Paal kozhukattai is native to Karaikudi, and is a favourite in my home town Madurai. I learnt it from my grandmother in whose kitchen I spent lots of time as a youngster. She inspired me to become a chef. The dish is made with light brown fresh jaggery and a combination of cow’s milk and coconut milk.

What you need

Raw rice - 240 gm

Jaggery - 400 gm

Milk - 200 ml

Coconut milk - 250 ml

Cardamom pods - 8

Edible camphor - a pinch

Ghee - 50 ml

Method

Soak the rice for about half-an-hour, drain and grind the rice without adding much water to form a thick batter.

Heat ghee in a kadai, add the thick batter and cook until the raw smell disappears.

Let it cool.

Spread ghee on your palms and roll the mixture into small balls.

Boil water in a large container just to cover the rice balls, cook the rice dumplings slowly.

When cooked, add jaggery, milk and coconut milk to the rice dumpling and let thicken slowly.

Sprinkle cardamom powder and add a pinch of camphor.

Chef V. Vijay Kumar, executive chef, Radisson GRT specialises in Italian and fusion cuisine. He has been a chef for 14 years and has won international awards.

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