Poorna Kozhukattai (Stuffed Dumpling Dessert)

A major festival, in celebration of the elephant-headed God, Ganesh, was celebrated last month. This is a very important festival in the Indian state of Maharashtra, where it is celebrated for 10 days. It is also celebrated in other parts of the country, albeit for a single day. In South India, it is customary to make ‘modak’ or dumplings for this festival. Both sweet and savoury dumplings. Traditionally, the sweet ones are round in shape, with a little ‘nose’ attached. The savoury ones are elongated in shape. I normally make this only for this festival – but keep wonderingm every year, why I do not make it more often. I intend to correct this practice this year. Meanwhile, here is the recipe for the sweet dumpling. The other will follow.

1 cup rice flour (I used brown rice flour)
1 cup date paste
1 cup grated coconut
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
Heat 1 1/4 cups of water (maybe a little more or less, depending upon the quality of rice)
Slowly add the rice flour, stirring continuously so that there are no lumps
Cook on low flame, stirring frequently
Transfer this dough to a plate to cool
Once it has cooled enough to be handled comfortably, knead to make a smooth dough
Sprinkle a little water, if the dough feels too dry
Cover with a damp cloth and lid
Set aside
Now for the filling
Heat the date paste and add grated coconut
Mix well
Cook till the mixture begins to thicken
Add cardamom powder and mix well
Remove from flame and cool (it will thicken further)
If not thick enough, cook for a while longer
Once the stuffing cools, make little balls with it
Set aside
Make small, even sized balls from the rice flour
Ensure that the rice flour is kept under a damp cloth and make these balls in batches (otherwise, the rice flour will dry very quickly)
Place a ball in the centre of your palm and flatten it in the shape of a circle
Place a ball of coconut/date paste filling at the centre of the circle
Bring all the edges of the rice flour together and seal
Repeat for the remaining rice flour and filling
Transfer these balls to a steamer
Steam for 10-15 minutes, or till done
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve
Note: The dark, round dumplings are the ones described in this recipe. The white, elongated ones are savoury – reserved for a later post.20180913_170812

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