Kara aval kozhukattai

kara aval kozhukattai , south Indian dumplings

Try out these steamed south Indian dumplings made with gluten-free aval (poha). This kara aval kozhukattai is a minimal oil, vegan recipe that is quick to make and tasty with chutney or curries.

Exploring kozhukattais

Kozhukattai is a tasty savoury dumpling made in south India as a breakfast or snack. Typically made with broken rice as upma kozhukattai, the savoury kozhukattais are a great meal prep idea too.they are served at breakfast or tiffin with chutneys that taste amazing with it.  During festivals, savoury and sweet kozhukattais (inippu aval kozhukattai) are often made together. The combination of the two is very tasty. 

Ingredients  for this aval kozhukattai

With a double cooking process, these South Indian dumplings are one of my filling breakfast ideas.  Though the individual list of ingredients looks very long, these are easily found on the Indian pantry.

For tempering: The crackled mustard seeds with the fried lentils in coconut oil give the characteristic south Indian flavours. to this mix, we add curry leaves, ginger and green chillies. While these are frying enjoy the aromatic fragrance. 
Aval (poha): the flattened rice flakes make up the bulk of this dish. these are very easy to cook and mash. Just rinse and they are literally ready to add to this recipe. I have used brown rice flakes here. You can choose white ones or red ones as they all taste good. If you are picking up the poha / aval from Indian grocery opt for the medium-thick one and not the thin or the nylon ones.
Coconut: freshly grated add the juicy softness to the kozhukattais when they are steamed. Don’t skip the coconut as it adds a nutty lightness to the end product.
Other than this, all we need is water and salt.

kara aval kozhukattai

Kara aval kozhukattai

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
steaming time 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Main Dish, Traditional
Cuisine gluten free, South indian
Servings 20 kozhukattais


  • 1 Steamer
  • 1 wok
  • 1 ladle


For tempering

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Urad Dal Split and skinned black gram
  • 1/2 teaspoon Channa dal Bengal gram
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root chopped or grated
  • 1 small green chilli
  • 1 long red chilli fresh or dried
  • 10 curry leaves chopped or crushed
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida

For making the kozhukattais

  • 2 cups rice flakes poha/ aval/ avalakki
  • 1.5 cups drinking water
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut

For steaming

  • 2 cups Water for the steamer base, use as needed.


  • Add the poha / aval to a strainer and wash it well. Set it aside till needed.
  • Finely chop the ginger, curry leaves and chilli and keep it ready.
  • Set the wok on medium heat and add the coconut oil, mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal.
  • When the mustard crackles add the chopped ginger, chillies and curry leaves.
    tempering for Aval kozhukattai.
  • Fry this for a minute till the oil becomes aromatic.
  • Add asafetoida and salt to this.
  • Pour the water and add the poha.
    cooking base for aval kozhukattais
  • Mix this well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir the mix, after the water is nearly absorbed.
  • Mash slightly with the back of the ladle.
  • Sprinkle the coconut and mix it well.
    aval kozhukattai mix.
  • Remove from heat and set it aside to become a bit cooler.
    Aval upma
  • At this stage, you can serve this as aval upma.
  • Once cooler to handle, make elongated balls, that you can hold in your palm,
    kara kozhukattai
  • Press it down gently to keep its shape.
  • Set up the steamer and layer these balls allowing enough space for steam to pass.
    steaming the kozhukattais
  • Steam for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  • Remove after the time and let it stand for another 5-6 minutes.
    steamed kozhukattais
  • Separate the kozhukattais out into a serving tray.
  • Serve warm with chutney of choice.
    kara aval kozhukattai


  • The ginger, chillies and curry leaves are chopped fine to aid in holding shape for the kozhukattais. 
  • The mix can be sticky to make shapes, grease your palms to ease this process. 
  • if the mix tends to fall apart easily, add a teaspoon of rice flour to the mix and knead before making shapes.
Keyword rice salad recipes, steamer recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Variations to this  savory South Indian dumplings

Vegetables it is easy to add shredded cabbage, carrots, chopped capsicum etc to this recipe. Once the mustard seeds have crackled and tempering complete, add the vegetables and sauce them. Then proceed with the step by step of making the aval kozhukattai from the recipe card above.
Jowar avalakki instead of rice flakes, you can successfully use jowar avalakki (sorghum flakes)  to make this recipe. We had made jolada avalakki chiwda earlier.

Festivals that you can make aval kozhukattai for.

Typically we make aval based dishes for Sri Krishna Jayanthi. We make a whole thali of aval recipes and offer fruits and crispy snacks.
Apart from the above,  aval is an ingredient that you will see allowed during Shivratri fast. So, we make this aval kozhukattais during that time too along with doodh pauva. Now that is one recipe that takes care of two occasions. 

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kozhukattai with poha

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Mayuri Patel
2 years ago
Rating :

Seema I love kozhukattai but have only made ones with rice. This kara aval kozhukattai is very interesting. I have a large quantity of rice flakes, so now I know what I am going to make for breakfast over the weekend. Thanks for sharing an interesting and easy recipe.

Priya Vj
2 years ago
Rating :

Pidi kozhakkati with aval is new to me ,looks really yumm. This can be a perfect prasadam for krishna jayanthy as we make aval based dishes. Love these simple yet delicious snacks.

Jayashree T.Rao
2 years ago
Rating :

I make kozhukottai but never made with aval. This is quite new to me, would love to try it sometime Seema.

2 years ago
Rating :

Wow these aval Kozhukottai are certainly versatile. I can add some veggies to make these yum breakfast meal. Thanks

2 years ago
Rating :

both the husband and me love kozhukattai of all forms. I have made the aval Inippu Pidi Kozhukkattai, this is next on my to-do list. bookmarking a fab recipe, Seema. Do you think I can use the thin poha for this or recommend the thicker ones ? One more thing – do u coarsely powder these before soaking, or use as is?

Last edited 2 years ago by Kalyani
2 years ago
Rating :

Khara Aval Kozhukattai looks lip smacking. I have never tried kozhukattai with aval. Bookmarking this recipe Seema.

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