Rice dumplings in coconut milk / Paal kozhukattai is a tasty Chettinadu dessert item. This is a teething food fed to babies when they have sore gums. The dumplings have to be made very small and cooked very well so kids who are teething can chew on it. The rice dumplings are soft so they are also used as weaning food. It is simple to make and requires very few ingredients.
Traditionally rice is soaked for 4 hours, ground with salt and very little water. The quicker version is to add hot water (with 2 drops of ghee or cooking oil) to rice flour and mix it well.
I am going to show the easier version.
1. Coconut milk – Since I will be cooking the balls in water, I wont be using thin coconut milk. Some cooks like to cook the rice balls in coconut milk. In that case, you will need a cup of thick coconut milk and a cup of thin coconut milk. I will using a cup of thick coconut milk.
2. Rice flour
3. Jaggery / Sugar
4. Pinch of salt
Salt and flour are mixed well and then kneaded well with hot water.
Kids will enjoy rolling these rice dough balls. I remember rolling them vigorously when I was a little girl and ending up with oval balls. 🙂
This is a wonderful fine motor activity and will strengthen the fingers.
My daughter absolutely loved this activity. This is a nice opportunity to get children involved in cooking where they won’t have to handle hot or sharp things.
After a while, her legs got tired. But she had no idea of giving up. The balls that rolled on the floor accidentally were given to her so she can cook them in her toy kitchen. No missy, you cannot drop them on purpose because teddy has a big tummy and might need more. 🙂
Now, if you have a perfectionist at home, you are on your own. So start making the dumplings yourself and don’t count on their help because your little perfectionist will be squishing and redoing the balls again and again. . Perfectly shaped dumpling – Good job.
Fry cardamom in a spoon of ghee and then add water (/ thin coconut milk). When the water is hot, add jaggery or sugar.
Bring it to a rolling boil.
Add the rice balls into the boiling solution.
Stir gently and continuously or they will form a clump if left alone without stirring.
Allow it to cook.
Check periodically to see if the balls are cooked and soft.
The volume will reduce and the jaggery syrup will get thicker too.
Add thick coconut milk and stir gently and reduce the flame. Cook for a few more minutes with gentle constant stirring till.
Coconut milk is made by grinding shredded coconut with water. The first extraction is usually thicker and tastier. Once the milk has been squeezed, add some more water to the pulp and grind again to extract the second thinner coconut milk.
Enjoy paal Kozhukattai / payasam.