Tag Archives: festival sweets

‘Manoharam’ – Gram Flour Fritters (Churros) dipped in jaggery syrup



Manoharam is a traditional Tirunelveli sweet. The gram flour fritters soaked in gorgoeus golden-caramelly cane/palm jaggery syrup is a delight in every crispy bite.  With healthy Bengal gram flour and no white flour as the base and Unrefined Jaggery and no white sugar caramel for the coating, this is a no nonsense fritter as well as a childhood comfort snack.

When asked about the recipe, Amma fondly remembered both me and my little brother, having plates filled with these crispy fritters as an after school snack, giving more emphasis to the filled plates. Those were the days of no botheration of putting on weight, leave alone childhood obesity. We could burn the nutritious extra calories earned from healthy millet flours and cane and palm sugars, with the crazy amounts of time we spent playing in the streets. No store bought chips or cakes, buns or pastries loaded with white flour, white sugar and salt.

Manoharam and Spanish Churros – great observation by my Little Chef

Since I didn’t have the thenkuzhal/plain murukku – fritter disc, I used the magizhampoo disc – which is a sharp edged or star shaped fritter disc. Once the fritters were done, the little chef at home exclaimed that they resembled Spanish Churros, thanks to so many cookery shows in countless channels. That observation was quite a surprise to me indeed. When I put my eyes through her thought, the traditional Manoharam did look like Churros. While Churros are made with all purpose flour and coated with cinnamon sugar, Manoharam is made with gram flour, rice flour and a pinch of salt. And instead of the chocolate sauce to dip, we coat them in jaggery syrup. Both the tastes are completely different, created with local ingredients available – yet, there seems to be a slight similarity in the concept of making and looks.

If you don’t feel so, that’s ok.. let’s move on to recipe.

For a detail look at churros, I referred http://www.justataste.com/easy-homemade-churros-chocolate-sauce-recipe/


for fritters

  • kadalai maavu/bengal gram flour/besan – 1 cup
  • arisi maavu/rice flour – 1/2 cup
  • ulundha maavu/dehusked black gram flour/urad – 2 tsp
  • nei/clarified butter – 1 tbsp
  • uppu/salt – a pinch
  • thanneer/water – as needed


for syrup

  • vellam/cane jaggery – 1 cup
  • thanneer/water = 1/2 cup
  • yelakkai podi/cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp

Method of Preparation
Bengal gram flour and rice flour may be easily available in stores. Black gram flour should be made at home.

I. Making Black gram/Urad flour

  1. Heat a hard bottomed vessel or kadai
  2. Dry roast ulundham paruppu/urad dal – dehusked black gram till golden brown
  3. Grind to a fine powder in a blender
  4. Sieve it and keep aside
  5. Cool and Store in air tight container, and use when needed.


II. Making Fritters

  1. Sieve all three flours without lumps


2. Add salt (just a pinch), clarified butter and just enough water to make a stiff dough


3. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying
4. Use any single holed disc of a Murukku Maker to make the fritter (for details of murukku maker and single holed disc, refer – https://dosaikal.com/the-all-time-favourite-murukku/
5. Take a portion of the dough and place inside the cylindrical container of the murukku maker and press into big circles,  directly inside hot oil
6. Fry both sides till golden brown


7. Remove in kitchen tissue to absorb excess oil

8. Break them into finger sized pieces


9. Keep them aside till we make the jaggery coating.


III. Making Jaggery Syrup and Coating the Fritters

  1. Let jaggery dissolve in water
  2. Filter the liquid to remove impurities
  3. Take a pan and pour the jaggery water
  4. Add cardamom powder and dry ginger powder
  5. Let the liquid come to a single string consistency or thick enough to roll the fritters through
  6. Keep the stove in sim position to judge the right syrup consistency


7. Once the liquid has become a syrup, drop all the fritters and gently mix well in the syrup

8. Let the stove be on and the thick hot syrup would coat the fritters well and reach the required crisp texture


9. When the syrup is thick and coated completely in the fritters, switch off stove


10. Jaggery coated glowing Manoharam is ready.





Pathirpeni/Sugary Snow White Crisps



Pathirpeni is a very special sweet to me and to my brother! It was and is still a speciality signature sweet of Aachi  my paternal grandmother. I do not remember having pathirpeni in any other house in the big clan that we belong to. The sole supplier to all near and dear ones was Aachi – helped meticulously by Amma – my mother.

