Thiruvathira Kali and Kari are the naivedhyam items prepared for Thiruvathira. One of the rarest occasions when a savoury item, that too cooked vegetable, is offered to God along with a sweet dish (of course, ususally vada is offered with appam or kozhukkattai or payasam) as neivedhyam.
South Indians being rice eaters, most of the offerings also are made of rice. December-January being the season when root vegetables are harvested, these are included in the kari.
Raw Rice 1 cup
Greem gram dal 1/2 cup
Jaggery 21/2 to 3 cups(depending on individual liking)
Grated coconut 1/2 cup
Cardomom powder 1tsp.
Ghee 1 tbsp.
Wash the rice well and dry. Roast the dried rice to a light pink color and powder. Roast the green gram dal to a light brown color. Half cook the roasted dal. Melt the jaggery in 3 cups of water and strain to remove dirt and sand particles. In a large thick bottomed kadai pour the melted and strained jaggery and boil. Add the half cooked dal and grated coconut and cardomom powder. When the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat and add the roasted rice flour, little at a time, stirring well all the time. When all the rice flour has been added, keep stirring well until all the water has been absorbed and rice flour is well cooked. Add the ghee and mix well and remove.
The kali should have a shining surface when done.
This is the traditional kali as was being prepared from my childhood days. It can be optionaly decorated with cashewnuts and raisins fried in ghee, to make it richer.
This kali can be prepared in a pressure cooker with more ease. Cook the roasted green gram dal with one cup of water in the pressure cooker ( until one whistle ). Open and pour the strained jaggery, coconut gratings and cardomom powder. When the mixture starts boiling add the roasted rice flour gradually, stirring well. When all the rice flour has been added, close the cooker and reduce the heat to the minimum. When steam starts coming out , place the weight and cook for 15-20 mnts and switch off. Open the lid of the cooker after half an hour and pour the ghee and mix well. The kali would be ready.
Rice and green gram dal can be roasted in the microwave oven. Place the rice or dal in a thin layer in a cermaic or glass plate (do not use a plastic plate for this purpose) and microwave high for 1 minute. Mix well and microwave high again for 1 minute. Mix well and microwave high again for 1 minute. Mix well and microwave for 2 minutes in 70% power. Mix well and microwave for 2 minutes in 70% power 3 more times , mixing well in between.