Paal Kozhukattai - Rice flour dumplings in coconut milk


When you want to make sweets for ganesh chaturthi, think different.  This is a perfect combo of 2 in 1 :) Modak in kheer. Simple yet luscious. This is so easy and can be put together in under 30 minutes. 

If you are intimidated to do actual kozhukattai (modak) you can start here. You can make this completely vegan by substituting whole milk to thin coconut thin milk. There are so varieties of this recipe,

  1. Whole milk and jaggery
  2. coconut milk and jaggery
  3. Combination of coconut milk and whole milk
  4. freshly ground rice flour
  5. Idiyappam flour

I am using store bought rice flour and lot of coconut milk and a little whole milk.

paal kozhukattai



  • Thin coconut milk - 1 cup
  • Thick coconut milk - 1/4 cup / coconut cream - 1 tbsp
  • Whole milk - 1 /2 cup or Thin coconut milk -1/2 cup
  • Cardamom powder - a dash
  • Sugar - 4 tbsp or to taste


  • Rice flour - 1/2 cup
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp
  • Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp



  • I used store bought rice flour, I directly used it without dry roasting. If you wish you can dry roast it for a minute before continuing
  • Alternately can make fresh kozhukattai/ dumpling flour from scratch by soaking rice and dry roasting and grinding to smooth powder or can use store bought idiyappam flour
  • As I mentioned above there are many variations of you can choose to switch milk or sweetener of your choice
  • While using fresh coconut, extract 1st thick coconut milk and 2nd milk or thin milk by grinding 
  • While using canned milk, chill the can in the refrigerator for half an hour to separate coconut cream.
  • If you wish to use it without chilling, use 3/4 cup coconut milk with 1/2 cup water.
  • Traditionally for kozhukattai rice flour is added to hot boiling water and mixed until a lump is formed, like idiyappam. 


To make the dumplings:

In a bowl, mix together rice flour, shredded coconut, salt and sugar. Add boiling water a table spoon at a time and let it sit until its cool down a bit. To that add ghee and form a dough. And then grease your hand with oil or ghee and roll into small balls, smaller the better. Add a tbsp of this to whole milk and keep it aside.

In instant pot, add coconut milk, whole milk with dough mix and sugar. Place a steamer basket on top a trivet and drop in all the rice balls.

Cook on steam - HP- vent closed for 3 mins

  1. Adjust time based on quantity and the size of the rice balls.  
  2. If it's cooked through the balls won't break when pressed

When the pressure is naturally released, add cardamom powder and thick milk / coconut cream, mix well.


Steam cook the rice balls separately in idli plates and meanwhile cook thin coconut milk  and sugar. Cook until sugar is dissolved on medium heat. To that add thick coconut milk, cardamom powder and saffron balls.

Top it with saffron

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!