Odiyal Kool

Decided to take a break this week and re-post a few recipes from the initial days of this blog.

This is a traditional recipe from the North of Sri Lanka made from a palmyrah product. My mother tells me her grandmother used to make this for them on special occasions. While this is typically a spicy sea-food dish, it can be a vegan dish if one omits the seafood.

So, I am sharing my great-grandmother’s odiyal kool recipe, as remembered by my mother.

The base for this kool is ‘Odiyal’, a healthy and nutritious root that is dried before making into a flour. One can purchase the ‘odiyal flour’ from Katpaham marketing outlets around Sri Lanka, run by the Palmyrah Development Board, and might be found at Sri Lankan stores outside of Sri Lanka. However, if ‘odiyal flour’ cannot be obtained, corn flour can be tried out as a substitute.

Odiyal Kool

Cooking time – 45 minutes

Serves: 8 – 10


  • Odiyal or Odiyal Flour – 1 cup
  • Chopped mixed vegetables (brinjal/ katharikkai, jackfruit seeds/ palakottai, yardlong beans/ paithangai, small green leaves/ pasali keerai or murungai ilai, manioc, ash plantain) – 100g each
  • Chopped mixed seafood (prawns, crab meat, squids etc.) – 100g each, omit if vegetarian
  • Boiled rice – ½ cup
  • Dried red chillies – 5- 10, depending on your desired level of hot spicy
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp, can add another tablespoon if you like it really spicy
  • Pepper powder – 1tbsp, can add another tablespoon if you like it really spicy
  • Tamarind extract – ½ cup
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water – 2 litres


  1. Grind the odiyal into flour or use the ready-made odiyal flour.
  2. Dry grind the cumin seeds, red chillies and pepper and keep aside.
  3. Boil the vegetables in a pot with half litre water.
  4. Boil the seafood in a separate pot with half litre water.
  5. Then, mix the boiled vegetables and seafood and add another litre of water, along with the tamarind extract.
  6. As the water comes to a boil, slowly stir in the odiyal flour, avoiding lumps.
  7. Add the boiled rice to the pot.
  8. Add the ground spice mixture and the turmeric powder to the pot and salt to taste. Let it come to a boil.
  9. You can add a little water to adjust the consistency to your liking, e.g. if the water has dried up or you prefer a watery Kool.
  10. Serve hot in medium-sized bowls.

Recipe Source: Raji Thillainathan.

Aadi Kool

The first day of July in the Tamil calendar is called ‘Aadi’. It roughly corresponds to July 15 on the global calendar.

On this day called ‘Aadi pirappu’ or the birth of the month of Aadi, my mother makes a special dish usually for breakfast called the ‘Aadi Kool’.

Here’s my mother’s recipe for Aadi Kool:

Time taken: 45 minutes

Serves: 5 – 6


  • Dry roasted rice flour – 1 cup
  • Dry roasted green gram – ½ cup
  • Jaggery or brown sugar – ½ cup (can be adjusted as per your taste)
  • Chips of coconut – ½ cup
  • Coconut milk – 1 ½ cup
  • Water


  1. Boil the green gram, which has been previously dry roasted, in one litre of water in a pot.
  2. Midway during the boiling, add the coconut chips (not grated but little pieces chipped off from a fresh coconut).
  3. Take 2 or 3 tbsp of the roasted rice flour and add a little hot water to make a paste. Make tiny balls from this rice flour mixture and add it to the boiling pot.
  4. After a few minutes of boiling, add the rest of the cup of rice flour into the boiling pot, slowly stirring it in.
  5. When the mixture starts boiling, add the coconut milk and the grated jaggery and leave it to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Take the pot off the heat and serve the Kool in little bowls.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.