Sizzling Tastebuds

Morkali Squares : A Modern Interpretation…

We see shapes everywhere in nature, but we don’t stop to look at them specifically as geometric / abstract shapes. Once we mindfully start doing that, the shapes that nature (and food) present to us are immense.

The theme idea for this week’s #GetInShape at @FoodieMondayBloghop actually came from my kids. For years, as a health-seeking parent, we have tried making stuffed parathas in triangles, idli cut into cubes / squares , kite shapes dosa and the like (including the evergreen favourite paneer tikka)… when it’s in an appealing shape, kids and adults alike reach out. I have seen that the elder girl doesn’t eat idlis by itself, but a baked idli / idli chilly / Idli Manchurian is so welcome. I have so many fond memories of Amma making the Triangle stuffed chapati and me and sis enjoying it hot off the stove. 


Today’s dish – Morkali (Mor = buttermilk, Kali – soft pudding)  – is a recipe that I learnt from my maternal grandma , and altho it was made like upma, it was never presented in a shape – it was just a mass of gooey savoury pudding which was a hit or miss with those who loved it (like me and dad) or hated it (my sister).  I have already posted a version learnt from my grandma here. 

In Tambrahm households, Morkali is had generally as an evening snack (called Tiffins in Tamil parlance) or even for Palaharams (light dinner). The consistency of this dish was / is ideals for senior citizens who may have lost their teeth / with dentures and the dish by itself is light and easily digestible.  


When Sandhya did the guestpost on my blog with Mor Koozh, I was really excited that the humble Morkali could be so beautifully presented like a cake with neatly cut squares. The taste was top notch and I thought I would present it this week as Morkali Squares – a modern , different take on the traditional dish. I have adapted her recipe with a few changes and presented it today ! 

Morkali Squares – a delicious South Indian snack (can be GF too!)

Cuisine : South Indian, Course : Snack / Evening Tiffin , Prep time – 5 mins, Cook time – 15 mins, serves – 2 / 3


  • Rice flour – 1 cup
  • Sour thick buttermilk – 1.5 cups
  • salt – to taste
  • Gingelly / sesame oil – 3 TBSP + 1 tsp for greasing
  • Asafoetida – a generous pinch (skip for a GF version)
  • Fried Mor Milagai Vathal(sun dried chilli condiment) – few
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, curry leaves, Urad dal (opt.)




Mix the rice flour with salt and buttermilk to a thick flowing batter. In a thick bottomed pan, heat the gingelly oil. splutter the tempering and add the batter , keep stirring till it comes together as a mass, Sprinkle little water if needed, cover and cook for 9-10 mins on low flame till done (Test for checking doneness : wet your palms and touch the dough, it should not stick, and the cooked dough should appear glossy and an off-whitish colour). Spread to a greased flat plate and flatten it with a greased ladle / palms. 

Wait for 10 mins to cool down (something I should have done :p). Cut into squares and serve with fried Mor Milagai on the side. The dish is spicy on its own and needs no accompaniment. 




  1. Priya Iyer

    All of us at home adore more kali. Such a lovely idea to present it in different geometrical shapes! 🙂 I'm sure they will appeal to kids and adults alike. 🙂

  2. cookwithrenu

    This looks like dhokla to me and what fun to represent it in a geometrical shape. Kids or we always love fun with food, and using shapes is definitely a fun way

  3. Vasusvegkitchen

    I tasted Morkali in my aunt's home, but giving shape to it super thought. I still remember it's taste, but never tried at home, will try it soon. Thanks for sharing this recipe for theme????

  4. Not tasted before but sure looks like a healthy snack.Love how how you have presented it in square shape. Regular food when presented in different way always appeals to everyone .. especially to kids who get intrigued with different shapes!!

  5. Sujata Roy

    Never heard of it . Sounds superbly delicious. Loved this easy and simple recipe. Bookmaking it to try soon.

  6. Poonam Bachhav

    I have never tasted this dish but it sounds similar to dhokla but made from rice flour. Beautifully presented !

  7. Mayuri Patel

    I've not heard of this dish but would love to try out because its steamed, has buttermilk and can be enjoyed with some chili condiment. Was wondering if you use normal rice flour or a bit coarse one for this recipe?

  8. Now this is a totally new recipe to me n since I make butter n hate to throw out the buttermilk will try this out then. Sounds yummy

  9. All will get bit more excited when the regular dish is presented in a different way. and you have done so nicely here 🙂 Loved these squares!!

  10. Morkali is in a square shape is looking very good. Easy to eat too. It is ages since I made these. Looks very inviting Kal

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