I had my miniature ‘Puri kattai’ or the spherical puri maker in wood to specially make pathirpeni and also puris. This was handed over to my daughter who used to help me make rotis, but feels she is a grown up and uses my bigger puri kattai. She painted my dear little puri kattai though the newer roller is intact.



Pathirpeni is for those with that extra sweet tooth – which might be god sent genetically or amma fed affectionately… We siblings have both – hence not one but two extras to successfully acquire that ‘happier the healthier’ plump look!

These are deep-fried crisps dipped/rubbed immediately in powdered sugar to get the snowy white finish. It is a simple sweet with minimal ingredients but one should be ready for some interesting variety of work. The sugar that melts in the mouth first is followed by the crispy crunch of the deep-fried discs.

These also involve an efficient team work. Since the count was always in hundreds, amma or aachi would knead the dough; they would take turns in pressing the spheres and frying in oil – the last quintessential part of rubbing the powdered sugar would be ours – mine and my brother… I think I did the rubbing and he contributed more into something which can also be decently termed as tasting!

So I did the rolling and frying and my 6-year-old did the sugar-coating! She wanted to make her own pathirpeni and then I was a proud mother!!


she started off like this….



and then graduated with flying colours!! – special seven that the little hands made!


These can be stored in air tight containers after cooled for a week – that’s not a concern as its life ends too quickly! Yet the tastiest crisps are those which directly come out of the oil and are delicately transferred for one’s taste buds to relish, sprinkled/rubbed very quickly with powdered sugar.

One cup of flour (about 150 gms), would yield 20-25 crisps. After a no maida/all-purpose flour and no white sugar life for many years now, this one has been an exception. Might be I try next time with whole wheat flour and brown sugar – but have to sacrifice on the colour as wheat flour would result in brown crisps and then we might call it brownie crisps!

Now to the recipe –
Pathirpeni/Sugary Snow White Crisps



Ingredients (makes 30-35)




  • maida maavu/all-purpose flour – 1 1/4 cup (200 gms)
  • cheeni/sugar – 1 1/4 cup (200 gms)
  • thanneer/water – as needed
  • uppu/salt – a pinch
  • nei/clarified butter – 1 tsp
  • arisi maavu/rice powder – 1 tsp
  • yennai/oil – for deep frying

Method of Preparation
1. Sieve all-purpose flour, add a pinch of salt and mix enough water to make a tight dough



2. Finely powder the sugar and keep in a wide bowl or plate; the deep fried crisps would directly land inside this bowl to have a sugar bath
3. Heat oil in a pan, keep in sim position
4. In a small bowl, mix clarified butter and rice powder
5. Make three even balls of the dough



6. Spread into flat breads – chappatis/indian roti size – not too thin, not too thick



7. Do not place rotis one on top of the other before spreading the mixture as they would stick to each other and one would have to make the three flat breads again. Make one and place on a plate; spread the butter rice powder mixture, make the second one and place on top of the first; spread the mixture and make the third; now place the third on top of the second. It had become messy as I had placed before spreading – I had to do it all over again. So be cautious on this



8. Roll this triple layered roti . Now it is time to pull the rolled roti as long as possible without spoiling or breaking the texture




pulled long


9. Then cut into very small bits, size enough to make small circular crisps

these are little big, i had to make them smaller


10. Roll into thin crisps – while rolling, see the side which was cut by knife – make thin puris/crisps pressing the knife cut edge into a circle. This helps the butter mixture to stay intact. Otherwise it would ooze out from the puris.



11. When the oil is ready, roll one by one and fry till crisp. We do not want a fluffy soft puri – make really thin and flat ones that come out crisp
12. Immediately drop it inside the sugar bed and apply well; the powdered sugar must have coated evenly



13. Tap the crisps slightly to reduce the excess sugar
14. Taste one to enjoy the true taste of pathirpeni – this is the most important step in my opinion; having identified the flaws (making thinner or thicker; right shape; less sugar coating; more sugar coating and so on), proceed with the next
15. Make all the crisps and let them cool
16. Store in an air tight container and enjoy.
17. Do not hesitate to help yourself with more – you won’t get those hot crisps after they are cooled – cannot be microwaved or reheated by any means!

  1. This is a simple one – yet, some caution on important steps would make it easier
  2. Try one and feel the crispness of it and accordingly try to make corrections on the thinness and crispness of the pathirpeni
  3. Each time, tap a little to take away the sugar if one doesn’t prefer so much sugar
  4. Adding cardamom powder to the powdered sugar might add some aroma and flavor though it is not added normally.




