukatais and chickpea sundal for the Lord as those are beleived to his favorite snacks. The belief is that when we offer these food to Him, he will bless the devotess with immense happiness and good wishes. With those thoughts and memories of celebrating the festival back home in India, I was all geared up to make some fresh kozhukatais.
I quickly dumped half cup of coconut palm sugar on to a non-stick pan and added very little water and let it simmer for 2-3minutes. I tossed in two crushed cardamons too. I stirred the syrup for another 2 minutes and mixed in dry dessicated coconuts. I didn’t measure it. I kept adding the coconut little by little until it sucked in all the syrup. I switched off the flame and let it cool on the kitchen counter. It was a momentary decision to use brown rice flour instead of white. I added little salt and kneaded them into a smooth dough using hot water. Once everything reached room temperature, I shaped the kozhukatai and steamed it for 15 minutes. I simulataneously cooked the chickepeas and made a simple tempering with few South Indian spices. Voila! Everything was ready in 30 minutes. I had a quick shower, packed our lunches and prayered for few minutes. I was out by 7:40 AM and was so proud that I pulled off the celebration in a decent way. You can read about my usual kozhakatai recipe here (made with white rice flour).
Now as I am writing the post my son is eating the sundal and we are waiting for S to get back home so we could visit the temple. Well, I am planning to go around 8 as we can enjoy some prasadam too 😉
Verdict:Kozhukatais with brown rice flour and stuffing made with coconut palm sugar is definitely a healthier version. I made this with an open mind and wasn’t sure whether it will be a hit or miss. One thing which I noticed was that it tasted great too. I was so glad about that. But don’t expect the kozhukatais to be as soft as the ones made with white rice flour. It is better to eat it right away. I ate the remaining few in the evening and they got little harder. May be I should have stored it in an airtight container. So the best way to enjoy a healthy version of this traditional dish is to eat it hot. Yes, straight from the stove is the way to go.
BROWN RICE FLOUR KOZHUKATAIS RECIPE
For the base
1 cup Brown Rice flour
1 cup Hot water
For the inner stuffing (Purnam):
1+1 cups Grated coconut
½ cup coconut palm sugarJaggery
½ teaspoon powdered Cardamon
2 tablespoon water
Mix the rice flour with hot water along with salt in a glass bowl. Knead them well into a dough. Keep kneading them for about 10-15minutes.Add little oil and knead them again. Make small balls from them and keep aside.
For the purnam/filling :
Add coconut palm sugar, water and cardamons and in a cooking pan and cook for 3-5 minutes.Mix thoroughly. Keep aside and let it cool.
Firstly, wet your left palm with oil. Pinch a little of the dough and press them with your right hand to form a circle on your left palm. Place about 1-2 teaspoon (or more if you want) of the stuffing in the centre of the spread dough and cover it to form a circle. Pinch on the top to get the “actual” kozhikatai shape. Seal the edges with oil/water.
Grease the idly plates with sesame oil (or even ramkins will do). Fill the base of the pressure cooker with 3 cups water, place your idly plates and steam cook it for 12- 15 minutes.
GARBANZO BEANS / CHICKPEAS SUNDAL RECIPE
Source: My mom
Serves: 4 (1/4 cup each)
1 cup raw chickpeas (soaked overnight in water)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies (cut into half)
1 teaspoon asafoetida
6-8 curry leaves
2 tablespoon dessicated unsweetened coconut
Salt to taste
1. Pressure cook the chickpeas for 4 whistles or cook them over a cooking pan for 30-45 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let it pop. Then add dry chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves.Switch off the flame. Add the coconut and stir in the chickpeas. Season with salt and serve.