EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: TAMIL NADU CUISINE
A bit about the group:
The month of September was when the Shhh Cooking Secretly Group visited the state of Tamil Nadu. This group is where members get together to cook a dish on the decided theme. We are paired up and we give each other two ingredients to cook with. This group was started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes.
It was so difficult to pick a particular dish from this exciting cuisine. Before I can enlighten you with the popular dishes from Tamil Nadu lets get to know a bit more about the state.
Facts about Tamil Nadu:
Tamil Nadu is situated in the most southern part of India. The capital of this state is more popularly known as Madras but its official name is Chennai. Tamil Nadu follows the motto “Truth Alone Triumphs.” Most of the people of Tamil Nadu are involved in agriculture. The state is the largest producer of bananas, turmeric and tapioca. It is the second largest producer of coconut, mango and ground nuts.
Did you know that Tamil, the language spoken in Tamil Nadu is one of the oldest classical languages still spoken today? Bharatnatyam, the famous classical dance originates from Tamil Nadu. The Marina Beach is the longest beach in the world and the second largest. Tamil Nadu has over 30,000 temples, the most famous one being Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple.
Home to Kancheepuram Sarees, the silk weavers are believed to be descendants of Sage Markanda, the master weaver of Gods.Carved Rock Structures at Mahabalipuram date back to the 7th and 8th Century.
Tamil Nadu Cuisine
Tamil Nadu is widely known for its variety in both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Rice, lentils and legumes are widely used to prepare most of the dishes. Traditional dishes are served on a banana leaf. Tamil Nadu is well known for the following:
- Idlis – seamed rice cakes
- Dosas – rice and lentil flatbread
- Vadai – lentil fritters
- Upma – a breakfast dish made using vegetables, semolina or broken wheat
- Puttu – steamed cylindrical rice cakes
- Uttapam – pancake savoury
- Idiyappam – rice noodles
- Sambar – a curry served with idli, dosa, rice
- Kara Kuzhumbu – spicy stew made using coconut or lentils
- Poriyal – dry vegetable preparation
- Kootu – vegetables served with coconut or dal
- varuval – fried vegetables or meats
- Rasam – tamarind based soup like curry
- Keerai Masiyal – Ground greens
- Aviyal – cooked vegetables with yogurt
- Pachadi – which are simple salad
- Thovaiya – chutneys ground to a paste
- Oorukai – pickles
- Payasam – milk based dessert
- Pongal – rice cooked in water or milk
- Paniyaram – small snack made from batter in an aebleskiver or paniyaram pan
- Kozhukattai – steamed little rice dumplings
Why did I make Paal Kozhukkatai?
Paal Kozhukkatai s what I’ve wanted to try out ever since I made kara kozhukkatai. My partner for this cuisine, Priya Satheesh has a wide selection of Tamil dishes on her blog Priya’s Menu like Lemon Idli Upma or Ven Pongal which I would like to try out. She gave me coconut milk and cardamom and I recommended that she uses potato and bay leaf in her dish. She made a delicious looking kumbakonam kadapa and luckily with the ingredients she gave me I finally tried out Paal Kozhukkatai.
Are there other Tamil dishes I’ve tried out?
Yes there definitely are. I’ve made my all time favourite idli and sambhar. My hubby enjoys his uttapams. Kara kozhuttai (savoury ones) has become my favourite snack ever since I tried it the first time at a neighbor’s place. Check out my colorful kuzhi paniyaram recipe.
What is Paal Kozhukkatai?
Paal in Tamil language is milk and kozhukkatai are small steamed rice dumplings. For this recipe, the small rice balls are not steamed but are boiled in a mixture of water and milk. The sweetener used is either refined sugar or jaggery. For that authentic taste used jaggery. Coconut milk and fresh grated coconut are both added towards the end. For flavoring I used cardamom powder and saffron.
Making this delicious dessert is not difficult at all.
For the kozhukattai:
½ cup rice flour
½ cup milk
½ cup water
1 tbsp ghee
¼ tsp salt
For the Paal:
½ cup milk
1 cup water
½ cup thick coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
½ tsp cardamom powder
few strands of saffron
⅓ – ½ cup jaggery powder
- Add jaggery powder and just enough water to cover the jaggery in a pan and heat it.
- Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes and take the pan off the heat. Strain it with a sieve to remove any impurities.
- Add salt and ghee to the rice flour. Mix it well.
- For the kozhukkatai, heat milk and water till it becomes hot.
- Add rice flour and keep mixing it till it becomes like a soft dough.
- Take the pan off the heat and let it cool down a bit.
- Take about a teaspoon full of the dough and roll it into a ball.
- Make balls with the remaining dough and keep it on the side till required.
- To make the paal, add milk and water in a pan and let it become hot.
- When it begins to simmer add the balls.
- Let them cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, they should come up and float.
- Lower the heat and add jaggery syrup and coconut milk, stirring all the time gently.
- Let the mixture become hot on low heat. Don’t over heat it as the jaggery and coconut will cause the milk to curdle.
- Add cardamom powder and saffron. Serve it hot or chilled.
- Don’t allow the rice dough to become too dry. You should be able to roll it into a smooth ball.
- Its best to use both milk and water to boil the rice balls as milk alone will not cook it well.
- Replace the jaggery with sugar.