Inippu/Vella-k-kozhukkattai/Jaggery Rice Dumplings – Steamed

Pillayar Chathurthi/Ganesh Chathurthi/Vinayaka Chathurthi falls on September 9 this year. It is Poorana Kozhukkattai – Stuffed rice dumplings or Modhakam the favourite of most of the households. (For Modhakam – see modhakam-pillayar-chaturthi-special.) There can be variations in the stuffing too – coconut-jaggery filling or sesame-jaggery. I hear some make kadalai paruppu/Channa Dhal – jaggery filling in their Poorana Kozhukkattai! Uppu Kozhukkattai (pidi-kozhukkattai-karamsalted-rice-dumplings) and Vella-k-kozhukkattai are the dumplings which have no stuffing but a mixture of few ingredients to make the kozhukkattai sweet or spicy.

Vella-k-kozhukkattai is the sweet rice dumpling. Vellam means Jaggery in Tamil language and Kozhukkattai is Rice Dumpling. The taste of coconut and jaggery blended with cardamom powder tastes heavenly and is versatile in south indian cooking.  It can be made as Poorana Kozhukkattai/Modhakam, Poli – sweet stuffed chappathis (poli-a-different-story/) or non-stuffed plain-mixed rice dumpling, which is what I am writing about today – Vella-k-Kozhukkattai!

This steamed rice dumpling has the simple mix of grated coconut, jaggery and cardamom powder with the core ingredient – rice flour. This is yet another version of ‘Pidi Kozhukkattai’ – Given the shape by pressing with hands! This can be a healthy snack for children any time – and what more those little hands can make their own shapes and munch them too!!

For the initial procedures of grinding rice flour and roasting it to be ready to make dumplings – please see https://dosaikal.com/2013/07/29/pidi-kozhukkattai-karamsalted-rice-dumplings. We directly move on to make the dough ready for kozhukkattai.
Vella-k-Kozhukkattai/Steamed Sweet Rice Dumplings(with Jaggery)


  • arisi maavu/rice powder – 1 cup
  • vellam/jaggery – 1/2 cup (for the sweet toothed can make 3/4)
  • thengai thuruval/grated coconut – 1/2 cup or more as per taste
  • elakkai podi/cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • thanneer/water – 3/4 cup
  • nallennai/gingelly oil – 1 tsp to grease hands and 1 tsp to grease vessel/idli plate




Method of Preparation
  1. Dry roast the ground rice flour to take away the raw smell out of it
  2. Sieve the flour, remove granules away and take the required quantity of smooth flour in a wide bowl to mix all the ingredients in
  3. Mix grated coconut and cardamom powder to rice flour
  4. Dissolve jaggery in water and strain for impurities
  5. Boil jaggery-water in sim position for 3 minutes – this would not make a thick syrup but yet a thin syrup which will blend well with rice flour
  6. Pour the hot syrup on rice flour and mix well into a soft dough
  7. Add jaggery syrup carefully because more water might make the dough sticky.  Stop when you feel water is enough to make a soft dough
  8. Half teaspoon of nei/clarified butter can be melted and pour in the dough for some festive aroma, which is purely optional
  9. The dough should be neither sticky nor dry
  10. Slightly grease hands with gingelly oil/clarified butter, so that dough doesn’t stick to hands
  11. Take small portions in hand and press slightly with fingers, to get the beautiful impression of fingers in the rice dough
  12. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes.
  13. Always grease the bowl/idli vessel before placing kozhukkattais to steam. This helps dumplings from not sticking to the vessel
  14. Inippu Vella-k-Kozhukkattai/Sweet Jaggery Dumpling is ready.




  1. Since the rice flour is dry roasted, cooking time is less.
  2. Always sieve the ground flour after roasting. Granules tend to form while roasting.
  3. Always make thin jaggery syrup first and filter as jaggery of any kind would have mud/sand particles in it.
  4. Too thick a syrup would make dumplings harder – Be careful not to make a thick syrup .
  5. I somehow feel comfortable with the syrup if boiled a little while. So, I let the jaggery water boil a bit but yet not loose its thin consistency. Then add to rice flour-coconut-cardamom powder mixture.
  6. Thin jaggery syrup should be boiling hot. By this, the rice flour becomes cooked a bit.
  7. If one is using rice flour from shops, use the flour meant for Idiyappam-string hoppers and do not forget to roast it a bit.
  8. Thick dough might make dumplings hard and sticky dough might not result in dumplings at all. A slightly soft yet tight dough is needed for soft kozhukkattais.
  9. Any problem with the shape, just make small balls and steam.
  10. Both Kaara-k-Kozhukkattai and Vella-k-kozhukkattai would become dry too quick. For immediate consumption, keep in a hot case. Or else, cover it well and lightly steam before serving. Never leave it open.



