Adhirasam/Ariselu is a Traditional South Indian sweet prepared on Diwali. It is prepared using rice flour and jaggery. This sweet can be prepared with sugar also, but since I avoid using sugar as much as possible in my recipes, I have used jaggery. Many find it intimidating to prepare this sweet but actually this is very easy to prepare, if you follow the tips and steps given properly. I am going to make it very easier for you all with my step wise pictures.
How to make Adhirsam?
Yields – 28-30
Raw Rice – 1 kg (pacharisi)
Jaggery – 3/4 kg
Cardamom -6 (remove the pods)
Oil for deep frying
First we will see how to prepare rice flour for athirasam. (I make it very clear that you cannot use ordinary store bought rice flour to prepare this)
Wash and soak raw rice for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, drain the water completely and spread it on a cloth or paper, so that it will absorb the excess water.
After 10 minutes, dry grind the rice nicely (not too fine and not too coarse-in between both) along with cardamom.(Alternatively you can add cardamom powder to the jaggery syrup also) Sieve it and keep it in a broad vessel. You cannot store this rice flour but have to use it immediately for making athirasams.
If you have a flour mill near your place, you can get it ground there for adhirasam, which is much easier.I got it ground in the flour mill.
Grate jaggery, add just enough water to soak the jaggery. Bring it to boil, switch off. Once the jaggery dissolves, filter it to remove any impurities.
Boil the jaggery water until you get a soft ball consistency also known as uruttu padham in tamil. Take a small cup of water, pour a tsp of jaggery syrup into it, if you are able to collect it and make a soft ball out of it, then it is the right consistency. Switch off the flame.This is the most important step in making adhirasams.
Immediately add needed hot jaggery syrup (little by little) to the rice flour and mix it well with a ladle as you see in picture below. Cover it with a lid and let it rest. After 4-5 hours, take it out and knead it well with your hands and keep it covered with a tight lid again. Let is rest for 1-2 days. (This dough can be kept for 2 days at room temperature.You do not have to refrigerate the dough).
I left it only for 1 day.
After 1 day
Take the dough out and knead again. Divide equally and make balls.
Meantime heat oil in a kadai, once the oil is heated, reduce the flame to medium.
Grease a banana leaf or a plastic cover with ghee and flatten the ball with your hands.You can grease your hands as well to make it easier.
Take the flattened dough in your hands from the leaf and gently slip it into the oil. Fry both sides till it turns nice brown color.(Keep the heat in medium as if the heat is high, it will turn brown immediately but will remain uncooked inside)
Remove from oil. Adhirsam has the tendency to absorb lot of oil. Press the adhirsam between two slotted ladles to remove excess oil. Then put it in a colander or on a paper towel to drain remaining excess oil.
Repeat the process for the rest of the dough. Hope I have made everything clear and easy for you.
Tips to repair if you go wrong
If the dough is very sticky or too loose and you are unable to make balls, then add a little wheat flour to it to get the right consistency.
If the dough is too tight, then add little more jaggery syrup or little milk to it.
Prepare or fry athirasam 1 or 2 days after preparing the athirasam dough for best results.
Another important point is you should not add rice flour to the jaggery syrup and mix but you should add jaggery syrup to the rice flour little at a time and mix well with a ladle.