Uppu Kozhukattai Recipe (Ulundhu Kozhakattai) | Savoury Modak
The savory version that I mentioned in my previous post for Sweet Modak is this one called as "Uppu Kozhukattai/Kolukattai" or "Ulundhu  Kozhukattai" in Tamil where "Uppu" means salt and "Ulundhu" refers to black gram (lentil) using which this type is made. These two varieties were traditionally made in my house by my mom. While the kids rushed to take the sweet one, my father and few other elders enjoyed this savory version. Just like I mentioned in the other post, once you conquer making the cover - the filling is a breeze. This, though, takes a little bit more time and steps than the sweet one.
Uppu Kozhukattai Recipe (Ulundhu Kozhakattai) | Savoury Modak
Here the filling is made by first soaking the lentils for an hour, then ground coarsely along with chillies and seasoning.  This lentil is then steamed first and on cooling is broken down into crumbles, tossed with tempering of mustard seeds and herbs  and then filled into these rice flour pockets. They are steamed again for a second time. Sounds like a exhaustive process doesn't it? But well when you get into the groove of actually doing it, its not as complicated as it sounds :) Uppu Kozhukattai Recipe (Ulundhu Kozhakattai) | Savoury Modak I have used a different shape to make the savory one. You can use the same shape like that of Jaggery-coconut Modak or use this shape to do it. Likewise you can use this shape to make the Sweet version too. My mom makes both these shapes to make them all :) This recipe is, needless to say, from my mom :)
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 3 people
  • Yields: Makes 6-10 savory Modaks depending on the size
  • For the Cover
  • Same as the Cover recipe for Sweet Modaks
  • For the Ulundhu/Ullatham Poornam (Traditional Savory lentil filling)
  • 3/4 cup Whole Black gram, (the white variety) (urad dal, ulutham paruppu)
  • 1-2 green chillies ( or as per taste)
  • 1 tsp lime/lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida powder
  • few sprigs of curry leaves and cilantro
1. Prepare the Cover as shown in the Jaggery Modak recipe (Make the cover when the lentil filling is almost done. You don't want this cover to become cold.)
2. Clean and Soak the lentil for at least 1 hour.
3. Most of the water should have been absorbed and the lentils will look plumped up and soft :)
4. Place the drained (make sure you drain out all the water well) along with chillies and salt.
5. Pulse few times until it becomes coarsely ground. We don't want a smooth batter. Do not add water until absolutely necessary.
6. Now make small balls of the dough and place them in a steamer. Steam them for 10-15 minutes.
7. Let it cool for few minutes, enough to be able to handle it. Break the balls by crumbling them into coarse meal texture.

In a skillet, heat 1 tsp of oil (or ghee), add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add the curry leaves along with asafoetida. When the aroma starts wafting to your nostrils, add the lentil coarse meal to the mix, give it a good toss until it all comes together. Add cilantro and remove from heat. Now add the lemon juice when its warm (not hot).The lentil mixture is already cooked so you are not looking to cook this. Just add more flavor by way of adding the tempering ingredients.

9. While still hot, make it into small rounds. If you are not able to make into rounds, no problems. In this case you can place the crumbled filling into the cover quite well too. :) Tip: The reason for it breaking could be cos the mixture has become cold or its too dry due to over cooking. But in this case since its not necessary to form the balls per se, you don't have to rectify it :) YAY! ;)
10. You can now make this into tear drop shape like I show in this Jaggery Modak recipe by making a crater in the outer cover, placing the filling in the middle, closing it on the top and making a small beak. Steam them and serve. There is also another shape which I will be illustrating in this recipe. You can make the Jaggery (sweet) Modaks using this shape too by following this method. For Making the semi circle shape (like the one depicted in the final picture above) Place a plastic sheet and grease it well. I used a large zip-lock bag. Place two bowls - one with oil/ghee another with warm water. You need to grease your fingers and hands along with the sheet occasionally.
11. Now place one small bowl of the cover on one end.
12. Bring the other end of the zip lock over the top of the ball (or another greased plastic sheet on top).
13. Using a flat plate, give it a good press.
14. It will flatten like a corn tortilla/Makki ki roti. The thickness of this cover is little more than what we use for the sweet version.
15. Remove the top plastic, place the filling in the middle - a little amount, you  will know with subsequent ones how much filling works for you best with the folding. Its not necessary to have a round shaped ball for the filling. Its OK if its crumbling too.
16. Bring one side of the cover over to the other end - like a semi circle.
17. Pinch the seams so that it covers the filling on all the sides. You can use it this way or
18. draw little patterns with your fingers or press down with a fork.
19. Repeat for all the dough this way and its ready to be steamed. Another easier way to shaping these Modaks. I happen to have a mould which I use to make turnovers/empanadas. I use that to make these too - I have illustrated how I use that to make these. Place the dough and press it down with a plate to make a circle just like I showed few steps earlier. Remove this dough circle from the sheet. Greasing well makes it easier to remove it.
20. Place this on the mould.
21. Drop little of the filling in the center.
22. Press the mold by bringing the ends together.
23. Remove the top of the mold - See those cute little patterns?
24. Remove it and repeat for the rest of the dough. I love these :) I have in multiple sizes and I can do it whatever size I desire.
25. Place them in a steamer and steam for 10-15 minutes
26. until it slightly changes color and becomes slightly translucent.  Cool for few minutes before removing from the steamer.
Serve warm/hot. The below picture is the one I made with hand (remember the fork pattern?) Uppu Kozhukattai Recipe (Ulundhu Kozhakattai) | Savoury Modak This is a smaller one using the mold. Yummy Savory Modaks all ready to be eaten :) Uppu Kozhukattai Recipe (Ulundhu Kozhakattai) | Savoury Modak

