The main ingredients of kalu dodol are kithul jaggery (from the treacle of the Caryota urens plant), rice flour and coconut milk. Other ingredients such as cashews, cardamom and raisins may be added. It is dark brown in colour and is a thick, sticky and sweet jelly-like dish with a “slightly granulated” texture.
To make the dish, the kithul jaggery and thin coconut milk is mixed and boiled in a large pan until the mixture is reduced to half the original amount. The rice flour, thick coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients are then added. It is necessary to continuously stir the mixture while simmering, to prevent it from burning and sticking to the pan. The oil that floats to the surface of the mixture must also be repeatedly removed. Once the mixture becomes thick, it is poured into a tray, pressed, and left to cool. This labour-intensive process can take up to nine hours. The firm kalu dodol is cut into pieces before serving.