Kara Kozhukattai Recipe: A Flavorful South Indian Delicacy

Kara Kozhukattai Recipe, a traditional Tamil Nadu dish, is a savory steamed dumpling made from rice flour and seasoned with a blend of spices and coconut. These delicious dumplings are not only a favorite during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi but also make a wholesome snack or light meal any time of the year. Let’s explore how you can prepare this delectable dish in your own kitchen.

What is Kara Kozhukattai?

Kara Kozhukattai, also known as Spicy Modak, consists of a rice flour dough filled with a spicy mixture of tempered ingredients. The dough is shaped into small dumplings, steamed, and served with a variety of chutneys or sambar for a satisfying meal.

Ingredients for Kara Kozhukattai

To prepare Kara Kozhukattai, gather:

  • Rice flour
  • Water
  • Grated coconut
  • Mustard seeds, urad dal (black gram), and chana dal (split chickpeas)
  • Curry leaves and green chilies, finely chopped
  • Hing (asafoetida), turmeric powder, and salt
  • Oil for tempering

Steps to Make Kara Kozhukattai

1. Preparing the Dough:

  • Boil water with salt and a teaspoon of oil.
  • Add rice flour gradually and stir continuously until it forms a smooth dough.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

2. Making the Filling:

  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add urad dal, chana dal, and hing.
  • Stir until dals turn golden brown, then add curry leaves, green chilies, turmeric powder, and grated coconut.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the mixture is fragrant and slightly roasted. Remove from heat and let it cool.

3. Shaping and Steaming:

  • Divide the dough into small portions and flatten each portion into a circle.
  • Place a spoonful of the filling in the center of each circle and fold the edges to seal, shaping them into small dumplings (kozhukattai).
  • Steam the dumplings in a steamer for about 10-12 minutes until they are cooked through and firm.

Serving Kara Kozhukattai

Kara Kozhukattai is traditionally served hot with:

  • Coconut chutney
  • Tomato chutney
  • Sambar

Enjoy these savory dumplings as a snack, appetizer, or light meal.

Why Kara Kozhukattai is Popular

Cultural Significance

In Tamil Nadu, Kara Kozhukattai is more than just a dish—it’s a symbol of tradition and culinary artistry:

  • Festival Delicacy: Often made during festivals and auspicious occasions like Ganesh Chaturthi.
  • Family Bonding: Preparation involves intricate steps, often passed down through generations, fostering familial bonds.

Flavor Profile

  • Spicy and Aromatic: The blend of spices, coconut, and tempering creates a burst of flavors in every bite.
  • Texture: Soft and chewy exterior with a flavorful filling, offering a delightful contrast.

Tips for Perfect Kara Kozhukattai

  • Ensure the dough is smooth and pliable for easy shaping.
  • Adjust spice levels according to personal preference, balancing heat with the sweetness of coconut.
  • Steam the dumplings until they are cooked through but still retain their shape and texture.


Kara Kozhukattai brings the rich flavors of Tamil Nadu’s culinary heritage to your table. Whether enjoyed during festivals or as a comforting snack, these savory dumplings offer a taste of tradition and warmth in every bite.

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FAQs About Kara Kozhukattai Recipe

Can I prepare Kara Kozhukattai ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dough and filling ahead of time. Shape the dumplings when ready to steam for fresh, hot Kara Kozhukattai.

What is the best way to reheat leftover Kara Kozhukattai?

Steam leftover Kara Kozhukattai briefly until heated through. Avoid microwaving to preserve texture and flavor.

Can I use store-bought rice flour for Kara Kozhukattai?

Yes, you can use store-bought rice flour. Ensure it is fine in texture for smooth dough preparation.

Are there variations to the filling of Kara Kozhukattai?

Yes, you can customize the filling by adding grated vegetables like carrot or finely chopped greens like spinach for added nutrition and flavor.

Can Kara Kozhukattai be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze uncooked Kara Kozhukattai. Arrange them on a tray, freeze until firm, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. Steam directly from frozen when ready to eat.

This guide equips you with everything you need to know to master the art of making Kara Kozhukattai, ensuring a delightful culinary experience that celebrates South Indian flavors and traditions.