Kali - Serves 2


  • 1/2 cup raw rice

  • 2 tablespoons moong dal

  • 1/2 cup jaggery

  • 1/4 cup coconut (diced to small bits or slices)

  • A pinch of cardamom powder

  • 2 teaspoons ghee

  • 1.5 cups water

  • Handful of cashews (optional)


Kali is one such dish where the fine texture of ground rice and dal elevates its flavour. Hence it is best to have them ground at the local mill store. If this is difficult, then you can opt to grind at home, in the mixie jar in batches.

  • To begin the dish, rinse the rice and dal and dry in open space under shade (around 3 to 4 hours should do). Keep the two grains separated.

  • Once sun-dried, place a pan on medium flame and dry roast the rice and dal separately. Allow the grains to turn golden brown. This further adds flavour to the dish. Allow the grains to cool down completely.

  • After this, you can either grind the mix at the local mill to a fine powder or at home in a mixie. The at-home grinding may yield a coarse powder, though the taste will be the same.

  • For the jaggery syrup, take a thick-bottom kadai. Add the crushed jaggery and water level just sufficient to immerse the jaggery. Stir on medium flame till the jaggery dissolves. Filter the mix to remove any impurities. Keep this jaggery syrup aside.

  • Take a pan and add 2 teaspoons of ghee. Sauté the diced coconut for 20 seconds and add the jaggery syrup and cardamom powder. Keep on medium flame.

  • Add the 1.5 cups of water. When the water begins to boil add the ground rice and dal mix. Stir well till a consistency of upma is reached (almost no separate water should be visible). Switch off the stove.

  • Take a thick bottom vessel to place in pressure cooker. Grease well with ghee. Transfer the mix to the greased vessel.

  • Pressure cook for 4 whistles. Allow the steam to settle down naturally and then open the whistle.

  • Garnish with ghee sautéed cashews (optional).

  • Add ghee if required and serve hot!

Popular accompaniments: Thalagam, 7-kari kootu or Avial.