Ukkarai: Traditional Sweet For Deepavali/Diwali

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I wish all my readers and blogger friends a Very Happy and Prosperous Diwali. May this festival of lights bring you all the happiness and brightness in your life. 
Ukkarai is one of the traditional sweets made during Deepavali/Diwali. Without them it is difficult to think about a Diwali celebrations. Amma used to make large quantities to give to friends and families. One thing that always amazed me how everybody’s Ukkarai taste different. The process is always same. First soak the chana dal, cook or grind or grind or cook and then add jaggery (unrefined sugar) and stirring continuously to make a powdery preparation. When amma made it she won’t get that powdery consistency, it tasted great, while grandma made a really good one with taste and texture. I loved to lick the last bit of it left after Diwali. Ukkarai is one of my childhood delicacies. It is like yesterday when we would impatiently wait near to amma in the pretext of helping her with stirring the Ukkarai. Actually we were not helping her; we just wanted to taste in between. Poor mom knew this; still she would let us do our mock helping.
After marriage I started making Ukkarai for Deepavali/Diwali. I enjoy making them. It is delicious rich in protein content due to chana dal, with the sweetness of jaggery and a touch of coconut and ghee to take it to another level. Traditionally it is made with chana dal, so I used chana dal, if you wish you can try with any other dal like moong dal, toor dal except urad dal. Here is the recipe. 

One year ago: Gothambu dosa/Wheat dosa

Print recipe from here

What you need

Chana dal: 1 cup
Jaggery: 1 cup
Grated coconut: 1/3 cup
Ghee/Clarified butter: 2 tablespoon
Cashew: 1/5 cup
Water: ½ cup
 Cardamom: 3 no

How I made

Dry roast the chana dal for about 7 minutes or until its raw smell is gone. Then wash and soak the chana dal for 3hours and drain them in to colander and set aside for 30 minutes so that water will be drained as much as possible.
Grind them into fine paste without adding any water. Steam cook the ground paste for about 25 minutes or until they are well cooked.

In a thick bottomed pan add jaggery and water, when jaggery melts completely remove them from the fire and strain it to remove impurities.
Grind the coconut into  a coarse powder ( this step is optional).  Set aside. This step will help to get  uniform texture of chan dal mixture and coconut.
Reheat the jaggery water when it become soft ball stage add cooked chana dal paste along with coconut and cook them until it becomes powdery mass. Add ghee except 1 teaspoon in small amount to the above mixture of chana dal-jaggery-coconut. It takes about 10- 15 minutes in slow flame.
In a small pan heat 1 teaspoon of ghee and add cashew and fry them until they become golden color. Add these cashews to Ukkarai and switch off the flame.

Enjoy as much you wish. It is really tough to stop eating them.

Preparation time: 40 minutes + soaking time of 3 hours+ 30 minutes
Yield: 6-8 serving
Verdict: Addictive, delicious.
Will you make it again: Yes I will


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  1. says

    Wishing u a happy and prosperous diwali Swathi..Ukkarai looks super tempting,now i can enter ur blog dear..missed ur beautiful entries..