Thiruvadirai Kali and 7-Kari Kootu - Using Pressure Cooker

By Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Today is Aarudra Darisanam, a shaivite festival celebrated on the full moon day on the tamizh month of margazhi(December-January),also considered the longest night of the year. Aarudra or Thiruvadirai is the star of Lord shiva and this Margazhi Thriuvadirai is specially celebrated as Aarudra Darisanam. 

Thiruvadirai kali
When i was googling for the significance of Aarudra, all the storied pointed towards the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva in his Nataraja form. Arudhra signifies the golden red flame and Shiva performs the dance in the form this red-flamed light.This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of all energy. Arudra Darshan celebrates this ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva.
This festival is mainly observed in the Tamil speaking world.Since it is the Star of Lord Shiva, this day is considered to be his Happy Birthday!!!! So, here is the traditional offering from a Tamil home to Lord Shiva!!! 

1/2 Cup Rice
1 tbsp Moong dal
1 Cup grated jaggery
4-5 cardamom pods, crushed
2-3 tbsp roasted cashew-nuts (optional)
  • In a pressure cooker,  dry roast the rice until it turns reddish brown. Take care not to burn, keep the flame low and roast it. Take it off the flame. Let it cool. 
  • In the same cooker, dry roast the moong dal also to golden brown. Let it cool. Take both rice and dal in a mixer and grind it little coarse powder.
  • In the cooker, add the grated jaggery and 2.5 cups of water, let it boil and jaggery melt. Take it off the flame and strain for impurities. 
  • Take the strained jaggery syrup back to stove in the cooker, when measured it was 2 cups, now add another 1 cup of water and crushed cardamom to this.
  • When the mixture starts boiling, add the coarsely ground rice-dal mixture, mix well. Add a tbsp of ghee to this, mix well. Close the cooker, put the whistle on.
  • Pressure cook in a medium flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release on it own. Remove the whistle and mix well, garnish with roasted cashew-nuts.

For 7-Kari Kootu
1 no Sweet Potato
1 no Plantain
4-5 nos brinjals
1 no radish
1 no carrot
1 slice of yellow pumpkin (about 8-10 cubes)
1/4 cup dried green beans
1/4 cup toor dal
a small lemon-sized tamarind
salt to taste
Thiruvadirai kootu
To roast and grind
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp chana dal/gram dal
2 tbsp raw rice
5-6 nos red chilies
handful of curry leaves
2 tbsp grated coconut

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp methi seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 nos red chilies
1/4 tsp hing/asafoetida
  • Wash and chop all the veggies to Cubes, and soak them in water until use. All the veggies should be of the size to ease even cooking. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract around 2 cups of tamarind extract.
  • If using dried beans,soak them overnight. I always have pre-soaked beans in my freezer all the time, so i used them while cooking. In case you are using fresh beans, you can use it straight, without soaking. 
  • Roast all the ingredients given under Roast and grind one by one and grind it with 1/4 cup water to a fine paste.
  • In a Pressure pan, heat oil given under "Tempering", splutter mustard seeds, add methi/fenugreek seeds, add hing, turmeric, red chilies and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Drain the veggies and add it to the pan, saute well for 2-3 minutes. next add the tamarind extract, toor dal, ground paste and 1 cup water. add salt, mix well.
  • When the mixture starts boiling, close the lid, put the whistle on, pressure cook in a medium flame, for 2-3 whistles. i cooked for 3 whistles.
  • Take it of the flame, let the pressure release on its own, remove the lid of the pressure pan, mix well with a laddle, check the consistency shouldn't be watery, if yes, then boil for some more time. Mine was perfect, just add fresh coriander leaves. Serve it along with Thiruvadirai Kali!!!
Check out the Kali made using Barnyard millet/Kuthiraivali kali

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  1. Nice kootu recipe,sounds interesting and flavorful.We do make this for Thiruvadirai slightly different with moong dhal.Kali and kootu is such a wonderful combo,I can feel the taste and flavor from your clicks...

  2. Such beautiful pictures and nice reading about our poojas..

  3. both dishes look amazing - love all the veggies in the kootu

  4. kali and kootu looks so delicious and yummy !! very nice clicks :) very nice pressure cooker recipe !!

  5. Wow! love the first picture with the smoke from the incense stick...very nice traditional dishes!

  6. Love both the traditional dishes served in traditional brass dishes.
    Can we substitute rice rava in the dish?

  7. Both Kali and Kootu look delicious. I loved the vessels in which you have served them.

  8. Both the dishes sound delicious. Very traditional.

  9. Loved the description about Lord Shiva's dance. The traditional recipes kali and kootu look so good and i can feel the aroma reading your lovely recipes.
    Wonderful share.

  10. The dish looks delicious. Love the lord Shiva story. Will try it on Shivratri.

  11. Priya, knowledge about this tradition is so enlightening. I just love how we learn so much from each other. Coming to the both the sweet and savoury offering, both look so tempting.

  12. This is indeed a treat Priya. Loved reading your post and reading the recipes, I can almost smell the aroma of these wonderful traditional recipes.

  13. Both are looking & sounding delicious but as sweets/desserts are my weakness, I was wondered to see such a delicious and easy recipe of Thiruvadirai Kali. Would love to try it sometime.

  14. I have not tried many south Indian style sweets or desserts, but this simple and delicious looking dish is so tempting. I love it's colour and texture.

  15. Both the dishes look super tempting and delicious...Love such traditional recipes!! I can imagine the flavours and I'm sure they must have tasted out of the world!!

  16. I have fond memories of my mother every time I make this kali or even read about it. She made the best Tiruvadharai kali and I make it often now to keep her kai manam alive. Looks lovely and such a festive presentation.

  17. Looks flavoursome with all those spices. This sweet is often made at home and it tastes good with jaggery.


Thanks a Lot for taking your time out and Visiting my Kitchen!!!!! Your Valuable Comments keep me going!!! Feel free to ask your doubts , i will definitely try reply you back. Good Day!!!