Over the weekend I received a sweeet gift from Usha of Veg Inspirations for her Healthy Inspirations - Soups Event! I was so delighted to receive it I decided to kill two birds with one stone...I felt like celebrating this wonderful gesture from Usha plus I also had to make Athirasam for Srivalli's ICC...well so I made Athirasam for my family and they loved it...so I am posting both together...celebrating a sweet gesture with a wonderfully sweet dish! Actually, my daughter just looooved the gift because it was a cute bracelet and earrings(something tells she will be using the gift more than I:))
In case you read this, Usha...Thanks for your wonderful gesture!!!
Coming to the Athirasam...it was a challenge alright...it takes some time to figure out the right consistency for the jaggery syrup...when I first made it, I almost added all the rice flour too soon and, then I looked at the syrup again and it was still not dark enough and had not bubbled up too much..so then I waited for a few minutes more and then it was easier to add the rice flour and get the dough to look like roti/chappathi dough.
So here is the recipe for the version I tried...
Thanks for the awesome and challenging recipe...Srivalli! I had eaten this sweet delicacy many times as a child of course...somehow never tried it at home...I loved trying it out and I was so happy it turned out alright...I have heard from many people including my mom, that it is not an easy dish to try out!
Raw Rice - 200 gms
Paku Jaggery - 250 gms(jaggery for syrup)
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 mixer. 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 jaggery for cooking.
Take water that is enough to dilute jaggery. Dissolve the jaggery. Remove any impurities that may be present. Then again cook till the pakam(syrup) is ready. The consistency here is also very important. Hope you know that consistency of pakam(syrup) is calculated as threads.
This is how we check the thread consistency, when the jaggery 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.