Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Festival recipes

Arudra Darisanam[Thiruvadirai] and Thiruvadirai Kali.

Falling on the day of Thiruvadirai star in Marghazhi [November-December] this is a festival of great importance. The sweet dish offering on this day, Thiruvadirai kali, is something with which everyone is familiar. Thiruvadirai Kali and 7 vegetable Kozhambu or sambar/Kootu along with butter, are the naivedyam items prepared for Thiruvadirai.

My Puja Room-Naivedyam of Kali onThiruvadirai 22-12-2010

Here is the recipe for Thiruvadirai Kali:


*Raw Rice 2 cups
*Green gram dal 1/2 cup[optional]
*Jaggery 21/2 to 3 cups[depending on individual taste]
*Water proportion: 1: 2 1/2 
*Grated coconut 1/2 cup]
*Cardamom powder 1tsp.
*Ghee 1 tbsp.
*Cashew nuts: 10 to 15 Nos.
*Raisins: 10 to 15 Nos.


1.  Wash the rice well and dry. Roast the dried rice to a light pink color and powder. Roast the green gram dal to a light brown color.  

2.  Melt the jaggery in 3 cups of water and strain to remove dirt and sand particles. In a large thick bottomed kadai pour the melted and strained jaggery and boil. 

3.  Add the  grated coconut and cardomom powder. When the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat and add the roasted rice flour, little at a time, stirring well all the time. 

4.  When all the rice flour has been added, keep stirring well until all the water has been absorbed and rice flour is well cooked. Add the ghee and mix well and remove.

I learnt this recipe from my mother and this is the traditional kali as was being prepared by my mother right from my childhood days. It can be optionaly decorated with cashewnuts and raisins fried in ghee, to make it richer in taste. 

Thiruvadirai kali can also be prepared in a pressure cooker with more ease.  

1.  Open and pour the strained jaggery, coconut gratings and cardomom powder. When the mixture starts boiling,  add the roasted rice flour gradually, stirring well. 

2. When all the rice flour has been added, close the cooker and reduce the heat to the minimum. When steam starts coming out , place the weight and cook for 15-20 mnts and switch off. 

3.  Open the lid of the cooker and put the cooked Kali in the Kadai  and pour the ghee and mix well until it is smooth without any lumps.  The delicious Kali is ready to be served. 

4.  Stir in fried Cashew nuts/raisans and cardamom. Serve with Butter and Sambar.

This dish tastes good especially when served hot. 

2.  Vegetable Kozhambu/ kootu:


Carrot - 1
French Beans or Green beans - 50g
Broad beans - 50g
Cluster beans - 25g
Brinjal - 3 to 4
Potato - 2
Yam - 25g
Pumpkin - 50g
Sweet potato - 3 to 4
Chow chow [small ] - 1
Plantain - 1
Hyacinth bean or field bean [ Mochai in Tamil ] - 25g
Ash gourd - 50g
Coriander seeds - 1 cup
Red chillies - 5 to 6
Grated cocunut - 1 cup
Channa dhal - handful
Toor dhal - 1/4 cup
Tamarind - 1/2 the size of lemon
Tumeric powder - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 3 tsp
Salt - As per need


1. Pressure cook toor dhal by adding water and little tumeric powder and keep it aside.
2. Peel the skin of ash gourd, pumpkin, sweet potato, chow chow, yam, plantain, carrot and cut it.
3. After cutting brinjal and plantain , put it to water so that they will not become black.
4. Pressure cook potato and yam together and peel the skin of potato.
5. Cut broad beans, cluster beans , green beans, field bean , carrot to medium size and cook it.
6. Cook sweet potato seperately as it will cook fast.
7. Heat oil in a pan and fry coriander seeds, channa dhal, red chillies and grated cocunut and allow it to cool for some time.
8. Grind the above to a fine paste.
9. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and put mustard seeds.
10. When mustard seeds sputters out, add fenugreek seeds and remove it from flame after a minute.
11. Take a broad vessel and put chopped ash gourd, pumpkin, chow chow, plantain, brinjal.
12. Add tumeric powder and water to the above and boil it.
13. Extract tamarind juice for 1 cup and 1 cup of water to it.
13. When these vegetables are cooked, add the tamarind juice and the remaining cooked vegetables, salt [broad bean, cluster bean,
field bean, green beans, potato, sweet potato, carrot, yam ].
14. Smash the cooked dhal and add to the vessel and mix it well.
15. After few minutes, put the grinded paste and mix it well.
16. When yellow colour comes on the corner of the vessel, switch off the stove.
17. Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds to kootu/Kozhambu and mix it well.

Note :

If you find kootu is not very thick, take 2 tsps of rice flour , make a paste by adding water and put it into the kootu while it is boiling.

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