Thiruvadhirai Kali

Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Difficult Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins

With a school going kid and a toddler at home who are keeping me on to the toes, blogging had taken a back seat for a year. One of my 2020 new year resolutions was to keep my blog up and going. On this wonderful day of Thiruvadhirai or Arudhra Dharisanam, here comes the first post of this year on “Thiruvadhirai Kali”.

Thiruvadhirai is a south-Indian festival celebrated in the Margazhi month for Lord Shiva. This is celebrated widely in the regions of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is believed to be the birthday of Lord Shiva with Thiruvadhirai as the birth star. It is celebrated by many with fasting and taking Kali which is made of Rice, moong dhal, and Ghee alongside Thalagam / Curry made of seven vegetables.

In our household, we prepare only Kali to celebrate this festival. The ingredient that goes into this Kali might be very simple, however, the measurement and technique to prepare this is the key. We need to make sure it is not too dry or gooey like a halwa. This is a very healthy recipe and we love this one. Do try and leave your comment below.


0/9 Ingredients
Adjust Servings


0/7 Instructions
  • Measure a cup of raw rice and Moong dal and dry roast them in a heavy-bottomed Kadai. They usually turn golden in color, which should take about 5- 7 mins. Add three cardamom pods to it and switch off the stove.
  • Keep them aside and let them cool down to room temperature. Coarsely grind them on a mixie in a Rava/sooji like consistency. Set it aside.
  • Meanwhile, dissolve one cup of Jaggery to one cup of water and set it aside. Heat the jaggery gently for about 3- 5 mins and strain off to remove impurities. Set this aside.
  • Heat a pressure cooker and pour 1.5 cups of water to it. Add one tsp of ghee to it. Let it come to a boil. Simmer the stove and swiftly transfer the coarsely grounded rice-dal mixture. Using a whisk to mix this vigorously avoid the formation of lumps.
  • Close the pressure cooker with a lid for about 3- 4 mins and let it cook. Open the lid to check if it's half cooked. Pour the jaggery syrup and whisk continuously until they all come together. Close with the pressure cooker lid and let it cook on low flame for 10 mins or until one whistle comes. Switch off the stove.
  • Heat the rest of the Ghee in a pan and roast the cashews, raisins, and finely chopped coconut bits until golden. Pour them on to the kali and cook without lid for another 2 mins.
  • This stays well for a day or two when used with a clean and dry spoon. It tastes completely divine when served both hot and cold.


  • The addition of Ghee on the boiling water at the beginning avoids the rice-dal mix from sticking.
  • Kali made this way is very soft. You can also try using a pressure cooker after step 5 and leave it for 2 whistles.
  • The addition of coconut bits is optional. You can avoid it if you don’t like it.
  •  The consistency of the Kali depends on the grounded texture. Kali becomes too dry if it is very coarse and become a halwa when finely ground. Make sure to get a Rava/sooji texture.

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