Ukkarai is a Chettinad special sweet made for Diwali.This ukkarai / okkarai is made even during Navratri and Karthigai Deepam in different parts of the city.
I wanted to post this last Diwali itself but somehow got missed.Amma makes this ukkarai sweet often as its easy to make and healthy too as it uses very less ghee but ammas version is slightly different, so I referred my Chettinad cookbook for the method and used ammas measures.
Ukkarai Recipe – Ingredients
Recipe Category: Sweet | Recipe Cuisine: South Indian
Chana Dal – 1/4 cup
Moong Dal – 1/4 cup
Jaggery – 1/2 cup
Coconut – 3 tbsp grated
Ghee – 2 tsp + 1 tsp
Cashews – 5 whole broken
Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp
- Soak jaggery in warm water(till immersing level) , crush it well. Then heat it up until it is slightly thick (no string consistency needs to be checked).Strain and keep aside.(I made more than above mentioned quantity for storing purpose).
- Dry roast chana dal and moong dal till slightly golden.Soak it in water atleast for an hr.
- Drain water and transfer the dals to a mixer and coarse grind it.I did the grinding in batches.Make sure you grind it to a coarse mixture and not to a paste.Now fill in a idli mould with this mixture and steam cook it for atleast 15mins in low medium flame.
- Roughly break it and run it again in the mixer, just pulsing will be enough.It should look like breadcrumbs in texture.
- Heat jaggery syrup till it resmbles honey in consistency.Add the ground mixture and keep mixing till all the moisture is absorbed.
- Keep mixing and add ghee when it gets dried up.Now add cardamom powder and give a quick mix.Fry cashews in a tsp of ghee till golden brown.
- Cook till the entire mixture become dry and resembles bread crumbs in texture. Add grated coconut and fried cashews and switch off.
Serve hot / warm.
- The orginal recipe asked to check for single string consistency but I just heated the syrup till it was thick.
- Keeps well for 2 days atleast when refrigerated.