Paal Kozhukattai (kollukattai, kolukattai) is a traditional dish made of rice dumplings suspended in sweetened coconut milk. If you think of glycemic index of the dish, it is quite high. White refined rice flour balls in sugar sweetened milk is a recipe for sugar spikes.
Upgrade my rice flour dumplings
- I have used sweet potato as the majority ingredient in the balls and the rice flour just as a binding agent. With just 1/4 cup rice flour, I am able to get 10-12 medium balls, which is about 50% reduction in refined flour usage.
- Add a pinch of salt to both the balls and the milk. I have not seen too many Indian desserts calling for salt in desserts, but I have seen it in almost every Thai coconut milk dessert recipe. That pinch of salt sharpens the sweetness and lets you get away with less sugar (or sweetener) than usual. This may be a small change, but it shaves off excess sweetness that affects our health adversely.
- 1/2 cup Mashed sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- 2 tsp Shredded coconut (optional)
- Pinch Salt
- Pinch Elaichi (Cardamom powder)
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup
- Pinch Salt
- Pinch Elaichi
Steam cubed pieces of sweet potato
Mash cooked sweet potato well
Add the rest of the ball ingredients, knead and roll into balls
Add sweet milk ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a simmer
Add balls and let it cook for 2-3 minutes
When all balls float to the top, switch off the heat and serve
Step by Step Pics
Take the sweet potato. There is many-a-debate on what is a sweet potato and what is a yam. While I don’t want to get into scientific debate in this recipe page, you can choose any sweet tuber. This one is white and closest in color to rice flour. But if color is not your priority, choose the orange or even the purple one.
Measure out the ball ingredients
Knead and make balls
Bring the sweet milk ingredients to a simmer
Drop the balls gently
Cook the balls 2-3 minutes and wait for it to float to the top
Serve hot or chilled
Please note – I have used Brown Rice Syrup as my sweetener instead of sugar. I have not found any scientific evidence that this is a healthier sweetener. Just because it has the name brown rice, it is not necessarily brimming with health. Think of corn syrup, it is made from a vegetable, but has such a bad rap and rightfully so.
But, brown rice syrup does have a unique taste. I love the mild sweet flavor of the syrup and how easily it integrates with the coconut milk. You can give it a try if you already have it in your pantry. If not, you don’t need to go out and buy it. Just use sugar, jaggery or honey instead.
The traditional recipe of Paal kollukattai is one of those weird sweets that people are not that crazy about. Not many people wait for Garuda Panchami or Vinayaka chathurthi just to eat the dessert. I also find it too (ichuku-pichuku) sticky in my mouth.
However, with the upgraded recipe – Adding the sweet potato, in my humble opinion, made this dessert better than the original. It may be just my personal belief, but I was super happy with the results and my family’s reaction. Having a sweet potato ball with chilled coconut milk on a hot summer day was a pretty good dessert.
I hope you try it. Do share your thoughts and comments down below. I love to hear from all of you!!