In a heavy kadai take 1.5 cups grated fresh coconut and 1 cup jaggery powder or grated jaggery.
Keep kadai on a medium-low flame. Mix the coconut with the jaggery.
Then add ½ teaspoon ghee or oil.
Stir often and cook this coconut & jaggery mixture on a low to medium-low flame. the jaggery will begin to melt first.
Continue to cook stirring often.
Add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and mix well.
Cook this mixture till the moisture from the jaggery begins to dry. Then switch off the flame. Do not overcook as then the jaggery will harden. Keep this coconut-jaggery filling aside. On cooling the mixture will thicken more. To get rid of any excess moisture in the filling, you can add a bit of rice flour. Adding rice flour helps to absorb moisture, if any from the filling. Keep the filling aside to cool.
preparing rice dough
In another kadai or pan take 1.5 cups of water. Add ¼ teaspoon ghee or oil. Place the pan on a stove top on a medium to high flame.
Add ¼ teaspoon salt.
Let the water come to a rolling boil.
Reduce the flame to a low and then add 1 cup rice flour gradually.
Quickly begin to stir and mix all of the rice flour with water.
Stir till all the rice flour is mixed with the water. Mix very well and switch off the flame.
Keep the pan down on the kitchen tabletop. Cover the pan with a lid and keep for 4 to 5 minutes.
After 4 to 5 minutes remove the lid. Check the hotness of the rice dough by touching it with clean fingers.
If the dough is warm or slightly hot, then begin to knead it. Though take care not to burn your fingers. You can also place the dough in a tray or a plate and then knead.
Knead to a smooth and soft dough. Then cover the dough with a damp muslin or cotton cloth. Now allow the dough to rest for 10 to 12 minutes.
Then make small balls from the dough. The rice dough balls should be smooth. Some may get cracks, so just rub a bit of water on your palm and shape them into balls again which will get rid of the cracks.
assembling and stuffing the sweet kozhukattai
method 1 - making round kozhukattai
Take the dough ball and gently flatten it with your fingers. Keep the edges thin and the center slightly thick.
Place the flattened dough on a plate or on a tray.
Place the coconut & jaggery stuffing in the center.
Making small pleats, bring the sides in the center and then press and join them – the way its done for stuffed parathas.
Then gently roll the kozhukattai to get a neat round shape. This way you can make round shaped kozhukattais.
method 2 - making kozhukattai with a kozhukattai mould
Grease the kozhukattai mould with a bit of ghee or oil. Then close or lock the mould.
Put the dough ball in the cavity of the mould.
Press the dough along the surface of the mould, so that a cavity or space is made. add the coconut & jaggery stuffing.
Then cover with small piece of dough on top. Press to even it and seal the kozhukattai.
Now gently open or unlock the mould. Carefully remove the kozhukattai from the mould. Alternatively you can also flatten the ball. Then place the coconut filling in the center. Make small pleats and bring all the edges together and then join. Prepare all the kozhukattai this way using the kozhukattai mould.
Then take pan and grease it with ghee or oil. You can even line the pan with banana leaves or turmeric leaves. I have here used turmeric leaves as they give a lovely fragrant aroma to the kozhukattai. I stacked two pans on top of each other and steamed 15 kozhukattais. You can also steam in batches. Cover them with a moist muslin or cotton napkin before you begin to steam.
In a large pot place a stand or rack. Add 2.5 cups of water.
Let the water come to a boil.
With the help of tongs, then keep the pans containing kozhukattai in the pan.
Cover the pan with a lid.
Steam for 10 to 15 minutes on a medium-low or medium flame. Then remove the lid.
Using tongs, carefully remove the pans from the pot.
Let the kozhukattai become warm. Then offer them to bhagwan ganesha. You can drizzle some ghee on the kozhukattai before offering to the deity.
If making for ganesh chaturthi or any festival, then avoid tasting them while making.