Monday, January 9, 2012

Thiruvathirai Kali

Thiruvathirai Kali is prepared on the auspicious occasion of Thiruvathirai. Cendanar of Naukoor, a disciple of Paddinattu Adigal, used to eat only after feeding some Saiva devotees. Due to a constant bad weather he could not get together all the essentials for a proper meal. He had no option but to mix water with flour and prepare a mashed paste. Lord Siva understood his predicament. He wanted the people to know how sincere his devotee was to him. Therefore he disguised himself as a Siva devotee and visited Cendanar’s hut and enjoyed what was given to him as food. The temple attendants saw the premises scattered with the mashed paste the following morning. Inquiries led to an understanding of Cendanar’s piety and he was thereafter bestowed with all due respect. This incident took place in a Markali Thiruvathirai. This is why Thiruvathirai Kali forms an important prasad on this holy day.

All these traditional sweets are loved by Sundar. He craves for them, I should say. And he loves to have Thalagam along with this.

I was under an impressions that Kali will be had as a dessert or just prasadham like other sweets. But when I was cooking Kali Sundar asked "How am I going to have this Kali?", I asked him to have this as a dessert after the lunch. But he was like this should be had like rice and Thalagam to go with it. I was like, what is Thalagam? Then he thought, if he explains now,  and teaches me, what am I going to prepare, and how they would taste?

But soon he asked, I phones my MIL and asked her the recipe for Thalagam. Sundar was so impressed with the lunch and loved every spoon of the food.

You need
1 cup Raw rice
1 1/2 cups grated jaggery
3 cups water
2 Tbsp Moong dhal
1 tsp cardamom powder
4 Tbsp grated coconut
Few Cashew nuts or raisins
4 Tbsp Ghee
a pinch of salt

Wash the raw rice in a water and rinse it. Immediately after rinsing put the rinsed rice in a Kadaai and fry it until the rice becomes golden brown color.

Grind the Raw Rice in a mixer and the rice powder should be like Rawa. Take the contents in a bowl.

Put the moongdhal in the kadaai and fry it till it becomes golden brown color and pour one cup of water to cook the dhal. It will take approximately 5 minutes to cook. The dhal need not cook completely. It should be in half boiled consistency. If you take one of the dhal and press it with your fingers, then it should get smashed. This is the right consistency.

While the dhal is getting cooked, you can prepare the jaggery juice in parallel.

Heat another pan, add water (till the jaggery immersed in the water completely) and add grated jaggery. When the jaggery dissolves completely in water, strain it to remove dust and sand particles. Keep the strained jaggery juice in a separate bowl.

Once the dhal is almost cooked, pour two cups water, strained jaggery juice and a pinch of salt.

When the jaggery mixture begins to boil, add the powdered rice and stir well to avoid lumps. (like we do for the preparation of upma)

Add the powdered cardamon, along with the grated coconut.
Make sure the kali is cooked well. Once you start adding the ghee, the rice is not going to cook further. Although, the grinding would be coarse, rub with your fingers, they should be soft. Which means they are cooked. Or else add very little water and cook further and then start adding ghee.

Fry the cashews or raisins in the ghee and add to the kali. Add the remaining ghee to the kali and stir it one.

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