Thiruvathirai kali recipe for the festival to offer as prasadam. A traditional sweet adai which is our family practice - two in one post with step by step pictures, quick videos.
🎉 About the festival
Thiruvathirai or Arudra Darisasam is a Hindu festival (Shaivite) celebrated in south Indian states, Tamil nadu and Kerala. The star thiruvathirai belongs to Lord Shiva.
It celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva.
In Chidambaram Sri Natarajar temple, it is celebrated for 10 days in a grand manner. It is celebrated amongst the other 5 sabhas in Madurai, Thiruvalangadu, Tirunalveli and Kutralam.
Thiruvathirai festival is celebrated on full moon day in the Tamil month of Margazhi, which usually falls on December or early January.
🙏How to celebrate?
In our family, we prepare Thiruvathirai kali, a sweet thiruvathirai adai and kootu with 7 vegetables. It is offered early in the morning and perform poojai, worship lord Shiva.
We celebrate Thiruvathirai festival without any break, even if someone passes in family still it's mandatory that Thiruvathirai alone should be celebrated.
I wish to make this festival a mandatory one at home to make sure my kid knows about it. So I too every year will definitely celebrate this one.
What to offer as Prasadam?
At our home, it is a ritual to make Kali with roasted and pound rice, dal cooked with Jaggery, cardamom, ghee and coconut as main ingredients.
Our special offering is Sweet adai which we make 7 in numbers. It is supposed to be in same size, and should not break before offering. Top it with fresh butter and offer.
Both of these along with 7 vegetable kootu. Other than this, we make the regular festival menu such as south Indian paruppu, no onion no garlic sambar, nellikai thayir pachadi, poriyal.
I keep it simple as ours is a small family and do less items keeping kali, kootu and adai alone a must.
How to make Thiruvathirai Kali
To make Thiruvathirai kali - Firstly, Roast rice and moong dal until it turns golden in color. Secondly, powder it, cook in jaggery syrup to get a sweet Kali.
We make fluffy kali, so we break the rice instead of powdering it too fine like a flour. We even use a grain grinder in stone (enthiram) just like how we have ammi, ural- ulakkai or kodagal.
So break rice carefully in the enthiram. Unlike mixie, enthiram gives evenly broken grains, perfect for the kali.
These grains take longer time to get cooked than the fine powder.
So I cook the rice and dal first, later add jaggery syrup and cook furthermore to get Kali ready.
Thiruvathirai Kali recipe
- ½ cup Raw rice
- 2 tablespoon paasi paruppu moong dal
- ½ cup Jaggery
- ¼ cup Coconut
- 1 pinch Cardamom
- 1 teaspoon Ghee
- 1 cup water
- salt - A pinch
- Heat a pan and dry roast rice and dal well until it turns golden in color.
- You can roast separately or even together. Do not do in low flame, do it in high flame or medium flame to ensure nice browning which gives distinct flavor to the kali.
- Cool down completely.
- Grind in small batches to coarse powder, I like to keep it as noi (grits) rather than coarse flour. It's your choice, both way it works well only texture differs.
- If ground in single batch, chances are there for un even powdering, so do it in batches and use pulse option in the mixie.
- Take jaggery in a vessel and add water just to immerse it.
- Heat until jaggery dissolves.
- Filter it to remove any impurities. Use as below.
Pot in pot method
- Take ground rice + dal in a vessel. Add salt, 1 cup water (1: 2 water ratio).
- Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
- Since I do with less water ratio, I do in pot in pot method to avoid burnt bottom.
- I did pot in pot method. That is keep a vessel inside pressure cooked to cook.
- Once pressure is released naturally, add jaggery syrup, cardamom, coconut to it.
- Cook in a pan until the syrup is absorbed and becomes fluffy (4 mins appoximately in medium flame)
- Add ghee towards end.
One pot method
- You can also do directly but take care not to burn. Depending on pressure cooker, it may take 1 whistle to 3 whistle. Refer notes for tips.
- For this method, take pond rice + dal, water (water ratio is 1:3), salt, Jaggery (or syrup)
- Once pressure is released naturally, open the cooked. There may be some jaggery syrup in the top.
- Switch on the stove again, add coconut, cardamom powder and cook furthermore.
- Add ghee gradually and cook until syrup is absorbed.
