Kali (Thiruvadirai)

This sweet treat with Kootu (a sambhar like dish) is traditionally had as a combination, savoured by most people, including my husband and his family.
(Personally, I would like to eat them separately – the sweet treat as a dessert and the Kootu mixed with rice)
This treat is made with roasted raw rice and jaggery and tastes delicious!
The texture of the dish may vary depending on individuals’ family tradition and taste!!!

The memory of  this sweet treat takes me back to my childhood days and the recent visits to the Great World Heritage Temple in a small village called Madambakkam.

Madambakkam is a village about 20-25 kilometers from the heart of Chennai in India, which is our ancestral home and we have traditionally  celebrated this important day called Arudhra Darisanam year after year marking the birth of Lord Shiva Рat the historic Shiva Temple in this village.
This temple which was built in 956-973 AD is a great architectural building, and this day is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur at the temple
Naturally our family holds this temple and this day in high regard with great affection and affiliation – and on our visits to Chennai in the December holiday period, the ritualistic part of the day is the early morning trip to the temple accompanied by parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews!!! This pooja is performed in the early hours of the morning and generally falls in months of December or January!

This recipe is exclusively from my mother-in-law’s kitchen which looks and tastes awesome!!

Ingredients to serve 8-10 people

2 Cups Raw Rice
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Jaggery
2 1/2 Cups Water
4 Tbs Ghee
1 Tsp Cardamom Powder
3/4 Cup Grated Coconut
Handful of Chopped Cashew Nuts




Dry Roast the rice in a pan till it turns light brown in colour
Grind it into a coarse powder and pressure cook the coarse rice mix with the water till it is done (a couple of whistles)
(Another method, which is the traditional method is to bring the water to the boil, add the roasted rice and cook it till soft on a medium flame –
My preference
is to pressure cook it)

Add the powdered jaggery into the cooked rice in a large pan and mix it thoroughly till it solidifies
Dry roast the coconut slightly for a minute or two and add it finally into the mix
Fry the cashew nuts in the ghee till the nuts turn golden brown and add it to the above
Reduce the flame and stir the entire mix gently till it turns into a semi powdery mixture

Note: This sweet treat is traditionally eaten with the signature “kootu” dish made on this special day!
The Kali can be prepared as a semi solid mix too!



  1. Dear Shobha,
    I hv lost my diary wherein I had written d recipes n procedures followed by my MIL.
    You hv saved me since tomorrow s Arudra Darshanam. Vl let u know how it comes out.
    Tku n God bless u!

    • Shobha Krishnan says:

      Thanks MS and for your message to me after you followed the recipe and made it using the pressure cooker!! Greatly appreciate your feedback!! Regards