Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Main Dish, Millet Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Steamed Barnyard Millet Dumplings (Odalu Kozhukatai)

Kodo rice milletRecently there has been a hype about health foods like quinoa. Why look at videshi options when we have plenty of easily accessible, swadeshi, and cost effective options? Ragi, bajra, jowar, kodon, and the list goes on. Our villagers survived solely on millets before rice and wheat took over. For the same reason, during those times, lifestyle diseases were unheard of and people were healthy, energetic, and lived long and strong.
Barnyard millet

Millets have much more calcium, protein, and iron than rice and wheat. These poor man’s grains are high in fiber, rich in minerals, low fat, and gluten free also. Millets are not just good for you but for the environment as well. Millets can grow in dry lands and even in poor soil quality. They need only one-fifth to one-tenth of the water that rice and wheat cultivation needs. As if these reasons werent enough, most millets are grown organically because they are naturally pest-resistant! Can you beat that?
So it is established that millets are miracle grains. Now what? How do we include them in our diet? Earlier I had written about sprouted ragi dosa and sprouted bajra dosa. To break the dosa monotony, here are steamed dumplings made of barnyard millet. Simple, easy to make, and great for health.

Barnyard Millet/Odalu/Varagarisi – 1 cup
Water – 2-1/2 cups
Onion – 1 (optional)
Carrot – 1 small (optional)
Green chilies – 3
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
Oil – 1 tsp
Asafetida – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Chana dal – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Serves 3-4

Wash the millet in water thoroughly. Drain and keep aside. Peel and chop onion and carrots finely. Slit the green chilies. On a thick bottom pan, pour oil and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to crackle, add urad dal and chana dal. When the dals turn red, add slit green chilies, asafetida, curry leaves, and chopped onion. When the onion turns pink, add finely chopped carrots. Saute for two minutes. Add 2-1/2 cups of water. Add salt. When the water starts boiling, stir in the washed millet. Keep stirring until it thickens. When the water has reduced and the millet, vegetable, and water mixture has become thick like upma, turn off the fire. Add the grated coconut. Mix well and let it cool. At this point the millet is half cooked.

When the cooked millet mixture has cooled down, take handfuls of the mixture and make small balls.


Place on an idli stand and steam for about 10-15 mins.

Steamed barnyard millet dumplings

I prefer serving steamed barnyard millet dumplings with sambar for a tangy combination. You can serve it with coconut chutney. Little ones can have it with sugar also.

If you enjoyed reading this recipe, please consider subscribing to this blog. It’s free and you will receive e-mail notifications with each updation.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Main Dish, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Rice Kozhukatta (Steamed Rice Balls)

Kozhukattas are yummy energy packed steamed rice balls that can be had at any time. It can be parceled and easy to carry as a travel snack too.

For Batter:
Parboiled Rice- 2 cups
Salt to taste

For tadka:
Red chilies (curd chilies) – 2-3
Curry leaves- 2-3 stalks
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tbsp
Chana dal- 1/2 tbsp
Urad dal- 1/2 tbsp
Coconut grated- 1 cup
Dill leaves finely chopped (optional) – 3-4 tbsp

Preparation Time (for batter): 10 min
Cooking Time: 5 min
Makes 15-20 kozhukkatta


Soak the rice in water for 2-3 hrs. Drain the water & grind the rice in a mixer to make a coarse paste. Add very little water while grinding. The batter should not be watery. Add salt to the coarsely ground batter and mix well.

Heat oil in a thick wok, add mustard seeds. If you are using curd chilies, add it along with the mustard seeds. When mustard seeds begin to crackle, add the dals (urad dal and chana dal), add red chilies and curry leaves. Pour the coarsely ground batter to this and keep stirring. The heat should be medium. Keep stirring until the watery batter turns to a thick dough. Turn off the fire. Add grated coconut and mix well. If you are adding dill leaves, add the finely chopped dill leaves at this stage.

Plain Kozhukkattai (without tadka)An alternative way is to avoid all tadka material (mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal etc.) and add the batter into little bit of oil in the wok and heat it until it thickens and then add grated coconut. Both have very unique taste. You may decide either based on individual preference.

When the mixture cools, make small round balls double the size of a lemon and place on an idli stand. Put the idli stand with the rice balls in a steamer and steam for 15 mins. Turn off and kozhukkattai is ready to be served with sambar or coconut chutney.

Ready to be steamed

List of accompaniments:
Can be served with sambar or chutney. You can have it with sugar too.

1. You need to use parboiled rice for this recipe. If you use raw rice, the kozhukkattais will turn out to be sticky and hard. Parboiled rice kozhukkattais stay soft yet firm.
2. You can make the dough and store in the fridge overnight and make the kozhukattai the next day.

Skill Level:

If you enjoyed reading this recipe, please consider subscribing to this blog. It’s free and you will receive e-mail notifications with each updation.