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Diwali special Ukkarai recipe
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5 from 8 votes

Diwali Special Ukkarai | Okkarai

Diwali / Deepavali is incomplete without this delicious lentil based dessert Ukkarai also known as Okkarai. Enjoy this delicious sweet with friends and family. 
Prep Time1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian, Tamil Nadu
Servings: 6 Servings


  • Kadalai paruppu / channa dal – ½ cup
  • Payatham paruppu / Moong dal – ½ cup
  • Vellam / Jaggery – 1 cup
  • Nei / ghee – 4 tbsp
  • Cashews – a handful
  • Coconut – ¼ cup grated
  • Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp


  • Dry roast both the dals until slightly golden brown. Make sure that you keep stirring the pan as the dals can get burnt very easily.
  • Wash the roasted dals and soak them for at least an hour.
  • Drain the soaked dals and grind them into coarse paste adding very little water. Make sure you add very less water when grinding as we want a semi solid paste that we can steam.
  • Make small mounds of the ground batter and place it on a steamer plate or idli mould and steam for about 12 to 15 minutes. The mixture will appear stiff and hard when done.
  • Let this cool down a bit and then break the dough into small pieces and place it in a blender jar. Pulse it a couple of times to make it into a fine powder.
  • In the meantime, heat a pan and add about a tablespoon of ghee. Fry the cashews until they are golden brown. Remove it in a plate. In the same pan, heat 1 more tablespoon of ghee and fry the grated coconut until light brown. Keep it aside as well.
  • In the same pan add the jaggery and just enough water to immerse the jaggery. Bring it to a boil and let the jaggery dissolve completely. Strain the syrup at this stage if needed and then return it to the flame.
  • Let the syrup come to a one string consistency. This is when you touch the syrup in between two fingers and pull it apart; it will form a single thread. You could also use a candy thermometer to check the consistency.
  • Now add the ground dal powder to the jaggery and mix well. Cook it on low heat until it appears dry.
  • Now add the fried cashews, coconut and cardamom powder and mix well. Also add the remaining ghee at this stage and keep cooking in low flame until it becomes dry and powdery.
  • Remove it from heat and serve warm or at room temperature. We enjoyed it for over a week refrigerated.