I have heard of kozhakkattai payasam but never got an opportunity to taste. My MIL has tasted it a relative's house and she gave me an outline of the recipe. But didnot know the proprtions well. The recent addition to my cook book collection is Meenakshi Ammal's 'Cook & See' Part II which has a lovely collection of traditional sweets and payasams. Since I had decided to make 9 different payasams for Navarathri, I got an opportunity to try it out. I tried with half the quantity mentioned in the book. That was enough to serve 4.
Rice flour - 1 cup
salt - a pinch
Water - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 tspn
Jaggery - 1 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Coconut Milk - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder -1/2 tspn
Prepare the rice flour in the same way is made for different savouries - Soaking, shade drying and powdering. I get it pound in the flour mill. So that part is easy.
To make Kozhukkattais
Equal quantity of water to the measure flour is used. Here 1 cup of water is heated with a teaspoon of ghee and a pinch of salt in a shallow vessel. When the water starts boiling, slowly stir in the flour without forming lumps. Turn well for 3-5 minutes. When the flour gets cooked well (you will know by the change in colour of the dough), switch of the fire and cover and leave it for 10 minutes. Spread the cooked dough on a plate to cool. Knead well with ghee. Make small balls to the size of small gooseberries.
To preapre the payasam.
Measure the rolled balls/kozhukkattais. Using the same cup/vessel, measure equal quanitities of water. If you measure 2 cups of kozhukkattais, take 2 cups of water. Boil the water in a wide vessel. When the water starts boiling, add few balls, at a time. Once a batch is added, give time for the balls to cook and come up to the surface. I added in 3 batches (around 25 nos in each batch). Once all the balls are added, while boiling, gently turn the balls with a flat spoon. Don't do stir it often since it will break the balls. Also do not add all the balls at once, since the balls will dissolve in the water. If you keep in mind these aspects, you cannot go wrong.
Once the kozhakkattais are well cooked, add the powdered jaggery. When the jaggery melts and blends well, add the milk. Cook for two minutes. Add the coconut milk. Just bring it to a boil. Let it not reach the rolling boil stage since it might curdle. Remove and add the elaichi powder. If desired, roasted cashewnuts can also be added.
To make a vegan version, you can use omit milk and use only coconut milk. I liked it very much. Though reading the recipe may give you the impression of a laborious process, it will not take more than 30 minutes to prepare the payasam. Only the kozhakkattai making part takes time. Rest is very easy.
Since I pound the flour in large quantity, I decided to make ammini Kozhukkatai for evening prasadom. The kids who comes daily for prasadom loves this and have been asking me when I will be making it for prasadom. The kozhakkattais dough is prepared the same as I mentioned ealier. Since this are savory, my MIL grinds 2 chillies along with a tablespoon of rice flour to a fine paste. This chilly paste is added to the boiling water before the flour is tipped in. This will give a nice flavor and some heat to the kozhukkattais. The kozhakkattais are then steamed for 10 minutes. When cool, it is sauteed in a seasoning of mustard, red chillies and curry leaves.
Day 6 ~ Poori Payasam & Puli Avil
Recipe Source : Meenakshi Ammal's Cook & See (II)
Wheat flour - 3/4 cup
Milk - 2 cups
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tspn
Saffron a pinch
Water - 1 1/2 cups
Oil to deep fry.
Knead wheat flour with little water a 2 tspn of ghee. The dough is quite stiff. Roll out into thick pooris. Cut the poories into small diamond shaped peices. Deep fry the pieces till it is crisp and golden brown in color. While frying, something else took my attention away for few seconds, one batch was just brown.
I have already blogged about puli avil using lemon juice. Instead of lemon juice for the tangy taste, tamarind extract is used. So the tamarind juice is added soon after the seasoning and its cooked till it thickens. Rest of the procedure is same. Here I have added peanuts too to give a crunch to the avil.