Ukkarai. Okkarai is a traditional dal preparation for Diwali mornings in many Tamil Brahmin households in Tirunelveli areas.
I never imagined that thiswould be my 600 th post ad and that too for a traditional well loved dish at home.
Diwali is all about snacks savories and lots of sweets , so here is one dish that is truly healthy and meets with the sweet festive standards too..No wonder that is the reason this is served in the morning on the day of Diwali I imagine.
Recipes usually ask you to prepare a jaggery syrup to mix with the cooked crumbled dal mixture but I have taken a short route as I just cannot be bothered about making syrups and trying to get the nice crumbly mixture .I have used a native / palm jaggery powdered that is low on sweet and used little ghee.
So if you feel you need to make the jaggery syrup, please go ahead and try, you need to make a almost string consistency, that is the syrup should be thick , and add the cooked powdered mixture, stir till dry and crumb like. Garnish with nuts and grated coconut.
Now my way...
1 cup chana dal / kadalai parupu
3/4 cup Moong dal ( green gram )
Pinch of cardamom powder
2 tbsp toasted cashew nuts and raisins
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut ( optional)
1 cup powdered native /palm jaggery
1-2 tbsp ghee
In a pan dry roast both the dals and keep soaked in water for 45 minutes.
After it is well soaked, drain water completely and take it to the mixie to be ground to a coarse paste.
Do no add water while grinding as we need a thick coarse batter.
Remove batter and steam it in a pressure cooker, just like we do for Idli, or take a steel plate, grease it, place batter on the plate and steam it till cooked .
When the steamed batter is cooled, run it in the mixie to get a even coarse powdery consistency.
Now take a pan, add the ghee, add the powdered dal mixture, add the cardamom powder, mix well on low heat, add powdered jaggery , there should be no lumps,add the grated fresh coconut. Add more powdered jaggery if you want it a little ore sweet.
Add the roasted fried cashewnuts.
Remove from flame and your delicious healthy yummy dal puttu aka Ukkarai as it is the traditional name for this dish is ready to be eaten ..
Usually this forms one of the breakfast items serve during Diwali.
It is made fresh on the Diwali morning to be served hot .
If you do not want to add jaggery , you can add some tbsps of sugar too.
The dal paste can also be cooked on a non stick flat dosa tava with 1 tsp of ghee..just spread it around like a adai / dosa batter, with fingers and allow to cook on a very low flame, flip over to cook both sides, when done, allow to cool before grinding coarsely in the mixie.