Here are my problems with traditional kozhukaatai’s also known as modak or undrallu:
- The coconut jaggery filling is too sweet.
- All kozhukattai’s are heavy on carb.
- Between cooking prasad, pooja and the stress to get to office on time, who has energy to make the rice-flour base from scratch?
I present to you upgraded kozhukattai’s with tricks and tips to make your life easier this Ganesha Chathurthi.
- Use bottle gourd to ‘healthify’ the coconut jaggery filling
Lauki or sorrakai is such a neutral vegetable that it makes a perfect fiber camouflage in this dish. Grate the bottle gourd, extract all the water out and add the fiber to your traditional sweet kozhukattai filling. I am willing to bet, none of your family members will notice the addition.
Another advantage is that you can use lauki to bulk up the filling rather than using excessive amounts of coconut. I have also added some shredded almonds for healthy fats and a good crunch. But that’s optional.
2. Add veggies to kara (spicy) kozhukattai
The kara kozhukattai is as dense as a steamed vada. I added cabbage to lower the dense-ness of the dish. It also adds a crunch/ texture factor to the dish.
I am not sure of the pooja rules, if it permits the use of cabbage in the prasad. But this is just an example. Use any vegetable you like and approve to increase the fiber levels of the dish.
3. Use Vietnamese paper rice rolls to wrap the kozhukattai instead of the traditional type
What is the most time-consuming aspect of kozhukattai’s? Making the rice base, correct? Making the ‘maavu’ waiting for it to cool, flattening it out, filling it – Oy, ve!! Too much work :). Here’s my easy substitution, and it is low carb too, yay!!
Just set up an assembly line and wrap everything up in a jiffy
The rice wraps are made in a factory. So, if you are hesitant to offer it as prasad, just offer the filling part to the Gods and wrapping part for the family meal.
There are many times, I have noticed, when women have to rush in the morning leaving the kozhukattai base in the cooker till evening when they have more time to make it. Using these pre-made wraps reduces your time in the kitchen.
Is it as tasty as the home made rice base? That depends…on whether you are a fan of the traditional variety. The traditional base, when made with great perfection tastes amazing and cannot be replicated. But, if you are silently muttering under his/her breath about the complexities and the time-sucking nature of these dishes, this is an alternative.
- 150 g Jaggery
- 150 g Frozen Shredded Coconut
- 1 cup Grated and squeezed bottle gourd
- 1/4 tsp elaichi powder
- Handful sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup Black gram dhal
- 1/4 cup Bengal gram dhal
- 1-2 green chilli
- 1 in peeled ginger
- 1/3 head Cabbage chopped finely
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 Pinches Aesofatida
- 1/2 in Chopped ginger
- Few Curry Leaves
- Black pepper
- Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves
- 1 packet Rice Wrappers
Grate a medium sized lauki finely and squeeze out all the water. Keep it aside.
Take the required amount of coconut from the freezer and let it thaw.
Dissolve jaggery in little water and let it boil until the syrup thickens and froths up.
Add the coconut, lauki, and elaichi powder to the syrup and mix.
Soak the dhals together in water for about an hour.
Drain and grind well with green chillies, ginger. Add salt finally and give it a whir to mix it in.
Scoop out the mixture and add it to idli/ dokla steamer. Steam for about 10-15 minutes.
Grind it again to get a powdery mass.
Add cumin, sliced ginger, aesofatida, curry leaves to oil and stir. Add chopped cabbage, salt, black pepper and coriannder leaves. Saute until cabbage is well cooked. Add the steamed lentil powder and stir.
Set up an assembly line with the fillings, rice wraps, 1 plate filled with water and 2 dry plates.
Take a rice wrap, dip it in water, place it on the dry plate. Give it a minute. In the meanwhile, repeat the above process in another plate.
Add the filling and wrap it well. You can do a simple wrap like me or google fancier techniques.
You can eat it as is. It is totally fine.
Or you could steam it for another 5 min for a glazier/ stickier kozhukattai.
The rice wraps can be eaten right away with the filling. It has a rubbery texture. Alternatively, you could steam it for a few minutes. This make the wrap absorb some of the taste form the filling and makes for a stickier, shinier and yummier dumpling.
The wrap is very delicate. But once you get the hang of it, you can easily roll the dumplings without tearing it.
This is how it looks steamed and ready
The sweet version takes like a chewy candy…The lentil ones are crunchy from the cabbage and hearty from the lentils…
I hope you like some of the ideas presented here. This festival season, make the prasad healthier and use your time to focus on pooja, less time worrying about food.
Do you have your own shortcuts and ideas that you would like to share? Do share your thoughts and comments down below or on my Facebook page. I love to hear from all of you!!
Here’s the amazon link to rice paper rolls if you cannot find it at a local Chinese grocery store:
Here’s a link to a Vietnamese lady explaining very thoroughly on how to use the rice wrap. I like her notes, especially this tip: “After a rice paper is dipped, it takes a minute or two to fully soften and become usable. It’s ready for wrapping and rolling when it’s pliable and slightly tacky.”
Are you looking for other healthy ideas for this pooja season: Try