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1 Member Reviews

By nathi on Sep 15, 2012

i have to prepare this kozhukattai in vinayak sathurithi,all of them should like this recipe....its our family kozhukattai... thanks to all for giving this website...


By pavi on Oct 11, 2015

Where can i get the kadubu press ? For making the semi circle ones...? in bangalore? thanks...

By Lavanya on Sep 13, 2012

Hi DK, I have been following your site mostly as a silent spectator. I just love it. The tips you provide and the way you have explained gives me confidence that I can manage making these stuff too. Excellent! Thank you.. :-P

By pmvijayalakshmi on Jun 15, 2012

yummy these look very tasty mom will made thank u very much

By padmini on Sep 14, 2011

Hi DK, i made the sweet and savoury kozhakattai........the savoury ones turned out excellent........enjoy visiting your site......pl post some new recipes for navrathri :wink: :wink:

By Hema Laksh on Aug 31, 2011

Great site. I live in Australia, i'm a Scientist. Today is pillayar chathurthi, my MIL is with us, so i wanted to make something. I got up at 4.30am to google some recipes and found your site. What a find! I will try out your sweet, savoury and mini kozhukattai today. I love the way you have given detailed instructions with pics. Keep up the great work. One point : Where do you use the lemon juice in this recipe? Its in ingredients, but couldn't find it anywhere being used.

Thank you so much for the kind word Hema. Thanks for the pointer. The lemon juice needs to be added once you remove the filling from the heat after tempering. (8th step). Have updated the post with this detail :) Happy Vinayaga Chaturthi to you and your family :)

By Padma on Aug 4, 2011

Loved your recipes for both vella and uppu kozhukatais. Keep them coming! :)

By Uppu Kozhukattai (Savoury Modak) : UK Asian on Sep 26, 2010

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By manpreet on Sep 13, 2010


By pallavi on Sep 11, 2010

Of all the recipies I've come across, yours is BY FAR THE BEST! Its simple, step-by-step instructions, and aesthetically pleasing presentation!! Well done :-) Will come back for more recipies later. Off to make the kozhukattais now :-)

By Nits on Sep 10, 2010

Thanks a lot for this receipe, i am gonna try it for ganesh chaturthi. The step by step illustration is very gud and i alredy feel like eating them.

By Radhika Vasanth on Sep 9, 2010

Yummy dumplings. I am coming over.

By Anuradha Mullapudi on Sep 9, 2010

So impressive - the clear steps for the recipe and also the lovely pictures. I am going to try these for Vinayaka Chathurthi - didn't plan to even do the puja, now when I saw your recipe - totally inspired to go the whoel nine yards. Thanks!

By deepika on Sep 6, 2010

thanks a lot for this recipe.you've inspired me to try my hand at momos too.i've written earlier but wasn't replied to.care to advise.

Momos are made usually with Maida or wheat and not rice flour as far as my understanding goes. I am not sure what you asked me earlier so I am not sure what to advise about :)

By nishi on Sep 5, 2010

Hey DK, The kadubus look very tasty. We even make a filling of channa dal and toor dal. Great clicks as usual.

By Divya on Sep 5, 2010

I've never tasted these savory Modaks..they look so pretty..I always resort to this shape while making sweet modaks coz I NEVER seem to get the consistency right!!Got to start the battle again during Chathurthi..lol!

By Siri on Sep 5, 2010

Yummy. Lovely post DK. :-D :-D Hugs, Siri

By Food Lover on Sep 5, 2010

Yummy these look really tasty, thanks for the recipe :)