8 February 2012

Okkaarai / Ukkarai

A well-known sweet dish down south, especially prepared for Diwali in several places. It's quite easy to prepare and tastes absolutely marvelous.

Ukkaarai or Okkaarai is a traditional sweet that is associated with Diwali in most homes in Tamil Nadu.
It's a simple fare prepared with Bengal gram and jaggery, with cardamom enhancing its richness.


Ingredients :

Chana dal - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1.5 cups
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Cardamom (elaichi) pwd - 1/2 tsp
Chopped cashews for garnishing

Method :

1. Heat a kadhai, dry roast chana dal in it just till you start getting an aroma. Remove from fire. and soak in enough water for 1/2 hour.

2. Drain water and wrap the dal in a muslin cloth. Steam cook for about 15-20 mins in a cooker. Remove from fire and cool

3. Grind the steam-cooked dal in a mixer just to break it down into morsels. Do not grind too finely.

4. Melt jaggery in a thick-bottomed panusing just 1/4 cup water. Boil till a pearl consistency, i.e, if you place a drop of the syrup in a bowl of water, you should be able to roll the syrup into a ball, it should not dissolve or be stretchy.

5. Add the broken dal to the jaggery syrup aong with elaichi powder and broken cashewnuts. Stir well and serve as desired.
Tastes best when served slightly warm.


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