Pal Kozhukattai Payasam
This is one of my favourite childhood dessert.Its made of small rice flour balls cooked in boiling water. I remember this sweet being made in my grandma's place during summer holidays.Since it takes a lot of time and people to make the tiny rice balls my grandmother would give each kid a big rice flour dough ball and large sheet of news paper and ask us to work on it.Its her way of controlling us from playing in the hot summer sun.We will be sitting in a big circle in our 'mutram'(the center of the house with open roof), chatting and telling stories to each other about our places and schools and slowly make tiny balls out of the big rice dough and roll them to the paper.Once we are done, my Grandma would turn it into an amazing desert within matter of minutes.But then comes the waiting around part.The sweet would be so hot, that our mothers would serve the pal kozhukattai into bowls and ask us to wait until its cold, but every time I used to burn my tongue due to my impatience : )..Finally by evening our whole afternoons effort would be rewarded by the taste of this wonderful delicacy.hmm ..anyways this is how the sweet is traditionally made in our native place.But since we dont have the time and patience to sit and make small rice dough balls, I used the murukku press and squeezed the rice flour dough directly into the boiling water, stirring it while filling the press for the next batch.Hope it doesnt sound complicated. This is a great dish to involve your kids, especially during the holidays.....
Here comes the recipe...
2 cups of rice flour
2 cups of jaggery (mashed)
2 elaichi pods
1 cup milk
8 cups of water
1 cup of shredded coconut
1/4 cup roasted cashews(optional)
Add some salt to 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
Add the hot water to the rice flour and and mix with a wooden spoon.The consistency should be the same as we do for kozukattai or Idiyappam. mix the flour and make it into a ball.the flour should not stick to your fingers.
Boil the remaining water in a wide thick bottomed vessel, preferably a pressure cooker.
When the water is boiling , add the flour to the murruku press and press directly into the water.When the first set is over, stir the water 2 0r 3 times so that the kozukattai breaks into pieces.Repeat the same until all the flour is done.
At this stage add 1 cup of boiled milk and stir well.(we can also add 1 cup of fresh coconut milk if we are do not watch calories or fat).
Parallely add the jaggery in a vessel add 1/2 cup water and bring it to boil.Once the jaggery is melted and boiling, filter the syrup and add this to the kozukattai kanji.This is to ensure that there is no mud in the jaggery.
Add the elaichi and check for sugar.If needed add more jaggery.Reduce the heat to medium and allow the kanji to boil for atleast 20 mins.Stir every 3 mins to avoid sticking at the bottom.Finally when its thick to a certain extent add the shredded coconut,mix well and switch of the stove.
Allow it to cool before serving.The palkozhukattai will become more thick, when its cooled.
Note: This can be done using Sugar rather than Jaggery.Only difference will be the colour Both ways the taste of sugar soaked rice balls with coconut flakes and elaichi is heavenly.you should definitely try this for dessert.
I had this post published 2 years back, but since its been flooded with spam comments while I was on a break , publishing it again and also thought it would make a nice entry to the
"Think Spice event - Cardomom", held by EC as elaichi brings out the true flavour of this dessert.
Update : Click here for Palkozhukattai with sugar