What is Deepavali without grandmother’s athirasam? Can’t just forget those Deepavali mornings when I and my sisters used to play hide and seak with baskets full of these fried goodies. Athirasam is one of the popular sweets prepared by Tamil families for any occasions like festivals, poojas, and celebrations. The term ‘athirasam’ means the most delicious in Tamil. It is closely connected with the Ariselu of Andhra cuisine and Arisa Pitha of Odia cuisine.
Athirasam is considered to be one of the favourite sweets of Lord Krishna. So making for Deepavali and Krishna Jayanthi is practised by Tamils as a tradition for generations.
Making the perfect athirasam is a challenging task. It just requires few ingredients and more patience. Initially, the dough is prepared by mixing finely ground rice flour in jaggery syrup and then it is allowed for fermentation for a day or two. Few people prefer making athirasam with sugar syrup but preparing the jaggery ones are the easiest to make. At last, it is fired in ghee or oil.
Here is my easy recipe for this yummy fried sweet. Let the festivals of colourful lamps begin at your home with athirasam, this year.
- Raw Rice - 400 gm
- Powder Jaggery - 300 gm
- Cardamom Powder - 0.5 tablespoon
- Cooking Oil - 500 ml
- Wash the rice well and soak it in water for an hour. Drain the rice and spread it in a cloth for drying it for about 15 mins.
- Grind the dried rice and sieve it. Repeat the process until you get the fine powder. Keep 100 gm separately.
- In 1/2 cup water add the powdered jaggery and beat it until it dissolves completely. Strain the mix to remove lumps and dirt.
- Boil the jaggery water and keep stirring until it becomes a thick syrup. Check the syrup by dropping a little in the water. It should not dissolve in the water.
- Immediately turn off the stove and start adding 300gms the rice flour and cardamom powder little by little. Knead it like roti dough.
- Keep the adhirasam dough aside for 24 hrs for fermentation.
- In a heavy bottomed pan heat the oil.
- Apply little oil on a banana leaf and place a lemon size adhirasam dough on time. Flatten it into a thin patty. Deep fry it until both the sides turn golden brown.
- Once you remove it from oil, hold it on a spatula and press it gently with another spatula to remove the excess oil.
- Place the adhirasam on a tissue paper to remove the excess oil.
- Serve them with hot tea.
The syrup should not be too thick nor too watery. After 24hrs check the dough. If the dough is too sticky, add extra rice flour little by little and knead it. If the dough is too dry, add 1-2 tbsp of milk and knead it.