Hello Foodies,

So what should I cook today? This is the frequent question a person cooking at home has when they have to make meals everyday. Somedays we want to cook something sweet as well to go along with the regular food. Here is a unique recipe, I hope! I wanted to post this recipe since ages but never got the time to do so.

In the Islāmic month of Rabbi-ul-Awwal, the Muslim community celebrates the birth of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). Among them are Dawoodi-Bohra’s, a minority sect in the Muslim community who celebrate this month with this colourful sweetness called Kalamra. This colourful sweet dish is my all time favourite!
Kalamra is a Dawoodi-Bohra speciality and is made in every house during this month. Years ago, I remember families would have an open invitation for all Dawoodi-Bohra family members in the vicinity to come and feast upon Kalamra. There would be a huge Thaal (A round aluminium plate which is 20 inches or more in diameter) filled with this sweet dish. We would wash our hands in a rose petal bowl filled with water and then sit down in a circle of eight and relish this dish as much as we’d like! My Nanajaan (Grandfather) would take my brother and myself to these paradisiacal homes and we would happily go along. I really wish this tradition went on but you can’t hope for such things in such a busy and expensive world! Nevertheless, we still do get a variety of it from different homes of family and friends throughout the month. At home mum makes it twice as its my dad’s islamic birthday falls in this holy month. [Yes, we have two birthdays! *smirks*]
Last year I had made this myself for family and for my classmates et professors at college. I was so pleased to see them taking spoonful of it and at the end even licking the container 😛 [Such reactions make me want to cook even more]


So now that I have told you about its purpose, tradition and fondness, let me be a sweetheart and tell you the recipe as well 😉

Rice [as per the quantity of people you are cooking for]
Curd [Double the quantity of rice] Ex: One bowl of uncooked rice = Two bowls of curd.
Sugar / Milkmaid
Almond [Badaam]
Pomegranate seeds
Pistachios [Pista]
Raisins [Kismish]
Rose Petals

Few simple steps and your dish is ready!! 😀

Step 1:
Cook the rice till it’s edible without adding any salt.

Step 2:
Whilst that is cooking you can prepare your garnishing ingredients. Cut the almonds and pistachios into fine pieces or powder it [the way you prefer it]. Wash up some edible rose petals and keep them aside to dry. Once your rice is almost cooked,  let the it cool off in a plate till its at room temperature.

Step 3:
Next you take a mixer grinder and fill it halfway with rice and then add the other half with curd. Add sugar as per your taste buds. You can also add milk-maid to sweeten the batter. Add quarter cup of water and grind it well. Let the better be coarse, smooth enough to eat.
REMEMBER: The quantity of  curd and rice must be proportionate every time you grind a new batch.

Step 4:
Taste the batter. If its sweet enough and looks like a paste [coarse but smooth] then pour it out into a vessel or a big bowl and make your remaining batch till the rice is over. [Don’t add access of curd]

Step 5:
Add the batter into a dish leaving an inch and a half for the garnishing.

Step 6:
Start adding some colours by garnishing your white dish! In the picture above I added a layer of almond and pistachios powder. Above that at the corners and in the heart, I filled it with pomegranate seeds. Then I added some raisins and charoli seeds around the empty spaces. You can also add rose petals and get creative with the presentation. Refrigerate it for a while before you serve it.
Tadaaaaaa…your Kalamra is ready to be served. [Make sure its nice and cold]

Isn’t this the simplest sweet dish ever? If you are a sweet tooth you are surely going to love this dish! Please try this the next time you have to make a sweet dish at home and do share with me your reviews on the same 😀 If you suck at such things then hunt down a Dawoodi-Bohra and request them to serve you this!! 😛 If you have friends from this community, you can take their help while you make it 😉

P.S. Do tag me in the picture of your creatively decorated #KalamraDish @zainabattari on Twitter 😀


Keep Cooking!

-Zainab Attari