Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ariselu | Adhirasam | Kajjaya | Athirasa Recipe - Diwali Sweets Recipes 2012

This is the 400th post in my blog and to mark the milestone, I am posting a sweet recipe.

'Ariselu', is a very traditional and common sweet in South India and is known by various names like 'Ariselu' in Andhra, 'Kajjaya' in Kannada and 'Adhirasam' in Tamil.If it is deep fried in ghee it is called 'Nethi Ariselu'.This sweet is distributed in many auspicious functions and even during weddings.This is again one of my favorite sweets, which I never miss to get back whenever I visit Bangalore.As I  mentioned in my earlier Manugupoolu post, we prepared this sweet along with the other goodies during my last visit.I just enjoyed this time while making all those sweets and savories as it really refreshed those child hood memories.
Mom used to make this a lot when we were kids and my task used to be to deep fry them.I would say this is not a very easy recipe to attempt if you are new to cooking,but you can definitely give it a try .I have tried to mention all the pointers in notes so that you don't miss the minute details and I also added step wise photos for easy understanding.Also we need a freshly hand pounded wet rice flour to make Ariselu,an ordinary rice flour does not help. Traditionally the rice is to be hand pounded to make them but I have mentioned a few easy options to make the rice flour at home. Please read the notes and recipe carefully for more detailed information before you proceed to prepare this.
Ariselu | Kajjaya | Adhirasam Recipe:
Shelf life:upto 15 days

2 1/2 cups(1/2 kg) Rice
1 1/2 cup(300 gms) grated Jagegry
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
1/3 cup white Sesame seeds
2 tbsp Ghee
Oil,for deep frying

to make rice flour for Ariselu: 

  • Soak rice in water for 2 hours.My mom uses a slight red colored variety of rice for this,she says it tastes the best but you can use regular white rice variety too. 
  • option-1:Drain the water through a colander.Dry under the shade by spreading on a clean dry cloth.Once it is three-fourth dried(it should not dry completely),you need to send it to mill to get it powdered.Sieve it well
  • option-2:Drain the water through a colander and leave it for 10-15 minutes.Grind half the portion to a powder in the mixie and do the same with the remaining half.Sieve it well.
  • option-3:Drain the water through a colander.Immediately pound it using the typical stone grinder using the pestle,this is the most traditional method.Sieve it well.
  • I followed the option-2  as it is very convenient to make the quantity for a small family.
to make Ariselu:
  • Grate jaggery and keep it aside.
  • Take a heavy bottomed thick kadai and add grated jaggery and 1/4 cup of water and let it melt completely.Strain through a fine strainer to remove the mud and dirt from it.
  • Now pour it back to the cleaned kadai and boil the jaggery syrup until it reaches the SOFT BALL consistency.In order to test the consistency of soft ball - put little syrup in cold water,when you roll it with fingers you should be able to make a ball out of the syrup.This means a correct soft ball consistency which is very important to get in this recipe.
  • Once you get the soft ball consistency remove the kadai and keep it on a firm surface.
  • Add cardamom powder to it and mix well.
  • Sprinkle rice flour(prepared above) quickly little by little and stir so that it does not form lumps. Keep adding the flour until the syrup holds.You need to stop adding the flour once all the syrup is absorbed and forms like Soft Chapati dough consistency.It should not become harder than that.
  • Now take another vessel and slightly grease it and transfer the mixture to it and pat it nicely with the greased hands all over and pour the remaining ghee on top of it.
  • Let the mixture sit for a while,you can keep it for 2 hrs or even up to a day before preparing ariselu.
  • When you prepare ariselu,check the consitency if you think it has become very hard.You can add a couple of tbsp of milk to the mixture and can be kneaded to a soft dough.When you make balls you should not see cracks in the edges and it shoudl be soft which means a correct dough consistency.
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai to deep fry the ariselu.
  • Take a small lemon sized ball and pat it on a greased plastic sheet or banana leaf to a 3" diameter round discs.
  • Sprinkle little sesame seeds on top of it and press well.You can even sprinkle sesame seeds on both the sides or you can even add in the dough itself.
  • Deep fry the ariselu one by one over low-medium flame until they turn brown in color.They will slightly puff up like puri.Few sesame seeds float up in the oil but it is fine,you can remove them with the slotted spoon later.
  • Remove it with a slotted spoon and place it on a thick flat colander.Place the colander on a clean and dry vessel.Now press using a flat wooden press over the aiselu,this will remove the extra oil from it and make them look flat and even.
  • Repeat the same process with all the dough and press them nicely to remove the extra oil. 
  • Arrange on a flat plate side by side.This will make sure that they wont stick to each other.
  • Once they come to room temperature store them in a container.My mom used to place few sticks at the bottom of the container and arrange the ariselu on top of it.This will make sure that all the extra oil would drain to the bottom.
  1. Ariselu would be crisp immediately after frying.They turn softer by next day.We actually love the crispier ones and will finish half of them on the same day.
  2. Ariselu would be slightly oily when compared to any other sweets.If you drain them on the kitchen napkin to remove excess oil they turn out dry and does not taste that good.
  3. The consistency of jaggery syrup to reach the soft ball is very important in this recipe.If you mess up with it- you will even mess up your end product-ariselu.If the syrup is taken before the soft ball consistency.ariselu will break while frying them and if the syrup reaches more than the soft ball consistency,ariselu will become hard.So be careful while doing it.
  4. The taste of Ariselu also depends on the quality of jaggery.The dark colored jaggery and even the soft ones gives the best results.
  5. You can keep the ariselu dough for upto a week or for months when refrigerated and make ariselu fresh when ever you want.Make sure you soaked it nicely with ghee on top of it. 
  6. Sesame seeds can be added into the dough but we always add over that which gives a nice look to ariselu.
  7. My mom uses a slight red colored variety of rice for this,she says it tastes the best but you can use regular white rice variety too.
  8. You can even deep fry them in ghee which is a special recipe in Andhra called Nethi Ariselu.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Diwali Snacks Recipes | Easy Diwali Snacks | Deepavali Savouries

