Sweet kozhukattai that is what we call these dumplings is a famous offering for God Ganesh, who has the face of Elephant. He is one of my favorite God’s. My mother always used to pray to him. And when I left for my postdoctoral studies, she told if you have any problem just pray to him, he will take care of you.
Since I stayed alone during those studies, I used to tell him everything including my lab mistakes and happiness. Some time even complaint to him as he is not taking care of the issue that troubled me. I know you think I am a little off, but what you will do you are staying alone, and calling home was possible only for only one hour a week at the maximum, because of the exorbitant cost of international calls those days. Yes I had some friends, but still something they won’t understand. Or maybe I am sensitive person and I feel in my heart, if I tell him he will hear and help me.
After marriage, when I had my little one, nobody from my house and as his house was able to come and help us during delivery. I had lost my mother before our marriage and nobody was there to help us. At first it was really fearsome having a baby without even knows how to change a diaper or how to hold. My father used to say “pray to God Ganesh and he will help you”. In our belief, God can come in any form and help us. I used to pray him just come as doctor or nurse and help. Yes he did, we both husband and wife were adamant when my little one failed to show up on 39th week of pregnancy, we told our Gynecologist that why don’t we do a C-section, it will be easier. He told us only if she is not coming through normal delivery, I will do it otherwise not. Just like he told, my princess was born through normal delivery. We are grateful to him, as it would have been difficult to overcome the recovery if it is C-section.
Vinayaka chaturthi is an important festival for Lord Ganesh, if you want to see the celebrations; you have to visit Mumbai, the financial capital of India. Last time when we visited India, it was Vinayaka chaturthi festival time. In Mumbai, people bring home Ganesh idol and worship the Lord in their house with offerings for 3, 5, 7 or 11 days depending upon their financial abilities, after that they will immerse the idol in a nearby pond or sea praying to God to come next year at the same time.
During our trip back from India to US it was 7 days celebration, and everywhere there was a traffic block, our pre-booked taxi driver didn’t show up. We were in utter tension and we were going to miss the flight, luckily may be with god grace we got two taxi drivers who willing to take us airport. They did an awesome job of not only driving through the traffic but also making sure we reached the airport safely on time. The Mumbai airport is really mess from 12 A.M- 5.A.M every day, as most of the international flights arrive and depart during that time. It is difficult even to put a single feet in there.
Even though, everywhere Lord Ganesh Pooja is there in Mumbai, the most famous one is Lalbaugcha Raja where most of politicians, cine actors and also local people visit and pray. My elder sister-in-law makes sure she visits Lalbaugcha Raja once during every festival, for that she and our niece will stand in line for more than 12 hours. Yesterday was the 11thday of celebration they took Lalbugcha Raja for immersion in the sea. She sent me these pictures of Lalbaugcha Raja.
For this Vinayaka chaturthi I made both malai modak/Peda as well as this sweet kozhukattai. My mother used to make this sweet kozhukattai every Fridays as offering. I make it once in a while, but made with coconut, jaggery and moong dal/ green gram. You can make without moong dal/green gram. It is steamed. When we are young we loved to eat only the sweet fillings, rather than the whole kozhukattai. It is easy to make, I made only seven of them as sweets are forbidden in our house. Here goes the recipe.
What you need
Rice flour: 1 cup ( I used store bought one)
Water: 1 ¼ cup
Salt: 1/8 teaspoon
Ghee/clarified butter: 1 teaspoon
Moong dal/Green garm: ½ cup
Jaggery: ¼ cup
Cardamom: 1 no
Water: 2 cups for cooking moong dal and ¼ cup for melting jaggery.
How I made
In a medium sauce pan heat moong dal/ green gram and fry for 5 minutes or until they turn slightly brown in color. Switch off the flame and set aside.
Wash the moong dal and pressure cook the moong dal and 2 cup of water until 5 whistle or it done perfectly. Set aside.
Heat jaggery in a sauce pot with ¼ cup and once it is melted strain jaggery water for impurities. Bring back to heat once again when water starts of dries up add coconut, cooked moong dal cook until they become thick mass. It took about 5 minutes.
Add crushed cardamom and switch off the flame and set aside.
For outer covering
Heat 1 ¼ cup water in sauce pot and when it starts boiling add ghee, salt and rice flour, mix everything and remove from fire.
Once it is cool enough to touch knead well and make soft dough and set aside.
When you are ready to make sweet kozhukattai, divide rice dough into 7 equal pieces and gradually make thin disc with center being thicker and sides get thinner. Use water and oil to rub hand to prevent dough from sticking. Once it is 2.5 to 3 inches disc then places the filling and cover completely and makes a ball. Finish the rest of the dough in the same way.
Place a steamer with water in stove, I used Idly steamer. When waters starts boiling place the sweet kozhukattai you made earlier in upper rack, cover and steam it for 15 minutes or until the surface become shiny.
Enjoy once they are cool enough to touch.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Yield: 7 large one
Will you make it again: Yes I will
I am linking this sweet to Hearth and Soul blog hop#65 hosted here