Kozhukatta is usually made as a tea time snack. Back home it is a tradition among Christians to make kozhukatta on the saturday which preceds Palm Sunday. I'm not sure whether it's the same all over Kerala but it is so in Cochin. As a child I used to make sure to be an early bird in Church on Palm Sundays and pick the longest palm leaf to make a massive cross with it!!! With the smell of fresh palm leaves and the Hosana singing, Palm Sunday remains special and is called 'Osana Njayar' in Malayalam. Palm Sunday is the begining of the Holy Week(the week preceding Easter), which is supposed to be spend in good thoughts, prayers and sacrifices. Reached nowhere in my attempt to find the relevance of kozhukatta on Palm Sunday, but from the time I remember, it is made on the preceding saturday for tea. Hence that saturday is called Kozhukatta Saniyazhcha which is today!!!
You will need...
For the Coconut Filling:
Melted Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - 1/2 coconut
Cardomom - 3-4 crushed
Add grated coconut into a non stick pan in meduim heat. Add jaggery and mix well until the coconut is coated well and all the moisture gone. Sprinkle crushed cardomem and mix well. Keep it aside.
For the Dough:
Rice Flour - 2 cups
Water - 1 - 1 1/2 cups
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Bring water to boil. Add salt and ghee. Remove from hob. In a mixing bowl add rice flour. Pour boiling water into rice flour stirring continously to prevent lumps. Knead well to form a smooth dough.
Assembling and cooking:
Take a lemon sized ball of dough with greased hands, mould as shown in figure and stuff with coconut filling(approx 1 tbsp). Close the dough around the filling making a smooth ball. Add few bay leaves or cinnamon sticks into the water used in the steamer(idly cooker). Steam cook for 15-20 mts. Can be served hot or cold.
-There can be slight variations on the amount of water needed to make the dough depending on the rice flour used. I used idiyappam flour. Add water until the mouldable consistancy is reached.
-Usually fresh cinnamon leaves are used in the water used to steam to give the aroma. I used sticks instead.
-I have used fresh coconut here which tastes the best. Can use desicated coconut instead.
-Jaggery can be melted with li'l water and should be strained to remove sediments.