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Jan 7, 2012

Kali & kootu - Thiruvaadirai Special

Thiruvadirai festival is celebrated in the Tamizh Month of Maargazhi (Dhanur month of Malayalam calendar) on a full moon day when the 'Thiruvadirai' nakshatram falls. This festival is celebrated with prayers to Lord Shiva in the form of Nataraja (The divine cosmic dance posture of Lord Shiva).

click here to know more about this festival.
Traditional offerings to god are Kali (sweet) & Kootu (spicy & salty mixed vegetable curry). The making of kali & kootu differs in every household and so are the tastes, the best in their own way.


Sharing with you the recipe for Thiruvadirai kali & kootu as we prepare in our house. It is a simple dish without much of masal or tamarind.


For the Kali :

Thiruvaadirai kali


Ingridients :

The ratio for Rice rava to jaggery is 1:1.. If you find any more powder is left even after making kootu it canbe used in pulungari making or be used in any gravy curry you may make as a thickening agent.
  1. Raw Rice - 2 cups
  2. Jaggery - 2 cups*
  3. Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
  4. Salt - a pinch
  5. Water -  4 and 1/2 cups
  6. Grated Coconut - 3 tbsp
  7. Ghee - 3 tbsp
  8. Butter - 2 tsp
Procedure :

  • Wash and soak the raw rice for 10 minutes.
  • Drain completely and roast in a pan till it turns golden in colour
  • cool & powder it like rava (semolina / sooji). Keep aside 1tbsp powder separately to thicken the kootu gravy.
  • Dissolve Jaggery in water (as per the measure), heat, strain and clean the impurities
  • In a pan / kadai heat the jaggery syrup, add a pinch of salt and bring to boil
  • Keep the rava ready. 
  • Add the ghee and cardamom powder, slowly add the powdered roasted rice little by little stirring simultaneously without forming lumps
  • when the water dries up, swtich off the flame and keep it covered for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Open the lid, add grated coconut, mix well.
  • Top with 2 tsp butter & offer the neivedhyam to God

Kootu (curry) :- For the kootu, two vegetables are traditionally used. Avarakkai (broad beans) and Kaavathu kizhangu (the seasonal root vegetable rpurple in colour) are used. however, now many vegetables like elephant yam (Chenai kizhangu), Koorkai kizhangu (chinese potato), Pumpkin (manajl poosani), Raw banana (Vaazhai kaai), carrot and green peas are used which makes the kootu colourful too. So you can use all of them or any combination of your choice. Some families have some counts of ingridients like 7 or 5 vegetables etc. But I am sharing here the recipe as I prepare but it is minus kaavathu kizhangu as I don't get it in this part of India.



Ingridients :-

  1. Broad Beans (Avarakkai) diced - 2 cups
  2. Kavathu kizhangu cubes - 1/2 cup
  3. Koorkai kizhangu - 4 nos.
  4. Elephant yam (Chenai kizhangu) - 1/4 cup
  5. Pumpkin diced - 1/4 cup
  6. Green Chillies - 2 nos. (or as per preference)
  7. Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  8. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Water to cook the vegetables
  11. Coconut Oil, Mustard seeds, Urad dal for tempering.
  12. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  13. Roasted rice rava (used for kali)
Boil the vegetables in water adding salt and turmeric powder till they become tender. There should be some water remaining after cooking.
Crush the green chillies and mix it with the grated coconut. Mix this into the boiled vegetables.
Add the required amount of the roasted rice powder to thicken the curry to the required consistency
Put the curry leaves and temper mustard seeds & urad dal in coconut oil and add it to the curry.

This kootu and kali is offered early in the  morning to Lord Shiva along with prayers.

Enjoy the sweet and salty & spicy combination prashad listening to 'bho shambo...' sung by Sudha Raghunathan



2 comments:

Raji said...

Your kali and kootu look superb! I too made these today..and my daughter says that I should be making kali more often :)

Mira said...

Thank you Raji. Yes, kali (rice + jaggery) is very good for children as they are packed with carbs, iron and the kootu a multivitamin + mineral dish.

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