This one is our traditional sweet and normally prepared during Diwali. As usual each one has got their own method of preparing it. I prefer the following way, as it gives soft granules. By this way you need less ghee also.


Channa dhal ½ cup
Tur dhal ¼ cup
Moong dhal ¼ cup (Or you can use only channa dhal also)
Grated fresh coconut ¾ cup

Vellam/Jaggery 1 cup (as per your taste)
Elaichi powder ¼ tsp
Fried Cashews
Ghee 3 tbsp


Dry roast the dhals and wash and soak in water for 2 -3 hours. Drain the water and leave it in colander for at least 30 minutes. Grind it in the grinder without adding water. Need not be too smooth but not too grainy too. When you touch the batter it will not stick to your hand. It will be like this

Remove it and steam cook this batter in the idli plates for about 12-15 minutes. Let it cool. Break it into granules. It will look like this.

In 1 tsp ghee, roast the cashews first then roast the grated coconut till golden brown.

Now take a thick bottom vessel and boil the jaggery with ½ cup of water. Strain for impurities. Leave it to boil again till you reach soft ball consistency.  When you leave ¼ tsp syrup in 1 tsp water, you must be able to form a soft ball. At this stage, add the elaichi powder, coconut and the steamed batter. Mix well adding ghee in installments. As the batter is already steam cooked, it may not take more than 3-4 minutes. By this way, you can reduce the ghee also. I added only 2 tbsp. Garnish with cashews. A grainy ukkarai is ready. Very tasty with the mixture of dhals.

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  1. Nandita // 21 October 2010 at 11:35  

    Thanks for the detailed recipe Sia. This is one that granny ALWAYS makes for Diwali and I m going to make this year with your recipe.

  2. Pushpa // 21 October 2010 at 11:37  

    Awesome sweet dish...looks delicious.

    Pushpa @

  3. Vandana Rajesh // 21 October 2010 at 15:09  

    Nice recipe....the Diwali cooking is already here...think its time I get started too...thks for sharing yet another of ur wonderful recipes.

  4. Ms.Chitchat // 21 October 2010 at 16:09  

    Loved ur version of ukkarai,would love to try.

  5. Srimathi // 21 October 2010 at 19:14  

    This is a must have in our family tradition and my mother in law makes very delicious ukkarai.

  6. shaikh // 21 October 2010 at 22:09  

    what is ideas behind roasting dals before whashing them? pls explain it. thanks

  7. Susan and Abraham // 22 October 2010 at 10:56  

    certainly wish to try this... as the combination of Dhals would make it protein rich.. rgds abraham

  8. notyet100 // 22 October 2010 at 11:41  

    looks yum...

  9. Vcuisine // 22 October 2010 at 17:34  

    Thanks all for your comments. Glad to hear that there are many fans for our traditional recipes.

    Shaikh, roasting dhal will enhance its flvour. We normally do it for plain dhal or ven pongal or sakarai pongal. For sambar we don't do. Hope it helps. Viji

  10. Divya Vikram // 23 October 2010 at 11:16  

    Simple and delicious sweet dish..