Tengai Kozakattai|Coconut Modak|Dumplings

Kozakattai is a steamed sweet dish that is prepared of rice flour and some kind of sweet or savory filling. This is mainly prepared for variety of Indian festivals namely Ganesh Chaturthi and Varalakshmi Viratahm. It is equivalent to the famous Chinese dim sum dumplings or momos. 20a24-screen2bshot2b2015-09-172bat2b11-01-232bpm

It is healthy as it contains very less oil and is steamed. It actually took me while to learn the art of making these dumplings. I would still I am still learning to perfect them. Here is my successful attempt with some help from  SouthIndian veg Recipes few years back. Now I have some tricks of my own to get it perfect.


Preparation of Kozhakatai is considered an art in itself as it needs full focus. The dough has to be non-sticky and perfectly cooked for molding the cups. It should not break during the molding process. It should easily stretch when the filling is filled and take perfect shape.


To achieve all the above the proportions and the process has to be correct. That said there is nothing to be scared of. It might take a couple of attempts but once you get the hang a of the have process it becomes easier. I have had my share of disasters. But now I can confidently say that I have mastered the Kozhakatai making.


The molding can be done 2 ways – one by hand and the other with help of a modak moulder. When you are starting out modak moulder will be very helpful. I have few pics of modaks made of the moulder. Hand moulding can be a bit tricky till you get a handle it but totally doable. Here are few pic of my  latest Ganesh chaturthi modaks. Enjoy making these


Tengai Kozakattai/Coconut Modak

  • Servings: 6-7
  • Difficulty: difficult
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For Dough
Rice Flour   – 1 cup
Water – almost 1 cups
Maida – 1 tbs ( optional)
Salt  – A pinch
Oil or ghee – few drops


  1. Mix maida in the water and bring it to a boil.
  2. When it starts to boil a add pinch of salt and oil to the water and slowly add the rice flour (I usually slightly roast the rice flour before adding)
  3. Mix till no lumps and the dough rolls into a  dough. it will be a bit lumpy and its ok.
  4. Turn of the heat and cover to let the mix steam and rest for 5-10 mins.
  5. When it is absorbs all the water transfer the dough to a plate and knead it nicely to form a non-sticky ball. Now it is ready to use. You can grease your hand a bit before kneading.
  6. Make Medium size balls out of it  to form the cups when ready to start filling it.


Coconut filling
Grated coconut -1 cup
Jaggery – 3/4th cup
Cardamom – 2 pods
pinch of salt.


1. Dissolve the jaggery in water and let it simmer to one sting consistency. I did this in the microwave at 1 to 2 min intervals. Make sure that the jaggery does not burn.
2. When it reaches the consistency, add the powdered Cardamom and the pinch of salt and give it a quick mix.
3. Now add the grated coconut and mix well. You will notice that the consistency will loosen a little bit. that is ok.
4. Now keep cooking the mixture in 1 to 2 min intervals. When the mixture reaches a consistency that allows you to roll into small balls its done.
5.Let it cool a little bit and make desired size balls.

Modak Preparation:
1.Now make small cups out of the rice flour dough by applying pressure on the sides and slowly working your way to the middle.
2. Take care not to tear the cups while applying too much pressure. It is helpful to apply some oil to your fingers to avoid sticking.
3. Once you have a cup shape place the small coconut balls in the center and close the cup. you can give it a round or modak shape.
4. Once you have enough, place the modaks on the idli plates or momo steamer and steam the kozakatai/modak.
5. When it start to steam let it cook for about 2-3 mins then switch off  the stove and let the pressure release.
6. Modaks are ready for Ganapathi to consume and then you 🙂

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