I had earlier posted a list of Diwali Sweets ,where I had compiled all the special sweets recipes at one place.If you have not checked that page please check it here for more ideas for this Diwali.Today I am posting a list of Diwali Savouries and Snacks which would be helpful to many for the coming up festival.I would update the list when I post new snacks,so stay tuned for more snack recipes for Diwali.I have included the various snack varieties of vada,bajji and bonda in the list so that it would be easy for those who can plan for them to make at the last moment during Diwali.

Check out How to make Processed RICE FLOUR  at home to  make these savories and snacks.

~ Traditional SPECIAL SNACKS ~

Manugupoolu             Thattai | Chekkalu            Thenkuzhal | Thengolu

Sago Murukku                  Chakli | Murukku              Ribbon Pakoda        

                                Avarekalu Mixture                 Spicy Seedai(Palakayalu)


      Kara Pori                      Spicy Fox Nuts          Spicy Kaju - low fat

     Sago Chiwda


       Ambode                       Masala Vada                    Medu Vada

          Mosaru Kodubale            Punugulu             Stuffed Okra & Eggplant Bonda

   Mosaru Ambode              Lobia Vada                    Perugu Vada

    Sago Bonda                      Dahi Bhalla                   Maddur Vada 

Check out here for Diwali Sweets recipes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mullu Murukku | Manugupoolu | Magizhampoo Murukku - Diwali Snack Recipes

