When Srivalli announced this months challenge for ICC,I was not very excited.The challenge was to prepare Ariselu / Aathirasallu or Athirasam as we call it!I had heard that it one dish that requires experience and a small mistake can turn the whole recipe into a blunder.
The next one was I don’t get the usual variety of rice that is used to prepare the rice flour and no jaggery.Then how in the world can I prepare this I thought.
Yet I jotted down the method and kept it by the PC and each it day seemed less intimidating and finally I made up my mind to try it with which ever ingredient I had and the result…You can see for yourself at the end of the post.
Here is the instruction given to us.One method that makes use of the ‘string consistency’ method and the other[which I followed] is very simple and easy one.
First prepare the rice flour
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. This is very important because if the flour is very dry it wouldn't turn out well.
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
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.
Method 2.This is the one that I followed...
This method yields 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:
In a pan put in the jaggery and just 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.
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.
Transfer the dough into a vessel and put in the sesame seeds
Knead to mix.
Heat a kadai with oil to deep fry these.
Divide the dough into equal balls.
In a greased plastic sheet, pat them down to equal sized discs.
Once the oil is hot, gently drop these into them.
Fry on both sides.
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!
• I used Thailand rice to make the rice flour.As I told you earlier, I don’t get the usual rice variety
• Similarly instead of jaggery I used brown sugar.
• I added the sesame seeds to the dough instead of pressing them on the flattened disc before frying to avoid them getting into the oil.[The procedure said we can press a pinch of sesame seeds on the flattened disc and then drop them in oil]
• As the dough rested the athirasams puffed up as they fried and looked like sweet pooris!!!
This was definitely worth trying and all my fears of preparing this dish have now vanished and I even got my first catering order!!!!Yes,MIL has asked me to prepare it for Diwali this year!!!
Either my PC or my cam were hungry for these sweets as most of my pics that I clicked with a better layout suddenly disappeared,hence I had to make do with these.I am planning to make them once again and that time I will update it with good looking pics..
Earlier in ICC
Moong dhal halwa
Labels: * Indian Cooking Challenge, Diwali Sweets, Step-by-step Pictorial Recipes, Sweet temptations