Another wonderful Indian Traditional dish tried out for Indian Cooking Challenge. It naturally had to be a sweet dish after the wonderful Kachoris. While browsing through the list of items that everybody wanted to learn, I saw that the famous Andhra traditional sweet Ariselu or Athirasallu was the most sought one. Actually when I saw this choice I was thinking maybe I will ignore, having made it myself. But then how can I ignore when most of the members wanted to try.
Only sad part being I couldn't make it, though till the end I was thinking I will somehow make it. You can read about the passion and effect these have on me. I simply love these and even more, because my daughter loves it more. What can be more enjoyable than making something your child loves, absolutely nothing!
Since I have a tried and tested recipe from my Mom, it becomes very easy this month. Infact she has two types, one the traditional Athirasallu recipe which is tricky, the other that is quite simpler.
This post also marks a milestone for Spice your life, this being the 100th post! What a way to celebrate the occasion! Thank you everybody for the support and encourage I always get in whatever I do and share. Thank you for allowing me to share my spices in life!
My Mom says Athirasallu are something that even an expert cook can fail at. Well I am not scaring but this is one recipe that requires lots of practice and loads of patience. For your convenience I again asked Amma for a smaller measurement.
I gave the members two different recipes that my mom had.
Since many of the members didn't have an idea of the Jaggary that is the Pacham Bellam or Paku Jaggary, I took this photo with all different variety I get locally.
Raw Rice - 200 gms
Paku Jaggary - 250 gms
Sesame Seeds - 2 tsp or less
Gasa gasa or Poppy Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Method to prepare.
Soak rice for 6 hrs and then shade dry it. Meaning it should not become dry but should still have some wetness in the rice. You can either grind this to fine powder using your mixie or give to mill. The rice flour should have that texture of soft and wet feeling when you take a handful and also it should kind of retain your fist shape. Hope you understand what I am saying. This is very important because if the flour is very dry it wouldn't turn out well.
Have all the things ready when you put the jaggary for cooking.
Take water that is enough to dilute jaggary. Dissolve the jaggary. Remove any impurities that may be present. Then again cook till the pakam is ready. The consistency here is also very important. Hope you know that pakam is calculated as threads.
This is how we check the thread consistency, when the jaggary starts boiling and becomes thick, carefully take a small bit and touch it between your thumb and Index fingers. A thread will be formed when you take your fingers away from each other.
Likewise when the syrup becomes thick, you can find 3 threads being formed. So after 3 thread consistency the jaggary is really cooked well and it become thick. When you take a bit and put it in water, you should be able to make a ball of it. This is when you know the pakkam is ready.
Remove from fire, and add poppy seeds, sesame seeds and cardamom. Mix well. Then slowly add the rice flour and keep mixing well. The consistency is very important, so you need to add the flour little by little. Mix till you get a chapati dough consistency. End of this, you may still have some flour left out.
Divide into lemon size balls. Grease a plastic sheet and your fingers. Place the ball on the sheet, and pat it down to a poori size.
Heat oil for frying and slowly drop these discs into the hot oil. You can simmer for a while until you know the inside is cooked. Turn to the other side and cook till its golden in colour. If you are cooking alone, you can roll out one by one and cook. Else it might get burnt. Once done, remove and drain on a Kitchen towel.
This method yeilds about 8.
Rice Flour - 1 glass (standard measurement)
Jaggary - 1/2 glass
Coconut grated - 2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Water - 1/2 glass
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Oil for deep frying.
Method to prepare:
I had the Achu vellam, so grated and added water just enough to cover them. Cooked on high and removed the scum. Then added the cardamom powder. Once it starts boiling, add the grated coconut. You will see lot of bubbles coming out.
At this stage, add the Rice flour slowly and stir it together well. You will know when the consistency is correct, so till then you got to keep adding the flour, but I used up the entire glass of flour.
The beauty of this dough is, you can store and use whenever you want. If it becomes too hard, just add about 2 tsp of water along with 2 tsp of sugar. Get it to boil, while you keep stirring it. The mix should become soft again. When you handle it, it should come together as a soft dough. Divide it to equal balls.
Heat a kadai with oil to deep fry these. In a greased plastic sheet, pat them down to equal sized discs. Press down the sesame seeds over the top. Once the oil is hot, gently drop these into them. Fry on both sides. Since the sesame seeds are just pressed over the top, they will get into the oil. If you want to avoid this, try adding to the dough.
Once they are golden brown, remove and drain them on a kitchen towel.They will be soft when you remove them, will become crunchy once they are cooled.
The regular ones are normally soft and oily, but these were crunchy and no oil at all!
To all my ICC members, please link your Ariselu / Aathirasallu post to Mr. Linky.