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Raw rice

Desserts/ Quick n Healthy/ South Indian

Ulunthan Kali

This was my first time participating in Indian Cooking Challenge and I was very excited about it. Srivalli had asked us to prepare a traditional sweet from Tamilnadu. I had never heard the name before and surprisingly none of my Tamil friends were familiar with its name – “Ulunthan Kali”. As Srivalli explained, its known by various other names such as  Kummayam or Adi Kummayam or more popularly Thiruvadhirai Kali. The recipe was given by Padma.

The most impressive thing about this dish is its ingredients.; urad dal, rice, jaggery and sesame oil; all combined together to make a deliciously healthy dessert. The jaggery I used was quite pale in color, next time I plan to use darker jaggery to get a nice golden brown color.

ulunthan kali

Ulunthan kali

Ulunthan kali

A traditional dessert from Tamilnadu.

Note - Sesame oil can be substituted by ghee.



  1. Dry roast urad daal and rice separately on a medium flame. Set aside to cool down.
  2. Grind daal and rice to make a fine powder (consistency of fine rava)
  3. Heat a few table spoons of water in a pan and dissolve the jaggery.  Once it dissolves completely, switch off the heat, strain the water and keep it aside.
  4. In the same pan, take 2 cups of water, add the jaggery syrup to it and bring it to boil.
  5. Add the daal and rice powder to the boiling water, and mix well. Add cashews if you like.
  6. Let it cool for 4-5 minutes, until it reaches halwa like consistency. 
  7. Add sesame oil or ghee and mix well. Let it cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Finally add some cardamom powder and keep the lid closed and take it off the heat.
  9. You might want to add a pinch of salt to balance out sweetness.

When I told my colleague that I was going to try Kali recipe, he got very excited. He started explaining me the recipe and he referred Sesame oil as “Nalla Ennai”. Sesame oil is so good for health that they refer to it as “Good Oil” in colloquial Tamil. I must admit, I really liked the flavor.

Urad daal helps improve our immune system and jaggery is rich in calcium and iron. This sweet is so nutritious that it’s given to girls especially at the time of puberty to strengthen their spinal cord and back bones. I really liked it.

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