South Indian weddings have lots of traditions and each wedding differs according to their customs.You might be wondering why am I talking about weddings while I am posting a murukku recipe,I always associate these kind of murukkus with wedding specials.Coming to that in our community we have a tradition of distributing various sweets and savories along with a return gift to all the friends,relatives and in fact all the guests who attend the wedding.Various mix of savories like Kai Murukku, Chakli, Manugu Poolu, Thenkuzhal, Nippat, Kodbale along with sweet varieties like Arise(Adhirasam) and Chikki are packed in a neat polythene which is then pinned with Haldi-Kumkum packet and is distributed among all.The basis for the number of varieties and the number of murukkus depends on how close the person is to the family.The lowest number could be 4 murukkus and 2 sweets and the highest number does not have any limit-could be even a carton full !
In earlier days, cooks used to come home and prepare all these varieties a week before the marriage or any other function. I still remember how we kids used to fight to taste those hot murukkus fresh off the pan. We used to have fun chit chatting while packing all the goodies as per the instructions from the elders.Now a days its a bit less elaborate a process though, as these murukkus are readily available but of course these need to be ordered well in advance if the quantities involved are larger.

My mom used to make these murukkus when we were kids and gradually she stopped making them as these are easily available in the market.During my recent visit to Bangalore, my mom asked me what I would like to carry back to Mumbai and my prompt response was that anything homemade would suffice. After a small discussion on what to make, we settled on few murukkus and sweet recipes - lookout for these recipes that should be on my blog soon. I must say that I enjoyed a lot making them;it refreshed my childhood memories of spending time with mom making them.So stay tuned to see the various special recipes for Diwali which are prepared by my MOM and your truly ME in the coming weeks.

Today's post is all about Manugupoolu,which is a kind of murukku made in a star shaped disc of the murukku maker and also is prepared in a different way unlike the regular murukkus.It is also called  'Mullu murukku' or 'Musaru' or 'Magizhampoo murukku' or 'Manugupoolu Jantikalu'.If you have read through the entire note and have reached this sentence I am sure you will enjoy this recipe more- now off to the recipe.
Manugupoolu | Musarlu |  Mullu Murukku Recipe:
Shelf life: upto 2 weeks

1 cup Roasted gram flour**(Chutney dal/dalia)
4 cups Water
2 heaped tbsp white Butter(preferably home made)
Salt to taste(approx1 1/2 tbsp)

Oil,to deep fry
  • Heat water in a thick bottom kadai with salt.
  • When it starts bubbling,add rice flour and mix it immediately and remove it from fire.
  • Add roasted gram flour,butter and mix well.Leave it aside for 5 mins until you can handle the mixture with hands.
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai to deep fry murukkus.
  • Now sprinkle some water if necessary to prepare a thick dough.
  • Use the 3 hole star disc (disc-5 in the image above)in the murukku maker and fill the dough in it.
  • On back of a ladle or on a wet cloth or on a greased plastic sheet press the murukkus in a circular motion as shown in the figure.
  • Gently slide them in to the hot oil and deep fry over MEDIUM to HIGH flame until the bubbles vanish in the oil.
  • Drain on to a colander to remove excess oil.
  • Repeat the same process with all the dough.
  • Let the murukkus come to room temperature and store them in air tight container.
You can serve them along with tea or munch when ever you want..I love to eat this with mango thokku which is a sweet and spicy pickle.

*Rice flour Preparation at home: Wash the rice nicely and spread on a cloth and let it dry in shade completely.Grind it to a fine powder in a mill or at your house in a mixie and sieve the floor.You can use it immediately,if you want to store then spread the floor on the cloth for a day in shade and store it in air tight container.This stays fresh for 2-3 months and can be used for many varieties.For modak/kudumulu especially this kind of rice flour is used.
**Fried gram powder: Grind Chutney dal(fried gram/roasted chana dal) in a mixie to a fine powder and measure the powder -1 cup for the recipe.
  1. Always use the rice flour which is prepared by using the above process,ready rice flour is not suggested to make these kind of  murukkus.
  2. If the murukku turns very hard to bite,it means the amount of hot oil you added to the dough is not enough.Add 1-2 tbsp more and make the next batch.
  3. The murukkus will be slightly reddish in color when they are fried but they reduce the color by next day and almost turn creamish.

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