Okkarai is very popular traditional sweet from Tamil Nadu specially to the south most region of the state. Every family has its own traditions and its such a pleasure to follow them because it builds up memories which is all there is left in the end. In my husband's family okkarai is the sweet that is usually made for Deepavali. The okkarai that my mother in law Mrs. Pushpa Yegneswaran makes is very popular in the family. It is her recipe that I am going to post below. This was a totally new Deepavali sweet for me and because of her perfect recipe I have been able to make it every year. This sweet is loaded with protein and actually good for you and perfect to eat when it is piping hot off the stove. There are different versions to making okkarai. This version has a texture like a sooji halwa. Happy Deepavali to all and hope you have a fun filled, safe and peaceful one.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Heavy bottom Vessel / Kadai ( a must)
It makes a big batch of Okkarai. So please adjust the quanity.
Channa dhal - 1 1/2 cups
Moong Dhal - 1 1/2 cups
Salt - a pinch
Ghee - 1/2 cup - 1 cup ( depends on how far you want to go)
Sugar - 2 1/2 cup ( U. S sugar), 5 Cups( India Sugar)
Cardamon - 8 pods powdered
Cashew Nuts or Almonds - 1/2 cup
1. Roast the channa and moong dhal in a kadai on medium heat taking care to not over roast them and aiming for a reddish color ( sevakka ).
2. Soak them in water for 3 hours and grind into a thick paste with a pinch of salt.
3. Heat the wok with some ghee add the cashew nuts and roast them. Remove the nuts and keep them aside.
4. Add some more ghee to the vessel / kadai and then the dhal mixture and cook on less than medium flame. Cook it by making sure to add tsps of ghee on and off and allowing all the water to disappear and a thick dough starts to form. Add sugar and mix well taking care to avoid lumps from forming. ( Lots of elbow grease). Keep adding ghee on and off and when you see froth forming in the sides when you flip add the cardamon powder and cashew nuts and serve them hot.