This steam cooked dish made of rice flour is offered for the Elephant God on Vinayagar Chathurthi. Many traditions exist but the most predominant one is the salted kozhukattai and the sweet kozhukattai in almost all households. It is a custom to but clay idols of Vinayagar , decorate Him ,offer Him a variety of food, chant prayers and then after few days to dump Him in a nearby water source. But here since we cannot pollute water as we will be trespassing public resources we usually decorate our house main idol and offer prayers. Vinayagar chathurthi always makes me remember the crowded Mylapore tank area which will be filled with all items required for the pooja, the special paper umbrella which i will own myself after the pooja, the Pillayar eyes i searched in my Grandfather’s house and pick them are some things which are ever memorable. The variety of fruits like Mulaampazham, Guava, Arugam Pul, erukam poo are some more to be added to the list. This is the beginning of all celebrations for the year and hence all the pomp and splendour. Coming to Singapore we never miss anything in the list and get everything here. A simple preparation of food and a visit to Outram park Lion Sithi Vinayagar Temple will complete the day .
Now a small gist on the preparation of delicacies .
Usually i use idiappam flour which is available ready made in the shops, but this time i used Anil kozhukattai flour .
Idiappam Flour -1 cup
Black pepper powder -1 tsp
Grated Coconut – 2tbls
Salt – ½ tp
Gingelly oil -1 tsp
To 1 cup of flour add 1 tsp Black pepper powder, salt and 2 tbls grated coconut . Mix well. Add hot water to it in small quantities and make it into a dough. Mix well with little oil applied in the hands . Make small balls out of it and steam cook in the idly cooker or normal cooker . After few minutes it is ready . To make it more spicy we can add Idly milagai Powder and little gingelly oil while serving .
Rice flour -1 cup
Cooked channa dal -1 cup
Jaggery – 4 to 5 pieces
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Grated coconut -2 tbls
For the sweet filling (Pooranam ):
Melt jaggery in water and when it dissolve filter it as it may contain impurities. Again heat the jaggery water , till it becomes thick . Mean while cook channa dal in a cooker till soft . Then grind it in a mixie till it becomes mashed. To the jaggery add this mashed Dal and cardamom powder. Cook well till it becomes like a paste. Finally add coconut and switch off the flame. When cool make them into small balls.
To a cup of rice flour add boiling water, a pinch of salt and mix well. Make it into a dough . Make small balls out of it and make a cup out of it . Add the sweet filling which is called as pooranam and close them . Make similar ones and stem cook for few minutes .
For the Moongdal Kozhukattai :
Rice flour -1 cup
Moong dal -1 cup
Grated coconut – 1 tbls
Mustard seeds -1 tsp
Red chilli -2
Hing powder -1 tsp
For the filling :
Cook Moong dal in an open pan till it becomes soft and not mushy . Drain the water completely. In a pan add oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add red chilli and hing . Add the moong dal, grated coconut and salt . Mix well.
For the outer covering :
To one cup of rice flour add boiling water, little salt and make it into a dough . Mix well till it becomes pliable. Make small balls out of it . Take one ball and on a plastic cover or plantain leaf apply oil and flat the ball. Add the filling, may be a spoonful and then fold them like curry puff. Make similar ones and steam cook them .That’s it.
With vadai and idly the neivedhyam is ready.
This year my daughter helped me in making the garland for Vinayagar . Time to train her for such chores. After the pooja we rushed to Temple to have a quick darshan and a plate of Puliyodharai and drove back home with fulfilment as it was a day offered to God in spite of all our worldly commitments . May these notes serve as a reminder for the next generations on not to miss these.