Nellai Ulundhu Kali

Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Difficult Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr

Ulundhu Kali is a very famous and traditional dish in the Tirunelveli region. There are different recipes of this Ulundhu Kali in other parts of TamilNadu too with variation in the proportion of ingredients added. However, the key ingredient in this is the Whole Black Urad dal. My Amma is a specialist in making this Ulundhu Kali. Back in India, I remember her making this often for me. I was not a huge fan of this Kali then and my brother was the one who is interested in this. Amma had even won a prize in a cooking contest making this Kali. After marriage, Amma used to pack powdered Kali mix for me to bring in here. I make this often as I started liking it. The usual India visit did not happen this year and hence I chose to make it from the scratch using fresh ground Urad dal. Believe me, it tasted great and fresh.

Ulundhu Kali is very nutritious for women and young girls who are in their puberty stage. Urad dal is very important for women to strengthen their bones. Urad dal when combined with palm jaggery and gingelly oil helps to strengthen the pelvic bones. Do try to include this Kali often in their diet.


0/5 Ingredients
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0/6 Instructions
  • Soak 1/3 cup of Whole Black Urad dal along with two teaspoons of raw rice. Let it soak for about 5 - 6 hrs.
  • After it is soaked, add them to a mixer jar. Ground to a thick and fine paste.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan, add 1/2 cup of palm jaggery with half a cup of water. Let it dissolve and boil. Strain them to remove impurities.
  • Add the grounded Urad dal batter to the palm jaggery syrup and mix them together to avoid lumps. Do not place it on the stove while doing this.
  • Place the pan on the stove and begin cooking. After 4- 5 mins, the Kali will start to thicken. Add half of the gingelly oil and cook for another 5- 7 mins scrapping off the sides often
  • . After this add the rest of the oil and cook for another 3 - 4 mins. The kali will turn greenish-brown in color and begin to stop sticking to the bottom. Touch the kali to see if it doesn't stick to the hands. In this stage, switch off the kali and transfer to a serving dish.


  • I have made this recipe using fresh ground Urad dal batter. You can also make a dry powder of the same in a rice mill and store it.
  • Always make sure to use gingelly oil for this recipe. It tastes great and is healthy.
  • You can also add a pinch of dry ginger powder which is optional.
  • Keep cooking the Kali on a medium flame throughout the end. This will ensure uniform cooking and avoid burning at the bottom.
  • Kali can be made into balls after it is cooled down and stored for up to one week if handled properly.

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