Happy Ganesh Chathurthi!
I'm back from a extra-long summer break.. Hope everyone had a wonderful summer! I was at India for the majority of this summer and time just flew away. I know I missed a lot of yummy recipes from my blogging world here, but actually I've also been checking some blogs now and then and have bookmarked some interesting recipes too. Though it feels good to blog after a long time, I have to say that my brain is completely blank now. In fact, a few minutes back, I felt like I have plenty to ramble, but as I sat down to write this post I feel as if there is nothing to write. I can't seem to form rational sentences, and have seem to lost touch in my usual scrawling. Hope to get back to my regular blogging mind set soon.
Well, Today is Ganesh Chathurthi and I cooked a traditional lunch special after a long time - ofcourse with our Ganesh Chathurthi special Kozhukattai too. I always relate our traditional Kozhukattai (Modak) to the Japanese dumplings called Mochi. Somehow, the basic concept seems to be the same, although the ingredients are slightly different. Actually, there are quite a bit of our traditional dishes that I can relate to the dishes across the border, but this one I feel is closely tied to the Japanese dumplings. The sweet filling, rice flour base, steamin process etc. sound so similar to each other. Ofcourse, me and my family enjoy the Indian Kozhukattai more, as we all grew up enjoying that version.
Though I had prepared the regular steamed Kozhukattai for puja and lunch, interestingly during lunch time, my daughter asked me why this time I did not make the Pal Kozhukattai which she enjoys more! It didn't strike me until then, that I missed making her favorite. But as I had some left over rice flour, I decided to prepare this sweet just for her in the evening. Glad I was in a cooking mood yesterday!
Fresh Shredded coconut - 2 cups
Regular milk - 1/2 cup
Rice Flour - 1.5 cups
Cardamom powder (or crushed cardamom) - 1.5 tsp
Sugar - 1.5 cups (or as required)Raisins - a few for garnishing
1. Add 2 cups water and 1.5 cups of shredded coconut in a blender. Strain the milk using a strainer and then squeeze out the milk from the coconut remains. This will be a thicker version of coconut milk. Set aside.
2. Repeat this process with the squeezed coconut and the remaining 0.5 cup of shredded coconut and strain the milk one more time. This will be the lighter version (diluted) of coconut milk. Set this aside too.
3. Take the rice flour in a large pan. Add salt and mix well with the rice flour.
4. Boil 4 cups water in a pan and pour this in the rice flour slowly. Mix the flour rapidly with the back side of a wooden ladle and keep mixing until it becomes a thick dough (like chapathi dough). Pour only the required amount of water so the dough is in the right consistency.
5. In a thick bottomed pan, pour the lighter version of coconut milk, add sugar, cardamom powder and the regular milk and mix well. Bring it to boil, then simmer the heat and let it boil continuously.
6. Make small balls with the prepared dough and drop them in the boiling coconut milk. Once the balls are cooked, they come up to the surface of the milk (float).
7. Once all the balls are cooked well, add the thicker version of coconut milk, mix well and remove from heat immediately. Garnish with raisins.
You can enjoy this either warm or cold.