Kozhukatta is a popular Indian sweet dumpling traditionally made with grated coconut, rice flour, and jaggery. In this simple recipe, rice flour, salt and coconut oil are mixed together to make the dough and grated coconut sweetened with sugar and flavored with cardamom powder is used to fill the dumpling. The preparation is steamed until it is light and fluffy. This dish is similar to Modak, also a popular Indian sweet. To keep the dumplings soft and fluffy, keep it covered at all times. It is best enjoyed right after cooking so that is it warm and delicious. Any left over can be used to make polis or sweet chapathi.
Kozhukatta or kozhakkattai is a traditional dish and a part of the Nasrani cuisine of the Syrian Christians in the Kerala state. It is also often prepared and served in religious celebrations in South India associated with Lord Ganesh and Ganesh Chaturti.
There are different versions of kozhukatta and the recipe may vary depending on the region and household. There is a sweet version and a savory version. The savory version typically is stuffed with urad dal poornam. The sweet version has many varieties and some like to add sesame seeds to the grated coconut for flavor and texture.
A variant of kozhukatta is thennai kozhakattai, which is a sweet dish popular in Kerala and South Tamil Nadu. It is traditionally prepared on special occasions and the making of the sweet includes the participation of the whole family. This dish uses the same ingredients as kozhukatta but is inserted in young palm leaves before steaming. Manda Pitha is similar to kozhakattai and is popular in the eastern state of Orissa. In the state of Kerala, a version made with Atta flour and grated coconut exists and is popular among the masses as a staple breakfast food.