Ulundhangkali | Karuppu ulundhu kali | Black gram porridge

Ulundhangkali | Karuppu ulundhu kali | Black gram porridge

Dina is my brother (my mom’s nephew) and the way my Grandma explains about how he eats ulunthankali is interesting. She once said, “Dina likes kali very much. He sits with his legs folded on the floor, eats at least two plates of kali quietly, sits there for 10 minutes after eating, waits for a nice burp, then stands up with great difficulty and falls asleep”. When I saw her explain about him, I was filled with envy Green with envy because I thought I should be crowned as the ‘Best kali eater’. Then I concluded that probably my grandmother did not watch me eat this ulunthangali. Right from the purchase of black gram and rice in the departmental stores, roasting the urad dal, going to the rice mill with my aunt (sithi) to grind the kali maavu (porridge flour), then watching my aunt (athai) prepare a big vessel full of ulundhankali with great effort, till my Grandma serves it in plates making depression on the steaming kali in each of our plates …. I remember everything about how we used to prepare and enjoy karuppu ulundhu kali (black gram porridge)

I promised that I’ll compose this post on how to make karuppu ulundhankali and told that I will publish it on last Saturday. But lazy me did not do it. I should better not post on upcoming posts and shut my loose mouth tight until I compose and publish the recipe post hereafter.

how to make UlunthuKali - with step by step pictures

How to make Kali maavu/Black gram porridge flour

Take a wok and heat it in medium flame. Dry roast the black urad dal until the roasted aroma fills the house and the color of the urad dal changes slightly brown. Cool the roasted gram to room temperature.

Put the rice and roasted black gram in a container and grind them in a rice-mill. Ask them to grind for ulunthankali so that they’ll know when to stop grinding by looking at the texture of the flour. Kali maavu should neither be soft nor coarse. The ulundhankali maavu texture should be somewhere between coarser and powdery. If you have a nice mixer you can grind it at home but I find the rice-mill machines doing a perfect job.

How to prepare Ulunthankali/Black urad dal porridge

Step 1. Take 2 cups of water in a wide heavy bottomed vessel. Heat it in medium flame.

black lentil kali

Step 2. Meantime, mix salt in another cup of water.


Step 3. Take the ulunthankali maavu (black urad dal porridge flour) in a bowl. Add the water to the flour and make a nice smooth mixture.

black urad dal porridge

Step 4. The mixture should be in the consistency of idli batter. I make this ulunthankali batter with my hands. You can use egg beater (whisk) to make this ulundhangali batter. See to that there are no lumps in the batter.


Step 5. When the water that is getting heated is hot (boiling), reduce the flame to LOW and slowly add this batter into it, simultaneously stirring with ladle, else they’ll quickly form lumps.

urad bean kali

Step 6. Keep stirring them. Take care else the batter will get burned under leaving a smoked smell. Stir atleast for 3 minutes continuously. [Whenever I make this ulundhakali I used to wonder if we should eat this ulunthankali just to get strong bones and muscles only to stir this batter in order to make perfect kali :P]

rice urad dal kali

You’ll find the raw smell of the batter vanishing in 1 minute of stirring.

ulundhu kali maavu

Step 7. You’ll get the wonderful aroma of cooked kali in the 3rd minute. In the 4th minute you’ll find air bubbles making sound [as if they’re sighing for us after the 4 minutes strong stirring :D]. It should take only 5 minutes to cook ¾ cup of ulunthangali.

kali maavu

Step 8. Just to cross check if the kali is perfectly cooked, dip your index finger in normal water.

black urad dal kali

Step 9. Make a shallow dip into the uluthankali/porridge with the finger. The batter should not get stuck in your finger. Switch off flame.

[![ulundhu kali](/images/urid-dal-kali-1.jpg "urid-dal-kali-1")](/images/urid-dal-kali-1.jpg)     [![urid dal porridge](/images/urid-dal-porridge-1.jpg "urid-dal-porridge-1")](/images/urid-dal-porridge-1.jpg)

Step 10. Ulunthankali should be eaten hot/warm. Else, it will become very thick in consistency. Transfer the hot ulunthankali into the serving plates.


Step 11. Have normal water by your side. Dip your hand inside the water and make a nice well (not too deep).

[![black gram porridge](/images/black-gram-porridge.jpg "black-gram-porridge")](/images/black-gram-porridge.jpg)  [![ulundhu sweet kali](/images/ulundhu-sweet-kali-1.jpg "ulundhu-sweet-kali-1")](/images/ulundhu-sweet-kali-1.jpg)

karuppu ulundhu kali

Step 12. Now add jaggery/vellam into this depression and then sesame oil on it [or first add sesame oil and add jaggery over it]

inippu ulundhu kali urad dal kali

tips to make ulunthangkali

3Ts: [ Tips | Tricks | Tactics and Secrets ] for making Karuppu ulundhu kali/Black gram porridge

  1. Always cook kali/porridge in low flame. The rice and urad dal flour gets heated fast and will easily get burnt if overlooked. If it gets burnt even a little the whole kali/porridge will get a smoked smell and you’ll find it uncomfortable to eat it or you will have to dump it.
  2. When you make ulundhu kali (black gram porridge) have an extra cup of water heated (either in the stove or in the microwave with little salt) because sometimes you’ll find that you need extra water while stirring the ulundhangali /black urad dal porridge [when the added batter goes too thick or when too much lumps form after adding the batter] . An even stirring gives you a nice, smooth, lump-less karuppu ulundhu kali (urid dal porridge).
  3. (I use this technique of having extra cups of water heated whenever I make any gravies, because adding cold/normal water to any hot liquid dish while cooking will slow the cooking process [I have this funny belief that the dish getting cooked too does not like the idea of mingling them with water that is not hot. Sometimes I even find the dish go really upset by changing their colors, taste and texture]
  4. ¾ cup ulundhukali maavu (black gram porridge flour) is enough for 2 people. Whenever you make use of any type of lentils/rice/dry flour to prepare any food variety, remember that the quantity of the cooked product will be doubled or even more than double the amount of the raw product.