Poli – a different story!

Poli can be called a roti with a sweet filling inside. It is popularly called Puran poli in Maharashtra. The filling inside is called puran and in tamil, puranam. It can be made in various combinations – paasi paruppu/split green gram and white sugar stuffed poli, kadalai paruppu/Bengal gram and white sugar poli or coconut-jaggery stuffed poli are a few.

My grandma – aachi is an expert in making polis. Since the time I understood the speciality of grandma’s cooking, quite young though, I have seen aachi prepare poli with the same passion and energy, as I saw her prepare for me and my husband a couple of months ago. It was never prepared in small quantities.. Only in fifties or hundreds and stored or specially made for other close relatives.

This aachi is my father’s mother and my mother’s father used to like poli a lot. (Her nei urundais are even more popular https://dosaikal.com/2011/08/02/paasi-paruppu-nei-urundai-yellow-lentil-sweet-balls/). So, she used to make it for him whenever we were traveling to see my maternal grandparents. This act of a sambandhi to another sambandhi was really touching for me as a youngster. This was only a relationship by marriage but the affection between both the parents is something that I cherish even today, and always feel lucky to be born in such a loving and caring family. (Sambandhi – sambdhan in hindi – is one’s son-in-law/daughter-in-law’s father/mother. I am not skillful enough to explain in English.)

Annaachi (brother) and Madhini (sis-in-law) as she would address them (Sambandhi) and other chithis and mamas (aunts and uncles) living in the big family of my mother would just love it (of course polis and the affection behind it)! Such was the warmth and love exchanged between those relatives by marriage…

Now, moving on to Poli..

When one wants to share many things and many more exotic things with friends around the world, surely there tends to be some over- enthusiasm and quite often over confidence too. That is the story of this Poli. I made this Poli with such enthusiasm and confidence, mind and heart filled with many old memories of aachi and poli. I completed it noting down details of the recipe with some photos too and felt quite happy of the result though not as perfect as aachi’s.

I spoke to amma, proudly told about the polis that I had made by myself and that the aroma was the same as those had in Chennai. She was happy too – just that she informed me aachi’s polis were made of kadalai paruppu/Bengal gram. I wouldn’t say I felt bad, I felt really very bad….that particular feeling is unexplainable – it was something more than embarassement and disappointment – my husband with a broad smile and daughter inquisitive to know what my reaction meant. But amma said, paasi paruppu poli would also be good – it is also healthy! I felt better.

I also read in Wikipedia that ‘Sometimes toor dal is used in Gujarat. In other places, even moong dal is used, even a mix of different lentils is used in some recipes’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puran_Poli). I felt even better.

Then that’s okay.. some blunders can also be wonders. The poli actually came out well – kind of flawless – just different in the lentil stuffed inside. Poli has all purpose flour as roti base. I thought I could substitute maida with atta/wheat flour. It didn’t make much difference – rather, without any guilt of having an empty calorie base, I was satisfied in the fibre rich base.

Paasi Paruppu Poli/Split green gram Poli

Ingredients (makes approximately 15 polis – might differ with the size of poli and quantity of pooranam)

  • paasi paruppu/split green gram/moong dal – 1 cup
  • sugar – 1 cup
  • cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • dry ginger powder – ¼ tsp
  • wheat flour – 2 cups
  • ghee – as needed
  • rice flour – 1 tsp


Method of Preparation


  1. Wash and pressure cook paasi paruppu/dal with just enough water till done
  2. In a heavy bottomed vessel, take cooked dal and sugar with cardamom powder and dry ginger powder
  3. Cook well till the mixture thickens and can be made into a ball
  4. Keep aside.


