Ulunthu Kozhukattai (Savoury Dumplings)

I had posted the sweet dumplings that are prepared during the festival of Ganesh, the elephant god. A savoury version is also prepared for this festival. To be honest, I far prefer the savoury one to the sweet. Probably because I do not have a sweet tooth. Even more so because of the unique combination of spices that are used in the filling. As I mentioned, I normally prepare this only once a year during the festival. But I must correct that as it makes a great tea-time snack.

For The Outer Covering
1 cup rice flour (I used brown rice flour)
Salt to taste
For The Filling
1/2 cup split black lentil (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
4 green chillies
1/2 cup grated coconut
Salt to taste
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1 sprig curry leaves
Preparing The Outer
Boil about 1 1/3 cups of water, adding salt
Put the rice flour into a bowl
Add the boiled water, little by little
Mix to form a smooth dough
Cover with a damp cloth (it tends to dry fairly quickly)
Make equal sized balls of the flour
Set aside
Preparing The Filling
Soak the split black lentil for at least 1 hour
Add the green chillies, salt and the asafoetida
Then add the soaked lentil, after draining
Grind to a coarse consistency (pulse rather than grind)
Transfer this mixture to a steamer and steam for about 10 minutes
Cool and crumble
Set aside
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the asafoetida and curry leaves
Then add the steamed lentil and roast fot 2-3 minutes till the mixture is dry
Add the coconut and roast for a minute
Putting It Together
Take a ball of the rice dough in your palm
Flatten it to form a thin semi-circle
Put 1 1/2 tsp of the lentil mixture in the centre
Seal the edges of the dough into an elongated shape (see picture)
Set aside
Repeat for the rest of the dough
Transfer all the sealed dumplings to a steamer
Steam for 10 minutes
Serve hot

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