Tuesday, November 02, 2010


What is the sweet for Diwali is the question in every one's mind. As I have always said, Ukkarai was the traditional sweet for Tambrams for a long time. In places like Puthucode, until few decades ago, there was no other sweet for Diwali. This was the easiest sweet to be made for all occasions when the menu demanded a sweet dish. I remember when we were very young, there was this custom of distributing idli, chutney and a sweet to all the extended family members on the eve of the death anniversary of our grandfather's parents. Ukkarai was made for that occasion also.Ukkarai is a very nutritious sweet as there is not much ghee in it and also it also does not have refined sugar. On  the positive side it is loaded with protein from the Chanadal and iron and carbohydrates from jaggery. It is easy to prepare as well.

Now for the recipe.


Chanadal: 1 cup
(Bengal gram)
Turmeric  powder: 1tsp
Salt : a pinch
Jaggery: 1 cup
Ghee: 1 tbsp.
Cashew nuts: 5 or 6
Raisins: 2 tsp
Cardamom powder: 2 tsp
Grated coconut: 2 tbsp


Wash and soak the chanadal in one cup of water for about an hour. Pressure cook the dal in the water it was soaked in until just cooked; alternatively microwave high for 8 minutes. Strain in a colander to drain all the water content (This water can be used for making rasam, sambar or any other curries).Grind the dal without adding any extra water. This should be a dry, thick, powdery mass.

Meanwhile melt the jaggery in a half cup of water. Strain to remove any impurities and heat again to get a hard consistency (kallupakam). Add the ground chana dal mixture and keep stirring continuously for a minute. Add the grated coconut and cardamom powder.Remove from heat and keep stirring continuously for 5-8 minutes until the dal mixture is coated with jaggery and it attains the consistency of jaggery coated dal powder .

Heat the ghee in a small pan; add the cashew nuts and raisins. When cashew nuts turn pink add the mixture to the Ukkarai. Mix well.Your Ukkarai is ready.


Happy Diwali

Tip: The jaggery syrup should be of right consistency or else the dal mixture would sink in it and you wont get a nice powdery ukkarai.


Vidhya said...

ukkarai looks perfect.

Swathi said...


Happy deepavali. Ukkarai looks super. Tomorrow i am going to make them. Nice you put it today. so that if i need i will check the recipe.Thanks

Ammupatti said...

Thank you Swathi and Vidya

Happy cooking and Happy Diwali!

Nalini said...

is that all the time it takes to make ukkarai. i always thought it needs a lot of stirring. shd try it.