Ulundhu Kali (Ebony Sweetmeat)

Ulundhu kali is a soft silky ebony sweetmeat specially prepared for girls & women as it helps to strengthen the uterus & hip bones. It is a traditional south Indian delicacy mainly served to young girls (during their cycles particularly in their first cycle) and also to pregnant women.

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Ulundhu Kali

It is our customary to serve the traditional breakfast as shown below to the girls when they attain puberty. You can also click here for the special lunch using ulundhu (blackgram) and other ulundhu dishes that meet their dietary requirements.

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Breakfast with Ulundhu Kali

This delicious breakfast can also be served to children, men & old people alike. The above platter consists of soft idli, spongy shallot uthappam, crispy ulundhu vadai & ebony ulundhu kali, and served with coconut chutney, chinna vengaya chutney and sambar.

Health Benefits of Ulundhu Kali:

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Ebony Sweetmeat

Main ingredients in this recipe are black gram, palm jaggery & sesame oil.

  • Black grams are rich sources of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium & magnesium; iron helps to increase hemoglobin count and other minerals help in maintaining bone mineral density.
  • Palm jaggery contains iron & calcium; it also keeps our body cool during summer. My grandmother used to take a piece of palm jaggery after every meal as it aids in digestion; also it acts as a cleanser & wipes out toxins from our system. 
  • Sesame oil is also needed for good bone health.
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Our grandmothers never had arthritis & osteoporosis even in their late 80’s. They recommended us to take this amazing kali once in a month during every cycle, so that we can also enjoy the same health. Nowadays mothers are busy & finding it difficult to prepare this kali for their family. Now I have shared an easy, effective & infallible method to cook this delicious & nutritious sweet as below. First we need to prepare black gram flour (as it is not available in the market) and keep a stock of this flour for later use.

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Home-made ulundhu maavu

Wash whole black gram (half or one Kg), dry them under sun, get them ground into a fine flour from flour mill & store in an airtight container. If your girl child does not like slimy kali, you can add raw rice in the ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 (rice:lentil) before taken to a flour mill.

Ulundhu Kali Recipe

img_7640 Ulundhu Kali (Ebony Sweetmeat)
Ulundhu kali recipe


  1. Black gram flour (karuppu ulundhu maavu)- 1 cup (200 g)
  2. Rice flour (pacharisi maavu) – 1/4 cup (50 g) [optional]
  3. Palm jaggery (karuppati) – 1 cup (200 g)
  4. Sesame oil (nallennai) – 1/4 cup (50 ml)
  5. Dried ginger powder (chukku podi) – 1 tsp
  6. Water – 500 ml
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  • Heat a sauce pan with palm jaggery and pour water into it until jaggery is completely immersed; keep remaining water aside.
  • Boil this mixture in medium flame until jaggery is fully dissolved.
  • Remove from flame & strain the jaggery syrup into a bowl to remove impurities.
  • Pour remaining water into the syrup and bring it a boil in high flame.
  • Remove from flame.
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  • Heat a large shallow pan with oil in low flame.
  • When oil is heated up add flour.
  • Roast flour in low medium flame until raw smell disappears & oil gets mixed with flour completely.
  • Add hot syrup little by little into roasted flour.
  • Mix flour with syrup in low flame using the back of a ladle.
  • When flour gets mixed with no lumps, add remaining syrup.
  • Add dried ginger powder & mix well.
  • Close pan with a lid and cook in low flame.
  • Stir well often so that it gets cooked evenly & oil gets separated.
  • Remove from flame only when mixture becomes non-sticky (it should not form any peak when touched).
  • Knead warm kali into a soft smooth dough and roll into lemon-sized balls.
  • Delicious ulundhu kali is ready to serve.
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Cooking Tips:

  • It is required to use non-stick cooking pan as it helps to cook easily & quickly. I prefer to use ceramic over Teflon coated pans.
  • This kali is usually prepared for young girls when they attain puberty, but for others you can add raw rice flour with black gram flour in 1:3 or 1:4 (rice:lentil).
  • You may add a pinch of cardamom powder along with ginger powder for its sweet fragrance.
  • Usually flour is added into syrup, but I poured syrup into the flour for the following reasons:
    1. It is very easy to handle the mixture of palm jaggery syrup & flour as this method prevents formation of lumps.
    2. We can make sure that whether kali is fully cooked or not (no peak is formed when cooked).
    3. Oil consumption is less compared to the conventional method, and there is no need to grease kali.

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  1. Wonderful to read that your grandmothers didn’t have arthritis or osteoporosis… may this sweetmeat recipe continue to spread healthy returns 🙂

  2. Wonderful to read that your grandmothers didn’t have arthritis or osteoporosis… may this sweetmeat recipe continue to spread healthy returns 🙂

  3. What an interesting read. I learnt a lot from your writing today! I suppose this is really beneficial for men as well? I may try this out in the future when I can source all of the ingredients.

    1. Thanks so much!
      Yes, it can be served to men also. Hope you may get these ingredients in any Indian grocer there.

  4. Wonderful post Megala! Love kali! the detailed instructions are really really helpful! Thanks for sharing this recipe, can’t wait to try this soon! ?

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