Uppuma kozhakkattai, steamed rice dumplings, is typical breakfast fare in Palakkad Iyer homes. These dumplings are made from soaked and coarsely powdered rice, cooked to a dough like consistency with some spices. The dough is then rolled into dumplings the shape and size of an egg. These are then steamed cooked. These dumplings make for a tasty, healthy and filling meal.
Normally when we say kozhakkattai, the first thing that comes to most minds familiar with this food, is the steamed rice dumpling filled with a jaggery-coconut mixture. This kozhakkattai is usually made during the festival of Vinayaka Chathurthi. Uppuma kozhakkatai (as the name tells you) is also a steamed dumpling but shaped after making an “Uppuma“, which is some what like a polenta made from coarsely powdered rice.
It is a slightly time consuming process to make these kozhakkattai, but given modern day conveniences, they can made in 2 or 3 stages which makes the whole process much easier. I tend to serve them for Sunday breakfast, and sometimes as part of dinner when we have friends over. One can make and shape these dumplings a head of time and then refrigerate them for up to 12 hours. When ready serve, just take them out and steam cook them.
Uppuma Kozakkottias are usually served with a coconut chutney of some sort and/ or sambhar. I’m including the recipe for one of the many coconut chutneys I make to serve with breakfast. A lot of the time, the coconut chutney I make depends on what I have on hand. This particular recipe is a bit different from the traditional coconut chutney. The addition of the onion and carrot not only gives it a faintly sweet taste but allows me to cut down on the amount of coconut in it.
You can further cut down on the amount of coconut, by almost half, by substituting some toasted/ browned split gram or what is known as “pottukadalai” in Tamil and I believe “daria dal” in Hindi.