January 9, 2012

Thiruvathirai Kali

Thiruvathirai kali is prepared on the auspicious day of Thiruvadhirai which usually comes in the Tamil month of Margazhi (Dec - Jan). I am a sucker for this sweet relish (oh yes, I love anything in the name of sweet :-)) This dish especially is paired with "ericha kozhambu" (spicy lentil gravy made with 5 (or) 7 vegetables) and I love the combined taste of sweet & spicy. My mom makes hands-down the tastiest kali on the Earth with spicy kozhambu on the side. How I wish this dish was prepared often and not just on the day of Thiruvathirai :-)

Raw rice - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1 cup
Cardamom pods - 3-4 nos
Cashews - 6-8 nos (broken)
Scraped coconut - a handful
Ghee - 2 tbsp

Wash rice in water. Drain it immediately (do not let the rice soak) and roast it in a dry pan until it turns brown (Do not roast it for too long).

Let it cool and grind it in a mixer to a coarser (like sooji) texture. Keep it aside.

In a heavy bottomed pan, dissolve jaggery (measure jaggery to powdered rice (1:1)) in water (2.5 cups) and boil it in low-medium heat. Once the raw smell of jaggery goes off, add scraped coconut & powdered rice and keep stirring to not form any lumps. When the mixture thickens, pressure cook to 2 whistles.

Heat little ghee and roast cashews until brown. Meanwhile, open the cardamom pods and crush the seeds. Add ghee, cashews and cardamom to kali and enjoy it with "ericha kozhambu"!

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