Kolukattai (Sesame Seed and Sweet Rice Roll)

KolukattaiIngredients and Utensils 1 cup sesame seeds 

1 cup jaggery or brown sugar 4 cups rice flour 

1 tsp. salt Oil or ghee 

8 cups water A steamer with flat rack 

A skillet for toasting flour A small piece of cheesecloth 

A mortar and pestle, rolling pin or blender  Banana leaf or tray Directions Fry the sesame seeds, without oil, until light brown, then mix with the jaggery. Then, using a pestle and mortar, rolling pin or blender, powder this mixture and set it aside. Heat the rice flour until lightly toasted, and spread it out on a tray or table top to cool. While it cools, add the salt to 8 cups of water in a pan and bring to a strong boil. Gather the cooled, toasted rice flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Slowly pour a small amount of the hot water into the well in the rice flour and begin working it into the rice flour with your hands. Keep adding small amounts of the hot water, working it together into a ball of dough. It should be moist but not wet when you put it out on the table or breadboard. Knead the dough thoroughly so it is even in moisture and texture. When it can be handled, squeeze the dough into lime-sized balls and set them aside. 

Smear a bit of oil or ghee on a banana leaf, tray or table top and roll or knead one of the dough balls out on it to a patty about 3 inches in diameter. Place a full tablespoon of the sesame and sugar mixture in the middle and fold the patty over in a crescent shape, pinching it closed where the edges meet. Repeat the process for the rest of the balls.  Bring the water in your vegetable or iddli steamer to a boil and insert the steaming rack or a plate with small holes in it. The rack should be fairly flat and be covered over with a layer of cheesecloth or cotton weave. Arrange the kolukattai on the flat rack, as many as will fit without touching. Cover and steam for 15 to 20 minutes, or until done, depending on the size of your steamer. When finished, transfer them to a plate or banana leaf and allow to cool. Serve to Ganesha as His fondest sweet. With any remaining sesame-sugar mixture you may make small Ganesha figures. Keep them along with the cooked ones for puja. Betel leaves, nuts and fruits may be offered with these.