Most temples perform special poojas for shiva in the form of Nataraja, (king of dance) who is worshipped on this special day.
People make kali, pronounced more like cully and a curry made with at least 7 vegetables. I have no idea why a sweet dish is served with a savory curry. Surprisingly it goes pretty well. Some special vegetables added for this include koorka (chinese potato) and kavathu (dunno what it is in tamil or english).
There is also a lot of regional variation in how the curry or kootu is made. People also call it "thalagam". I would like to share with you all how this is made in my home.
Thiruvathirai Kali: ( serves 2)
- 1/2 cup raw rice
- 1/4 cup moong dal
- 1/2 cup jaggery powdered
- 2 cups water ( can be 1 3/4 cups depending on your rice)
- 2- 3 tbsp dessicated coconut
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tbsp cashews
- 1 tbsp ghee.
- Dry roast the rice and moong dal separately till slightly pink. Do it on a medium flame and take care not to burn it.
- Once cooled, grind them together into a coarse sooji/ rawa like powder.
- In a heavy bottomed pan add the water, jaggery and coconut. Once it comes to a boil and frothy, add the powdered rice dal mixture, cardamom powder and stir well till they all are well incorporated.
- Turn the heat off.
- Transfer it into another vessel and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
- In a pan add the ghee and fry the cashews till golden and add it over the cooked kali after you take it oit of the cooker.
To make the curry/ kootu :
- Mixed vegetables 2- 3 cups medium size cubed ( I used beans, bottle guard, carrots, peas, pumpkin, potato and eggplant.)
- Coconut 1/2 cup ( more coconut, better it tastes)
- 2 green chillies
- 1 small marble sized tamarind soaked and pulped in 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste.
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 4-5 curry leaves ripped
- In a heavy bottomed pan, add the vegetables and just enough water to cover them. Add salt and turmeric powder and cook till veggies are soft.
- Add the tamarind extract to the partially cooking veggies.
- Grind the coconut and green chilis into a fine paste adding water as needed.
- Add the ground coconut paste to the cooked veggies and let it come to a boil.
- Turn off the heat.
- Do the tadka and add it to the curry.
- Serve with kali or rice.