Roti base

Knead wheat flour with water and little oil into a fine dough to make rotis


Making Poli

1. Take a small portion of kneaded flour and roll it to a thin flat bread

2. Place a small portion of pooranam/filling

3. Fold in two positions as in picture

4. Fold the other two corners as in picture

5. Make a ball carefully and take out the extra flour – this helps in even distribution of filling

6. Roll into even flat breads by sprinkling rice flour


7. Heat a tawa/griddle and place the rolled poli

8. Let it cook on one side and then turn it to the other side

9. Apply generous amount of ghee for better polis or just as needed

10. Always apply ghee to the cooked side

11. Turn it again. Apply ghee on the other side too

12. Do not turn poli many times or else it might get burnt or become extra crispy

13. Serve hot and store the rest after cooling them well

14. Serve it hot with a spread of ghee every time.



  1. Generally polis made with the filling of lentil and white sugar can be stored even for 10 days.
  2. Original channa dal poli will be posted shortly.


Modhakam – pillayar chaturthi special

The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi or the birthday of the Hindu deity Ganesha is associated more with the state of Maharashtra in India. It is believed that Lord Ganapati was the family deity of the Peshwas. After the end of Peshwa rule, Ganesh Chaturthi remained a family affair in Maharashtra from the period of 1818 to 1892.

In 1893, Indian freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak transformed the annual domestic festival into a large, well-organized public event. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganesh Chaturthi).  

Lord Murugan is the God of the Tamils. He is referred to as ‘Tamil Kadavul’. Archaeological findings of pottery and relics in several places in Tamilnadu, particularly in Adichanallur, had ideographic inscriptions of this name and show signs that Murugan worship was prevalent at least as early as 10th century B.C, if not earlier.

Lord Murugan is also associated with Ahmuvan, an Indus Valley Deity.

According to noted epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan, the ideographs signify a brave warrior capable of killing evil beings to save the devoted. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murugan).

So, when did ganesha/vinayakar or pillayar worship come to Tamilnadu? There are many versions that lead us to historical references.

1. It is popularly said that ganesha was brought into Tamilnadu after the Vatapi War.  

Narasimhavarman I was a Tamil king of the Pallava dynasty who ruled South India from 630–668 CE. He avenged his father’s defeat at the hands of the Chalukya king, Pulakesi II in the year 642 CE.

 Pulakesi II, a renowned early Chalukya king, had previously raided various northern Pallava provinces and forts. However, he was unable to capture the Pallava capital of Kanchipuram. This led to a long conflict between the Chalukyas and the Pallavas.

Narasimhavarman defeated the Chalukyas in several battles, including one at Manimangalam 20 miles to the east of Kanchipuram. Encouraged by this victory, Narasimhavarman led his army along with his general Paranjothi and invaded Vatapi (Vatapi was the name of Badami the chalukya capital situated in present day Karnataka) successfully defeating the Chalukya king Pulakesi II in 642 CE. He returned victorious to Kanchipuram, and was given the title Vatapikondan (one who destroyed Vatapi).

His general Paranjothi was known very well for his devotion to Lord Siva and as one of the 63 Nayanmar saints, is said to have indeed personally destroyed the city of Vatapi under the command of Narasimhavarman I. He is also known as ‘Siruthonttar’. (http://en.wikipedia.org./wiki/NarasimhavarmanI)

It is generally assumed that Ganesha was brought to Tamilnadu by Siruththondar. After the victory over Chalukyas in Vatapi, he brought back a statue of Vinayaka. This statue, he placed in the Siva temple of his home town – Thiruchenggattangudi. In Thiruchengattangudi, even today the vinayakar is called Vatapi Ganapathi.

2. Whether the Thiruchengattangudi Vatapi Vinayakar was the first to have come to Tamilnadu is still controversial. The rock-cut Ganesha- the Karpaga Vinaayagar of Pillaiyaarpatti fame is earlier than the period of Siruththondar. (www.visvacomplex.com/GanesaWorshipInTamilNadu

3. Beyond these facts, there is another instance where the name Ganapati is referred to in literature – in Appar Thevaram.

Among the 63 Nayanmar’s of Saiva Bhakti literature, Appar or Thirunaavukkarasar holds a special place. A Saivite by birth, he embraced Jainism in his early years. Later, after the intervention of his sister Thilakavathiyar, Lord Siva made him realise Saivism and he became an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.

The Jain leaders did not like the return of Thirunaavukkarasar to Saivism. They approached the then Jain King Mahendra Varma Pallavan to punish him. Appar antagonised the Jains and the Pallava emperor, Mahendra Varman I. The king tried in many ways to punish and kill appar.

