Saturday, December 26, 2015

Posted by Mala at 1:00:00 AM 3 comments
Arudra Darshan  (aka Thiruvadhirai) falls in the month of Margazhi, on the full moon day. This festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvathi, and it celebrates the cosmic, ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva, and the Chidambaram temple is dedicated to Lord Nataraja, where this festival is celebrated on a grand manner. On this day, Lord Nataraja (Shiva) and his consort Goddess Sivakami (Parvathi) are taken out in a grand procession, and this is very very special event  in all the Shaivite temples.
This festival is celebrated mainly in Tamilnadu and Kerala.
 Arudra is one of the 27 stars, and it means, a golden red flame. And, of course, this festival falls on the Thiruvadhirai star day.

It is customary to make Thiruvadhirai Kali, and Ezhukari koottu (made out of 7 vegetables). It might look strange that a sweet dish is eaten with a koottu , a savory as a side dish, but these two go along so well, and it tastes yum! These two can be called the Inseparable Combo.

Raw rice (any variety..I used Sona Masoori) - 1 cup
Split mung dhal - 1/4 cup
Water - 2 3/4 cups (i.e., rice rava 1 cup : water 2 3/4 - 31/4  cups; depends on the rice variety)
Jaggery - 1 1/2 cups
Sugar - 3 tsps
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 4 tsps
Ghee -8 tsps
Cashews - 10, broken

Recipe Cuisine: South Indian; Category: Festival delicacy
Prep time: 20 mts; Cooking time: 20 mts

Serves 4

Dry roast the mung dhal to 

golden colour......and

soak in hot water for an hour.

Dry roast the rice also to golden colour and....

after it cools down a bit, grind to fine rava.

Measure the rava in any cup. The ratio of water is 1:2 3/4 cups. So, with the same vessel with which you measured the rava, you must pour 2 3/4 cups water. After several tried and tested attempts, this has become a foolproof measurement. I can vouchsafe.

Keep the measured water in a pan, add 1 tsp ghee, then when it starts boiling...

add the soaked mung dhal. Soaking is for faster cooking of the dhal. It should not become mushy. Each grain of the cookd dhal should be single, and not sticking to each other.

Keep the measured jaggery, sugar and cardamom powders , all ready, kept together.

Dhal is getting cooked in no time...may be...5 minutes, since it is already soaked.

Now, after the dhal cooks, add the jaggery-sugar-cardamom powder mixture, keep the flames on the lowest, keep stirring. Add the grated coconut too.

Wait till the jaggery melts, now add 2 tsps ghee and the rava. Keep stirring, otherwise, small lumps may form. At this stage, we can traansfer the mixture into another vessel, place it inside a pressure cooker, filled with the required level of water, cover and cook for 2-3 whistles. This is an easy process for beginners...why beginners?? even for experienced people like also speeds up the process...

Keep with a lid covered for a little while. Keep some hot water handy, incase you feel, the kali needs a bit more water, you can add. The water measurement depends on the variety of rice

Add some more ghee, keep stirring. You can see the Kali leaving the sides of vessel, announcing to you, it is reaching the final stage.

In the meantime, in ghee, roast the cashews to golden colour

and add to the Kali. Mix well. Switch off. Kali is ready for neivedhyam. 

This post first appeared in

*Normally, we check for impurities in jaggery. But as far as Kali is considered, it is done this way, and never once have impurities been found later. If you think, your jaggery has lot of impurities, then the best thing will be to measure the jaggery syrup, and if there is more water in which mung dhal is cooking, take out some water, so that this and the jaggery syrup will totally be 2 3/4 cups.
*Sometimes, if it is very old rice, it might require some more water. So, keep boiling water handy, in case you feel, the rice rava has not been cooked and it needs more water, then you can add water in small quantity and keep stirring.


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