Cook's Hideout: Chalimidi

January 17, 2007


This is my entry to the FAHC campaign's group book project 'You can Cook' being hosted by VKN at My Dhaba. This was my contribution (actually my Mom's)for JFI-Jaggery for the month of December, but couldn’t get around posting it until now.

Chalimidi is a very traditional dish with only 3 main ingredients, but don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the ingredients. It requires patience and practice to finesse this dish and the end result tastes much like pala kova (milk khoya) with much less effort and time. (But patience and practice are the key words here). Chalimidi is usually given to Mom’s-to-be for baby showers. It is supposed to act as a coolant for the would-be mom.

My grand mother used to give chalimidi to my mom and my aunt every time they visited, even if it’s just for 2 days. That is a tradition that my ammamma started and my mom wants to continue it with her daughters now. It is also a tradition to see the correct thidhi (asterisms) and nakshatram (Star) before even starting the preparation for making the dish. I do not have a clear understanding of the reason behind the whole process and am still in the process of learning. This dish can be made with either jaggery or sugar. My mom always makes it with jaggery.
Rice - 11/2 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup
Elaichi (Cardamom) powder - 1 tsp
Dry coconut (Endu kobbari) – 2 tbsp, chopped
Ghee - 2 tbsp

  • Soak rice for 10 hours or overnight. Drain the rice completely and leave it to dry for about 30 minutes.
  • Grind the soaked rice into fine powder. Sieve the powder to remove coarser grains. Grind the coarser grains and sieve again. The end rice powder should have pretty smooth texture.
  • Combine jaggery with 1 cup of water and boil till the solution gets to a very strong consistency (Unda paakam). You will know that you got the correct consistency by testing the jaggery solution: add a drop of solution to water, and it should form a bead without dissolving.
  • Meanwhile saute dry coconut pieces in 1 tbsp ghee. Remove and keep aside.
  • When the jaggery reaches the desired consistency, remove from heat. Add the remaining ghee, sauteed coconut pieces and gradually stir in the rice powder. Add rice in small installments and keep stirring after every addition, until the mixture stops sticking to the spoon, but is still creamy like khoya.
  • Remove into a clean dish.

This keeps well in the refrigerator for almost a month.


  1. This is great!!!! Some traditions in India will never loose their charm . :)

    Can you use rice flour instead of making the powder??

  2. Nice presentation Pavani. Rice Jaggery combination is always tasty. Viji

  3. Looks great.I love homely dishes,they never get old and we must preserve them for our kids.I can;t wait to buy a copy of VKN's book! Thank s Pavani for this one!:))

  4. Nice write up Pavani about your custom. The dish looks great too, but couldn't see the last pic

  5. Delicious traditional dish..thanks Pavani..

  6. Pavni, I am sure to get it the correct way it does need a lot of patience and practice. Love milk khoya and I am sure will love this dish too.

  7. Hi Coffee, rice flour cannot be used instead of rice powder. I guess the whole taste of the dish lies in soaking and grinding the rice. It is so true that our traditions will never lose their charm. Thank you.

    Thank you Viji.

    Hi Asha, home-made dishes always taste way better than the ones from the store. I'd want to get a copy of VKN's book too.

    Thank you Sandeepa, Maheswari and Seema.

  8. Hi nice presentation.i tried this so many times only pakam iam getting confused.regarding unda paakam it shuld form like ball once we drop jaggery syrup in water or we can make that formed bed syrup into unda.
    i searches for this chalimidi prpaartion methos some saying string consistenct paakam ?????????? plz tell me


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