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A taste that remains: Kalu Dodol

A trip down to south won’t be complete without a good dose of Kalu Dodol

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Dodol is a Sri Lankan sweet that is made of jaggery and coconut milk. You will find rows of shops in Hambantota and Kataragama selling trays of this sweet, the price is according to the various grades depending on the amount of jiggery used.

It is almost a tradition to stop and buy some Kalu Dodol from the south because everyone back home will be waiting for it. 

 

In the phase of mixing

In the phase of mixing

If you inquire from one of the shops you might be able to witness the making of this tasty confectionary. Generally about four to five stoves with massive woks manned by a person each while others assist with the ingredients. To make a batch of a Kalu Dodol that weighs 40kg, the ingredients needed are miti kiri and diya kiri (thick and thin coconut milk, obtained from the first and second pressings respectively) of 50 coconuts, five and a half kilograms of rice flour and about 22kg of jaggery or sugar is added. 

Process of making

Process of making

After kindling the firewood hearth, the dodol maker pours in about one and a half kilograms of sugar to the pan, shifting the sugar to caramalise from time to time to get the dark colour of dodol. As the colour of the sugar darkens, he pours in half of the prepared thin coconut milk and sets about stirring the mixture adding more sugar every now and then to get the right grain. While he is attentively mixing up the concoction, another worker adds the five and half kilograms of rice flour into the bucket where the rest of the thin coconut milk remained, before pouring the whole mixture into the pan. The whole process takes about three hours and the Dodol maker stirs continuously and patiently until the right consistency is achieved. 

Final touches

Final touches

For the final touches, ground ensal and thinly chopped kadju are added and then after stirring the Kalu Dodol mixture for a few more minutes, it is served into a tray using the wooden ladle. The Kalu dodol is kept aside in the store for about three days till the oil settles in and that is when the sweetmeat is considered to be best to consume. 

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