- Depending on your preference, heat some ghee and roast cashews until golden.
- Add to the kali and serve.
- I powder the rice to little bigger particles, so cook it first and then add jaggery. Adding jaggery along rice will make rice cooking difficult. So I feel the rice in kali not cooked properly. That's why I adapt cooking rice rice and then adding jaggery. If you feel it's not traditional, you can choose to cook rice powder in jaggery syrup.
- Few of you doubt if this is same tasting as pongal but no, it is not. Since we roast the rice until flavourful, it is totally different in flavor as well as texture.
- Roast the rice really well until reddish, then only it will turn flavorful. If not, it may also turn gooey instead of fluffy result.
- Some rice take more water to get cooked. Also roasting makes it absorb more water. So increase water as needed while cooking in direct pressure cooker method.
- To avoid burnt bottom in direct cooker method, notice the whistle duration. Some will come fast (smaller cooker) and some may take longer. So keep an eye after one whistle, if it takes too long, you can switch off the stove accordingly.
- Making the flour too fine will easily lead to burnt bottom, so cook carefully.
📸 Step by step photos
1. Heat a pan and dry roast rice and dal well until it turns golden in color.
2. You can roast separately or even together. Do not do in low flame, do it in high flame or medium flame to ensure nice browning which gives distinct flavor to the kali.
3. Cool down completely.
1. Grind in small batches to coarse powder, I like to keep it as noi (grits) rather than coarse flour. It's your choice, both way it works well only texture differs.
2. If ground in single batch, chances are there for un even powdering, so do it in batches and use pulse option in the mixie.
1. Take jaggery in a vessel and add water just to immerse it.
2. Heat until just jaggery dissolves. Filter it to remove any impurities. Use as below.
Pot in pot method
1. Take ground rice + dal in a vessel. Add salt, 1 cup water (1: 2 water ratio).
2. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
3. Since I do with less water ratio, I do in pot in pot method to avoid burnt bottom.
This is pot in pot method. That is keep a vessel inside pressure cooked to cook.
4. Once pressure is released naturally, add jaggery syrup, cardamom, coconut to it.
5. Cook in a pan until the syrup is absorbed and becomes fluffy (4 mins approximately in medium flame)
6. Add ghee towards end.
Depending on your preference, heat some ghee and roast cashews until golden.
Add to the kali and serve.
Sweet adai for Thiruvathirai
For thiruvathirai, most of the people make only Kali and kootu. Adai is our family special. Its a must for us to make this and we should also make this carefully without breaking the adai for the well being and goodness of the family.
- Rice flour - 1 cup
- Jaggery - ¾ cup
- Coconut ,grated - ¼ cup
- cardamom, powdered - 1
- Salt - a pinch
- water - 1 cup (May vary if using store bought rice flour or home made rice flour)
Sweet rice adai method:
- Usually my mom, MIL uses freshly ground rice flour, but I used the ready made idiyappam flour, which always gives a handy help to me. If you are using rice flour that usually available in market or fresh homemade rice flour, dry roast just a little to heat up the flour. Boil water with jaggery.
- Stir till jaggery dissolves and remove (strain)any impurities.
- Add the rice flour,coconut gratings, cardamom, salt and stir well.
- Initially it will look like forming lumps, but if you continuously stir it you will get a smooth non sticky dough.
- The key is the dough should be already ¾ th cooked. Then only we will get soft and non breakable adais.
- Also the dough should not be too stiff and tight, it should be soft, then only you will be able to flatten the dough without the sides breaking.
- In case it is stiff, keep some boiling water ready and add to the dough to soften it.
- Make 7 equal sized balls out of it and flatten in a greased butter paper, (or in plantain leaf)one by one.
- I used my butter paper for this. Once the adai is flattened, transfer to the tawa by inverting the paper/ banana leaf over hot tawa. Toast both sides with ghee little drizzled in the tawa in medium flame.
- Cook slow, do not flip often. press gently for even browning. Take care not to break the adai as these are meant not to be broken.
Top with butter and enjoy!! Tastes heaven 😊.
- Don’t roast the rice flour too much as it will make the adai break. My mom and mami roasts until flavourful though.
- Turn just once,if you keep on turning then too the adai will break.
- As you cook the adai, stack it in the plate you are going to offer to god, to avoid breaking during transferring.