Thiruvadirai Kali (A Sweet Breakfast Dish)

Thiruvadirai is a festival that is celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva. It is a regional festival celebrated mainly in Tamizhnadu and Kerala. Legend has it that it is the birthday of Lord Shiva. Whatever the case may be, the festival comes with a delectable breakfast that is prepared in all homes from these two states. What is unique is that the kali is sweet whereas the kootu is savoury. They are eaten in combination and tastes heavenly. I will break up my post into two – kali (detailed here) and kootu separately.

1 cup rice (I used brown rice)
1 1/2 cups date paste
3/4 cup grated coconut
A handful of cashew nuts
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
Roast the rice in a wok till it emanates a nice aroma
Transfer to a blender and grind to the consistency of semolina (ravai, suji)
Set aside|
Boil the date paste (with a little water)
When it begins to boil, reduce flame and add grated coconut
Mix well
Add the ground rice and stir continuously to prevent the formation of any lumps
Cook till the mixture begins to thicken, but still a little watery
Transfer this mixture to a pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles (no need to add water)
Let the steam release naturally and open the lid
Transfer to a serving bowl
Roast the cashew nuts and add to the dish
Garnish with cardamom powder
Serve hot with Thiruvadirai kootu (recipe provided separately)
Note: In the picture, the brown dish on the plate (not bowl) is the kali.

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