Kadalai urundai, also known as peanut jaggery balls is a quick to make snack with roasted peanuts and jaggery. It is a popular dish in Southern India and made during Karthigai festival in Tamilnadu.Jump to Recipe
Table of contents
Karthigai festival, a festival of lights in Tamilnadu, India. The festival falls on full moon day of Tamil month karthigai, between November – December. It is during this festival, we decorate our homes with rows and rows of diyas, just like how North-Indians celebrate Diwali.
Kadalai mittai or urundai, is an emotion for many of us. A poor man’s treat and a low cost protein snack. Your inner child will dance again, whenever you pop a kadalai mittai into your mouth.
Traditional food generally made during kaarthigai festival are
there are few who make other recipes too, but the above is the general list.
Apart from the dishes mentioned above, the lunch/dinner spread would have vadai, payasam etc.
- Peanuts, buy good quality peanuts. Fresh ones. If you can get skinless, roasted and unsalted, then it is more convenient.
- Jaggery, buy paagu vellam/jaggery, it will be mentioned on the cover paagu vellam. Do not try with Achu vellam or jaggery shaped into square cubes, you won’t get proper syrup consistency. Been there and done that.
- Flavorings, Cardamom powder is usually used.
Hard ball or Soft Ball Consistency
What is this hard ball and soft ball consistency. While making jaggery syrup these are the stages of the syrup.
- Soft Ball consistency, When you drop spoon of syrup into a bowl of water, the syrup should stay. You should be able to collect that syrup and roll it into a soft ball. This is soft ball consistency.
- Hard Ball consistency, this is the next stage after soft ball. After rolling the syrup into a ball, when you drop it on a plate, it should make a sound, when a stone hits a steel plate “nngg” sound.
Which consistency is suitable for making kadalai mittai/peanut balls? Some prefer soft ball and some hard ball. Soft ball consistency kadalai mittai will have that pull you get while eating a caramel chocolate.
Whereas hard ball consistency will have crispy and crunchy sound when you eat the kadalai urundai.
So choose the taste and the jaggery syrup consistency accordingly. I prefer the in-between stage of soft and hard ball consistency.
Step by Step instructions to make Kadalai mittai
Please check recipe card below for exact measurements of each ingredient used and also for the detailed instructions
- Grate the jaggery and keep it aside. if you have got peanuts with skin then we have to remove the skin. Roast the peanuts in a wide pan, in a medium flame. Once nicely roasted, take it in a kitchen cloth and rub to remove the skin. Keep the skinned and roasted peanuts aside, let it cool down.
- I roasted mine the in Microwave. Microwave High for 5 minutes and let it cool down for a minute. Take it out and remove the skin as mentioned above.
- Let us make the jaggery syrup. This is a very important step to get a good urundai. Add 2-3 tablespoon of water to the grated jaggery, and heat it. Let it melt, strain for any impurities. Wash the vessel well. Take the jaggery syrup to heat again. Let it come to a rolling boil.
- To check for the syrup consistency, keep a small bowl of water by the side, dip a spoon in the syrup and add it to the bowl of water, you should be able to roll the syrup into a ball. We are looking for a hard ball consistency.
- Once the syrup reaches the consistency, add the roasted peanuts, cardamom powder and roasted coconut pieces to this and mix well. Take it off the stove and transfer the contents to flat plate.
- Grease your hands with ghee and start making ping-pong sized balls out of the peanut jaggery mixture. You have to act quick, and not let the mixture to cool down.
- Let this cool down well. Store it in an air-tight container and enjoy.
Tips & Tricks to get it Right
- First do not panic with regard to jaggery consistency. Be calm and prepared so you will know when the syrup reaches the right point.
- Keep a bowl of water handy while making the syrup, so you can test the syrup consistency.
- One way to know is, the syrup will start frothing and blooming. As you get used to making such sweets you will know it by looking.
- If you feel it is too hot for you to make the balls, use little rice flour on your ghee greased hands and try. Even then you feel you are not able to then just pour the peanut jaggery mix on to a greased tray and enjoy it as brittle/squares like this peanut brittle
Kadalai Urundai | Peanut Jaggery Balls
- 1 Cup Peanuts roasted, unsalted, skinless preferred
- ½ cup grated jaggery
- 3-4 pods cardamom, seeds alone crushed
- 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut/dried coconut chopped into small pieces optional
- Before switching on the stove, lets prep the table. Grate the jaggery and keep it ready. Crush cardamom pods and discard the skin, crush the seeds well and keep aside. Grease a small plate with ghee and keep it ready
- If using dried coconut pieces, then it has to be roasted crisp. Add a teaspoon of ghee to a saucepan and when hot, add the chopped coconut pieces to it. Roast in a medium flame until golden brown and crisp, you will hear crackling sound when it is roasted well. Remove and keep aside.
- If you are using peanuts with skin, then we have a little work. Roast the peanuts in medium flame, until you hear crackle sound. Take the peanuts in a wide plate and rub it with kitchen towel to remove the skin. I have a big bamboo dustpan, i took the peanuts in it and rubbed it well and removed the skin. Let the peanuts cool completely before adding it to jaggery syrup.
- I roasted the peanuts in the microwave. Take the peanuts in a microwave safe plate. Add a drop of oil and massage it well on the peanuts. Microwave high for 5 minutes. Let it sit inside the microwave for another minute. Take it out and remove the skin as mentioned above. Let the peanuts cool completely before adding it to jaggery syrup.
- Now lets prepare the jaggery syrup, take the grated jaggery in a pan, add 2 tablespoon of water and heat it, when it melts, strain for impurities and take the jaggery water again to the stove.
- When it starts bubbling well, check for hard ball consistency, use a spoon, dip it in the syrup and drop it in a bowl of water, you should be able to roll the dropped syrup into a ball.
- Now add the roasted peanuts, crushed cardamom, coconut, give it a quick stir. Take it off the stove, pour it on to another plate.
- Grease your hands with little ghee and start making ping-pong sized balls out of the peanut-jaggery mix. You need to act quick and not allow the mix to cool down.
- If you find the mix too hot to handle, use little rice flour on to your ghee greased hands and try making the peanut balls.
- Once done, let this cool down well. Store it in an air-tight container and enjoy. They stay good on kitchen counter well for days.
These delicious kadalai urundai’s are a great snack for travels and school. They stay pretty good in room temperature when kept in an air-tight container. It takes less than 30 minutes to make this healthy, protein & iron rich snack.