Traditionally for the thiruvaadhirai festival kali, powdered rice cooked in boiled jaggery and coconut is prepared and consumed paired with the aezhu kari kootu. I love most of the special dishes that are prepared on each such occasion. One may wonder how a sweet dish will taste paired with a spiced vegetable preparation. It tastes extremely good possibly because that is not a regular dish cooked often.
My mother usually prepares the kali a little extra because I relish it. My sister's mother-in-law prepares the pulikkali also on this occasion. However, this is a very delicious dish that I prepare it not just for a special occasion, but whenever I want a variety for tiffin / light dinner. It is so easy to put together and tastes so good that you will also try it and like it too.
For this you need to prepare the rice flour first as you would for the thiruvadhirai kali.
For the flour:
1 cup raw rice
2 tablespoons channa dhal
2 tablespoons mung dhal
For the Pulikkali:
1/2 cup prepared rice flour
1 big lime size ball of tamarind
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons gingely oil (or any cooking oil)
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons channa dhal
1 teaspoon urad dhal
4 fresh green chillis
1/8th teaspoon asafoetida powder
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
Method of preparation:
For the rice powder:
In a heavy pan, dry roast the rice and the dhals separately on a low flame until well roasted but golden.
Mix them, cool and powder to a semolina consistency. Sieve and remove the finely powdered rice powder. That can be used in some other preparation.
For the pulikkali:
Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water for fifteen minutes. Extract the pulp thoroughly by adding another 1/2 cup water. Boil the tamarind extract with the turmeric powder and simmer until it reduces to 3/4 ths cup.
Heat one tablespoon oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow to crackle. Then add the channa dhal and when it is slightly golden the urad dhal. Slit the chillis and add it along with the curry leaves to the above.
Add one cup of water to this and bring to a boil. Now add the tamarind extract and the salt.
When the mixture boils, reduce the heat to the lowest, add the rest of the oil and gently drop the rice powder mix into this stirring constantly. Break any lumps that form.
Cover and cook until the rice is cooked soft.
You can transfer the cooked kali in a container that will fit in your pressure cooker or steamer and steam cook further for a few minutes.
Transfer to serving dish. Enjoy a very delicious pulikkali.