Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pottukadalai Urundai

With the festival of Navarathri / Dhussera on I am cooking foods that are usually done for special occasions. And navarathri is special in a way that we celebrate over nine days +1 the tenth day that of Dhussera. This ensures that we make different offerings each day and enjoy the food. Once a neighbour gave me a list of the neivedhyams that are offered each day and then on, I stick to making the variety rice fare accordingly. But then festivities are not complete without a payasam and particularly for navarathri sundals (legumes cooked and stir fried) have to be part of the offering.
For those days when young children would visit to view the kolu arrangement, people make some sweet stuff that can be easily consumed by them. My grand mother used to stock up some laadoos and urundais or the powdered and sweetened roasted gram powder and such to distribute to children. It used to be the season for the guava fruit and many people gave away those to the children. When we were young, one visited homes of neighbours and friends, inviting them to visit your home during the festivities. It was not a routine, like what it is now, to gift or stock giveaways. The thamboolam and sundal or the kind sufficed. However, sundal was part of the offering and it was considered a good evening snack.
I have been seeing, on my social network sites, that my friends have been posting pictures of their arrangements and the offerings. I am hoping to get recipes for certain dishes I have seen and would want to try them here. Seeing the shared pictures have given me some new ideas to make a shift from routine. Aparna put pictures of her pottukkadalai urundais on facebook and seeing those I was remided of all of such sweetmeats that my grandmother and mother would cook. I made them soon after, and here is my post with the recipe of a simple, 'could-be-combined-in-about-half-an-hour' kind of sweet dish.
Pottukadali Urundai
 Makes 21 ping-pong balls sized roasted gram laddoos

(I use my 1/2 aazhakku measure which measures exactly 125ml)
375 millilitres/ heaped 1 and 1/2 cups roasted gram
125 millilitres/ packed 1/2 cup powdered jaggery
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Little coconut oil/ ghee to grease your palms

Pick and clean the roasted gram and set aside. Bring the jaggery to boil until it is reduced to a thick syrup (hard ball consistency) in a kadai or any heavy bottom pan.
Test for syrup is that you drop a few drops in normal room temperature water and turn it to a ball in your fingers, it should quickly roll into a hard ball; and should you lift it off the water and drop it back in, it will hit the bottom with a ringing noise.
Remove the jaggery syrup from the stove, add the cardamom powder and all of the roasted gram. Quickly stir the mixture to coat the gram with the syrup.
Allow to cool just until your palms will be able to hold the heat.
Grease your fingers and palms with ghee or quality coconut oil. Take small portions of the gram-jaggaery mix and tightly hold them in ball shapes.
Place them on a large round plate and holding the plate at two edges, turn it around so the prepared laddoos roll all around. This ensures that they will remain spherical and, also from all the heat of the jaggery, not stick to the plate.
In case the mix cools so much that you cannot hold it in a ball, return the pan to heat to just soften the syrup and repeat the shaping.

I used 375 ml of roasted gram and 125 ml (tightly packed jaggery). I had 21 laddoos in all.


  1. a lovely sweet treat. I remember getting these ladoos as prasadam when I was a kid. These days people prefer to make barfis.

  2. Such perfect round shapes ! How long did they last. I could have them all at one sitting !


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