Usually made on special festival days, Kozhakattai or Indian spiced rice flour balls, are wonderfully steamed and spicy. The dough is traditionally used to make a sweet version stuffed with jaggery. This spicy kind was made with the leftover dough. I personally prefer the savory version! (Sometimes, you've got to be glad there are leftovers - often they make a better dish than the original!).
Savory Indian Rice Flour Balls (Kozhakattai)
(Inspired by Laavanya's post on Cookery Corner)
1 cup Raw Rice, soaked for 3-4 hours
1 tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
a pinch of Salt
a pinch of Asafetida
1 tbsp Grated Coconut
2 tbsp Dosa Milagai Podi (Here's a link to make it at home - it can also be found in most Indian stores - look for the MTR brand)
OR 1 tbsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 tbsp Oil + 1 tbsp for mixing
2-3 Curry Leaves
Grind the soaked raw rice with lots of water into a very watery consistency.
Heat 2 tbsp oil on a pan and pour in the batter. Keep stirring until the batter starts to come together and becomes thicker, almost like a dough. Remove from heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil and the milagai podi or crushed red pepper. Combine into the dough and knead for about five minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into tiny balls (the size of small marbles). Steam for about 5-7 minutes. The balls will acquire a lovely shine. Keep aside.
Heat some oil in a pan and add the urad dal and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the curry leaves and coconut. Stir fry for a minute.
Add the steamed rice balls, salt and chilli powder to the pan and combine the ingredients. Remove from heat after 4-5 minutes when the balls get slightly browned.
This is a perfect tea-time snack.
A lovely recipe with great photographs for the sweet version of Kozhakattai from Delectable Victuals.
Here's another savory version that is more commonly made, from Saffron Hut.