Sweet and Spice on a Platter – Thiruvadarai Kali and Kozhambu
The cold Marghazi / Dhanur month of our Tamil Calendar brings in a series of early morning pujas and delicious prasadams, Ven Pongal being a standard neivedhyam for every Dhanur masa pujai. On the full moon day of this month, we celebrate Thiruvadarai, which has many a concept attached to it. Some say this is the day Shiva entranced his devotees with his Cosmic Dance, while some believe that Lord Shiva agreed to marry Goddess Parvathy and so, the beliefs go on. This is the day of the Aarudra/Thiruvadarai star which can be spotted shining bright red like a ruby, in the North-West skies.
The unique thing that is common across most tamil households is the Kali, that is made as prasadam on this day along with the Ezhukari kootu/kozhambu. This awesome combination is mouth-watering and irresistible.
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 tablespoon Toor Dal
- 1 cup Jaggery (adjust acc to taste)
- ½ cup grated coconut
- 3 cups water
- 1tbsp ghee
Wash the rice and dry roast till it turns brown. Cool it down and pulse it so the rice is broken. Sieve the broken rice and discard the fine powder. Boil the Toor Dal separately till it is half cooked.
Now boil 3 cups of water. (You can adjust the water according to how your rice cooks). Add the roasted broken rice to the boiling water and cook. In a separate pan, boil water and dissolve the jaggery in it. Add the half cooked toor dal and grated coconut and let it boil for a few minutes. We don’t need a one string consistency for this recipe. Add this jaggery water to the cooked rice and transfer the contents to a pressure cooker. Cook for 2 whistles (adjust according to your cooker). This helps in getting the kali to be soft and fluffy instead of being pasty.
Heat ghee in a pan and roast the almonds, cashews, raisins and cardamom. Add this to the hot kali and enjoy!
EZHUKARI KOOTU / KOZHAMBU Recipe
Ezhukari kozhambu, as the name suggests has seven vegetables in it. You can use more than seven too. It tastes awesome when taken with the Kali.
- 4 cups Mixed vegetables (Carrots, Peas, Ash gourd, French Beans, Red Pumpkin, Potatoes, Cucumber, Flat Beans)
- 1- 1/2 cups toor dal
- 1/2 cup tamarind soaked in hot water
- Salt to taste
- 1/4th tsp turmeric powder
For Frying and Grinding:
- 2tbsp chana dal
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 5-6 red chillies
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1 tsp raw rice
- ½ cup grated coconut
- 2 tsps ghee
- 1tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4th tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- 8-10 curry leaves
Pressure cook the Toor Dal and keep it aside. Use the soaked Tamarind to make 5 cups of Tamarind water. Boil the vegetables in Tamarind water along with Turmeric and salt as required. Roast all the ingredients for the masala in very little oil and grind it in a mixer. Once the vegetables are par boiled, add this ground masala to the tamarind water and boil. When the vegetables are cooked, add the boiled Toor Dal along with little water left over from cooking the dal, for getting the consistency of the kozhambu.
Heat ghee in a seasoning spoon and add all the ingredients for seasoning. Once they splutter, add it to the kozhambu. Our Ezhukari Kozhambu is ready to be served with Kali.
Enjoy our traditional Kali and Kozhambu that taste like heaven, on a cold Marghazi Day!