urad dal (with skin) porridge

How to Buy-Eat-Store Ulunthankali / black urad dal porridge flour

  1. About the ratio of the rice and urad dal to make the ulunthankali maavu (porridge flour); my mom says she uses 2:1 ratio and my periyamma (mom’s sister) says she uses 1:1. So find which proportion works the best for you.
  2. I also have the idea of trying ulundhangali using store bought rice flour and urad dal flour (have to dry roast urad dal flour until aroma is released) with 1 : 3/4 cup ratio. Or if anybody knows if they are selling readymade ulundhu kali flour, let me know.
  3. We never ever stored cooked ulundhangali in fridge. May be if you have left overs make them into a liquid porridge with added salt and drink it. Don’t leave the cooked kali too long in your kitchen. They have the tendency of getting spoiled easily and very soon too.
  4. But the ulundhangali maavu (urad dal porridge powder) has a long lifetime since we are dry roasting the urad dal. Once you grind the flour in a rice mill, spread them flat and leave the flour to come to room temperature. Then store them in a closed container. The ulunthankali flour has a unique aromatic property. A well stored ulundhangali maavu (urad dal porridge flour) has the ability to have the smell locked with it for many months. It’s nearly 6 months since my mom made these kali maavu and I found them perfectly aromatic and tasty when I opened the container.

Eating Ulundhankali is actually an art :) and I excel in it. My grandma used to give us a beautiful comparison on how to eat kali. She says in Tamil, “Raja-voda aranmanai-ya kaipatruvadhu pola” — “Like capturing a King’s castle/fort” :). Start from the outer layer (the outer high walls) and gradually progress to the center layer (inner walls of the fort) and finish the kali (attack the king Rolling on the floor laughing)). So it’s like, take a full circle of kali starting from outside, dip it in the center (gingely oil+ jaggery well) and put it into your mouth. Gradually advance towards the center (of course without breaking/cracking the well) and finish the ulunthankali Open-mouthed smile. Fill the well with sesame oil and jaggery as and when you finish them up. I thought I should give you a photographic description for this. [Warning: photos may look little horrible/nasty/rude/harsh/cruel Smile with tongue out]

how to make ulundhangali ulunthangali

black gram porridge black lentil porridge

muzhu ulundhu kali kali maavu

If you have guts to look at the pictures you’ll praise me that I have the personality of a born soldier Nerd smile. A plate-full itself is too much for a human. I do not feel to drink water after having ulundhangali or any kali variety. I take water after some ½ hour or sometimes even 1 hour. The kick in having ulunthankali is that you’ll fall asleep without even knowing that you’re falling asleep :), as if somebody added a sleeping pill into your food. So mom makes this for breakfast only on holidays so that we’ll have a good nap before enjoying some special lunch (Amma, I got your point today. You’re putting us to sleep this way so that you can cook the special meal without our disturbances and without having to spend time on settling the disputes between your 4 devils Devil))

black gram porridge - a healthy breakfast

Aahuh… how can I forget to mention the traditional slogan after making such a healthy recipe. Since we are having ulunthangali as a breakfast and since we are adding urad dal (with skin), gingely oil and jaggery, it is so much good for health, especially girls during their teen-age. Like I mentioned it in my GoJingalala facebook page, making this post to cheer all the Indian athletes in Olympics 2012 Nerd smile

I wish God tunes and aligns the taste buds of my husband to match mine. He does not like to have jaggery. So though I have this ulunthangali maavu in large stock I make it very very rarely and only for myself. He shows faces if I even give a choice of preparing ulundhangali for breakfast. Then he sees me composing this post and complaints that I ate it all mysef and did not even show the dish to him Hot smile

I know that it’s only the word ‘Kanji’ that translates to porridge. Does anybody know how should we call ‘Kali’ in English? Please leave your suggestions in the comment section.

ulundhu kali

[Readers can you see the steam coming out from the ulunthankali? Cha, i actually wanted to take a good photograph of the steam too but was not able to make it :( I dont know how the other bloggers are picturizing their recipes so wonderfully. I wonder if it’s only me who hurries to eat rather clicking several photographs of the recipe.

The steaming kali maavu smell + sesame oil releasing it’s own fragrance + the jaggery unlocking it’s sweet smell = ‘stop clicking photographs and enjoy the kali hot’

Kali | Porridge

  • PREP TIME: 5 min
  • COOK TIME: 5 min
  • TOTAL TIME: 10 min
  • YIELD: 2
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • RECIPE TYPE: Main Dish


  • To make ulundhu kali maavu/black urad dal porridge powder
  • Black urad dal (whole/split)/Karuppu ulundhu – ½ kg
  • Raw rice (Maavarisi/maavu pacharisi) – ½ kg
  • To make ulunthankali/black gram porridge
  • Kali maavu/urad dal porridge powder – ¾ cup
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Salt- 3/4 tsp
  • Jaggery/Vellam – as per your taste
  • Sesame oil/Gingely oil – as per your taste

Mangala from http://cooking.jingalala.org Eat well! Hot smile

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