Happy Indian Independence Day!!!  What better way to celebrate this day than to join the Indian Cooking Challenge.  Indian Cooking Challenge is a monthly event showcasing traditional Indian specialties.  I am so exciting to join this journey of learning the intricacies of Indian cuisine.  The leader is Srivalli, the Blogging Marathon leader and I am so happy she allowed me to join this group of elusive cooks.

Ulathan Kali is a traditional dish from the Tamil Nadu state of India. Padma gave us a few different variations of this traditional recipe we could use.  This is a calcium rich, protein rich dish.

Ulathan Kali

(click here for printable recipe)
1 cup urad dal (hulled & split black gram, aka ivory lentil
1/2 cup rice
1 cup jaggery, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 cups water
2 tablespoons. light sesame oil (This is not the sesame oil available in most Asian markets.  This oil is made for unroasted sesame seeds, so is much paler in color.  It is sold in Indian markets as gingelly oil.)

Dry roast rice and urad dal until golden.  Grind to a fine powder consistency.  This took about 15 minutes and I think I probably should have ground it more.

Melt the jaggery with a tablespoon of water over low heat until completely liquefied.

Bring water to a boil.  Add rice/dal mixture and 1 tablespoon of the oil with the jaggery.  Cook until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes on medium high heat.
Add cardamom and the rest of the oil.  Mix well.

This was my very first time making anything of this kind.  Next time, the urad dahl needs to be ground finer and I probably should cook it longer to get the solid halvah like consistency of the other ICC participants..but hey there’s always a learning curve and I love the opportunity to experiment within this cuisine.  Regardless, mine still tasted good.

Chef Mireille 
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