- I used only ⅓ cup of jaggery powder. For a more sweeter dessert use more jaggery or sugar.
Pin for later:
October 2, 2019 at 4:01 pm
Looks so yummy and beautiful clicks.
October 2, 2019 at 4:57 pm
Thank you so much.
October 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm
Well detailed recipe and clicks are outstanding
October 5, 2019 at 5:49 pm
Thank you so much.
The Girl Next Door
October 6, 2019 at 7:44 pm
Oh my God! The Paal Kozhukattai looks absolutely perfect and very delicious! I want some right away. 🙂
October 8, 2019 at 7:22 pm
Thank you so much Priya.
October 9, 2019 at 2:51 pm
I made kozhukattai this Ganesh Chaturthi for the first time and absolutely loved them. I am sure this paal kozhukattai using coconut milk must be super delicious !
October 9, 2019 at 11:34 pm
It is tasty Poonam, try it. I make savory kozhukkatai so often as its so easy to make it.
October 13, 2019 at 4:29 am
Looks so delicious and inviting, never made it before.. pics are tempting me to try this soon..
October 14, 2019 at 9:02 pm
Thanks Swaty, try it and am sure you’ll like it.
October 14, 2019 at 4:20 pm
My Mom used to make this Paal Kozhakattai for Vinayagar Chaturthi as well as some other festival occasions. Very delicious and Im not at all sure why I have not tried this earlier! I must make this for my Grandchildren, perhaps for Diwali as Im with them this time. As you have explained, the trick here is in making the little rice balls, not dry, but smooth, and to cook them in milk and water. Thanks for reminding me about this gem of a payasam!
October 14, 2019 at 8:59 pm
Thanks Sujata. Hope your grandchildren love this payasam.
Rafeeda – The Big Sweet Tooth
October 15, 2019 at 8:17 am
I can’t explain how much I am drooling on those bowls of Paal Kozhukattai… I have not tried it, but we have something very similar in Malabar cooking too, so I am sure this was a bowl of foodie heaven in place… Totally yum!
October 15, 2019 at 2:15 pm
Thank you so much Rafeeda.
October 15, 2019 at 10:24 am
Paal kozhukattai looks super delicious with lovely presentation di. Loved its creamy texture, can say using coconut milk surely added more taste to it. Loved the serving bowls di, they are very pretty. Bookmarking to try it sure.
October 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm
Thank you so much Aruna.
Renu Agrawal Dongre
October 15, 2019 at 6:08 pm
This dish is completely new to me, I have never heard of it. But I like the way it is prepared and specially using Jaggery as a sweetener. Looks delicious
October 16, 2019 at 8:25 pm
Thank you so much Renu, try it out, you may like it.
October 16, 2019 at 1:36 am
Perfectly made and the presentation looks so inviting.. Such a divine sweet !
October 16, 2019 at 8:23 pm
Thank you so much Priya.
October 17, 2019 at 6:10 am
For a hard core South Indian, there are zillions of dishes I am yet to even try and this tops the list.. I love how well these are made, and the rose petal touch to the glamorous bowls of pal kozhukottai is just mindblowing, Mayuri !
October 17, 2019 at 5:54 pm
Thank you so much Kalyani. I think by the time we get round to making all the dishes from different parts of India, we’ll be old. Just too many variety.
October 18, 2019 at 12:45 am
Oh my, I love paal kozhukatai and your look lip smacking. It’s been very long time I made these. Your pictures are so tempting.
October 20, 2019 at 8:18 pm
Thank you so much Lathiya.
October 18, 2019 at 5:51 am
Beautiful!!!!!! That is the word that comes to mind when I see this delicious pal kozukottai.
Feeling hungry looking at it.
October 20, 2019 at 8:18 pm
Thank you so much Archana.
October 19, 2019 at 1:56 pm
A completely new recipe for me. Payasam looks creamy flavorful and yummy. Something like dudh puli of Bengal. But little difference. In dudh puli we use stuffed rice flour dumplings. I will try it sometime.
October 20, 2019 at 8:14 pm
Thank you so much Sujata. I will have to check out the recipe for dudh puli.
October 20, 2019 at 7:17 pm
Wow..such a beautiful presentation. It has a very caramelly look to it. Bookmarked this recipe yo make at home..beautiful share
October 20, 2019 at 8:10 pm
Thank you so much Priya.
October 21, 2019 at 4:10 pm
Lovely one, looks so delicious. I had heard of it but never made, should give a try sometime.
October 21, 2019 at 4:31 pm
Thank you so much Jayashree.
November 11, 2019 at 9:16 pm
Would love to pick that bowl of paal kozhukattai. It looks absolutely scrumptious and perfectly made. I love to make it with jaggery only.
November 12, 2019 at 4:30 pm
Thank you so much Narmadha.
Seema Doraiswamy Sriram
December 1, 2019 at 12:14 pm
anything to do with ganesha, We used to get tummy fills of kozhakattai. So gld to see, perfect paal kozhakattais
December 2, 2019 at 8:59 am
Thank you so much Seema.
November 11, 2020 at 5:45 am
Paal Kozhukattai is a delicious sweet dish and a very popular dish during the festivals. You have made it so perfectly.Looks so rich and creamy.
November 11, 2020 at 7:50 pm
Thank you so much Preethi.