After some failed attempts, the king ordered to tramp Thirunaavukkarasar by the Royal elephant. Thirunaavukkarasar with heart filled with devotion for Siva,  sat down and sang the hymn which starts –  

Sunna ven sandhana chchaandhum sudar thingat chuulaa maniyum….

and ends –
Anjuvadhu yaadhondrum illai anja varuvadhum illai

(we are not afraid of anything. There is nothing that can frighten us.)

The elephant instead of tramping on him saluted him with its trunk. In one of these hymns, appar mentions

‘kalamalak kittuth thiriyun ganapathi yennun kalirum’

Here, there is a mention of Ganapati.

This ‘anjuvadhu yadhonrum illai’ hymn predates Siruththondar’s invasion of Vatapi by at least 30 years. (www.visvacomplex.com/GanesaWorshipInTamilNadu). For more details on thevaram and nayanmar saints visit www.shaivam.org./tamil/thiru04.html. This website gives the hymns of all nayanmar saints in detail.

Appar sang these hymns in front of King Mahendra Varman, the father of Narasimhavarman – under whom Siruthondar brought Vatapi Ganapathi to Thiruchengattangudi. King Mahendra Varman too returned back to Saivism.

4. The rock-cut Pillaiyaar of Mahipaalanpatti is also very ancient and is quite unique. There is no other statue like it, in Tamilnadu. Mahipaalanpatti is known by the name Poongunram in Sangam ages. This was the home-town of kaniyan poongunranaar – one of the great poets of sangam literature. (www.visvacomplex.com/GanesaWorshipInTamilNadu).

I could not find more details about the Pillayar in Mahippalanpatti in the net. There are only geographic references to the place and not the temple.

Now, back to cooking! Ganesh Chaturthi or Pillayar Chaturthi – birthday of Lord Ganesha fell on 1st of September this year. It is a late post on that issue – but better late than never!

Pillayar Chaturthi or Ganesh Chaturthi is marked by modhakam – coconut jaggery filled dumplings – lord ganesha’s favourite. Waking up early and making 108 modhakams used to be the duty of children guided by amma. The exotic smell of roasted coconut mixed with jaggery would wake us up. After a quick hair wash, no solid food before puja – only coffee, tea or milk, we would start making modhakams.

When 108 is done and everything else ready for puja – more than ganesha, our tummies would be longing for the steamed white modhakams. Ofcourse, after distribution of modhakams in the neighbourhood, the whole day is there to finish the wonderful, jaggery syrup flowing sweet balls!


Modhakam (approximately 20 dumplings)


For the filling

  • coconut – one half portion
  • grated jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
  • cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp

For the flour dough

  • rice flour – 200gms
  • hot water – 200ml
  • gingelly oil – 2 tsp

Method of Preparation


  1. Take grated coconut in a kadai and roast it slightly
  2. Coconut need not be roasted till golden brown
  3. In a pan, melt jaggery with 1/4 cup water
  4. Wait till jaggery melts and the mixture bubbles up
  5. Bubbling up of jaggery and water is the right consistency to be added to roasted coconut
  6. Strain the jaggery syrup to coconut and fry till coconut absorbs most of the water
  7. Add dry ginger powder and cardamom powder
  8. Be careful not to thicken the filling too much as jaggery would tighten further more after it is cooled
  9. For the right consistency – press the mixture with a ladle – there should be a little thick syrup which oozes out
  10. Filling is ready

roasting coconut

coconut jaggery filling

Dough for dumplings

  1. Boil water in a vessel
  2. Add 2 tsp of oil to water
  3. In a bowl, take rice flour and pour boiled water on it
  4. Mix it well initially with a ladle and then make it smooth with hand
  5. Dough is ready

Preparation of Modhakam

  1. Grease your palm with very little oil
  2. Take enough dough to make a small ball
  3. Flatten the ball and spread it on the palm
  4. Keep a tsp or just enough filling (easy enough to close the dumpling without the filling peeping out)
  5. Close it (see picture)
  6. Either leave it as a ball or make a sharp tip (picture)
  7. Shape can be as per one’s preference (we even used to make ganesha’s ears by folding the dough in the shape of ‘D’)

spread dough on palm and place filling

close the dumpling

 press and close the tip for a better shape

 nearly perfect


Steaming Modhakams

  1. Take an Idli Kopparai/Idli Cooker or any Steamer
  2. Boil water till the required level
  3. Oil the moulds and place the dumplings/modhakams
  4. Place the mould in the steamer and steam for 15 minutes

modhakams in rice kopparai

steamed modhakam

Modhakams are ready to be served!