sweet & spicy sesame dumplings

By • April 6, 2011 17 Comments

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Author Notes: The filling is from a rice dumpling recipe handed down from my mother. Traditionally known as 'kozhakattai' (learning to pronounce this word correctly involves a graduate level tutorial, the 'z' in the word is not pronounced as in 'z'ebra!!) these steamed dumplings are made with a cooked rice flour covering filled with primarily 3 different fillings, 1. a sweet one with coconut, 2. a spicy filling made from 'urad' dal & 3. a sweet /spicy combination made with sesame & jaggery (gud). Learning to make these is an art by itself while steaming it to perfection without having the thin rice flour covering crack & disintegrate is pure science in my opinion!
I've used the sweet & spicy filling with commercially available dumpling wrappers & deep fried them. Soft & chewy when fresh & warm with the flavors of nutty sesame & the earthy jaggery, interspersed with the tiniest hints of red chilli heat & the salt. Its the toasted red chilli that commands attention in this snack, asserting itself sharply against the comforting earthiness of the sesame and the sweetness of the jaggery. of As they cool, the dumpling covering tends to crisp up and can be stored in an airtight jar for 2-3 days. - Panfusine

Food52 Review: I love these little treasures! I love the sweet-hot flavors! I love the salty-nutty combination! And I love, love, love that they are quickly fried for a crisp take on a dumpling. That satisfying crunch.....ooooh! I had to ask Panfusine what exactly jaggery was, as I was equally ignorant as to the hint "gud." She kindly steered me to muscovado sugar, the sticky kind, for a substitution and I thought it was wonderful. I did use the lower measurement of it, as she indicated correctly that the frying step would accentuate the perception of sweetness, and I boosted the salt a bit. Her toasting, mixing and filling instructions were perfect, even for a pure novice like me. I am very grateful for her genius in deciding to fry them rather than steam, as the latter sounds like it takes much experience for success. If I can make these, anyone can! And all will love them! Thank you profoundly, Panfusine! - boulangereboulangere


Makes 15-16

  • 5 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 dried red chilli, deseeded & lightly toasted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons crumbled jaggery (gud) or muscovado sugar
  • 15-16 round dumpling wrappers
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. Using a mortar & pestle, crush the toasted red chilli into a coarse powder. Set aside.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds till it turns lightly brown & begins emitting a nutty aroma. while still warm, pulse using a coffee grinder till it resembles bread crumbs.
  3. Add the red chili powder & salt to the coarsely powdered sesame & mix to combine.
  4. Add the crumbled jaggery (gud). Using your finger tips, gently incorporate into the sesame mixture till the jaggery has softened & dispersed evenly. The mixture should be grainy & barely sticky to the touch. (Sample the mix at this point. The nutty sesame should be the dominating flavor & slightly 'under sweetened'. Resist the temptation to add more jaggery, since the deep frying process tends to melt the jaggery & accentuate the sweetness).
  5. Place 2 teaspoons of the mix in the center of a dumpling wrapper. Moisten the edges of the wrapper and seal eliminating any air pockets.Press & seal with the tines of a fork along the semicircular circumference.
  6. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the stuffed dumplings in batches till golden brown (~ a minute on each side). Remove & place on paper towels to absorb extra oil.

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