Diwali – Let’s Make it Sweet

 

So, Diwali 2018 is going to be special. The Supreme Court has finally decided that enough is enough and they have gone ahead and specified time limitations when it comes to bursting crackers. And rightfully so. I know of people who purchase so much of these firecrackers each year that they manage to be a menace to the environment and the society from Diwali all the way into the new year. I, for one, applaud the ruling.

Diwali is the festival of lights. It is the celebration of good over evil. The confirmation that no matter how dark the night, the light will always win. So why use such a lovely occasion to cause so much harm to everyone? This Diwali may it be about light and amazing sweet treats. I’d like to share one recipe for a sweet treat with you today.

Adhirasam – This is a popular sweet made in Tamil Nadu during Diwali. Made using very few ingredients, this sweet is delightful. The trick to a good Adhirasam is getting the dough right. The first time I made this sweet, it was a disaster. But I have since found a foolproof recipe and I’d like to share it with you.

So here goes.

Ingredients:

  • I cup raw rice (soaked for 1 hour)
  • 3/4th cup jaggery
  • 1 cup water
  • Cardamom powder
  • White sesame seeds (optional)
  • A few tsp of ghee
  • Oil for frying.

The important thing to remember here is that the cup measurement should remain the same. So, whatever you use to measure the rice, use the same to measure up the water and jaggery.

After having soaked the rice for 1 hour, drain out the water. What you are looking for is the rice being damp to the touch. We don’t want it wet and neither should it be bone dry. Now use your mixer grinder (chutney jar works best) to powder the rice to a rava consistency. Be sure to check the powdered rice to ensure there aren’t any larger grains in there. Now cover and keep this powdered rice aside and let’s start with the jaggery.

Add the 1 cup water to the 3/4th cup jaggery. Bring this to a boil and once all the jaggery has melted, strain the mixture to ensure there is no dirt or stones in there. Now bring the strain jaggery fluid back to the heat and boil this mixture until it begins to thicken. Be watchful of this as you don’t want to burn the jaggery.

(Tip: You know your jaggery is ready when you take a tiny bit of the jaggery and drop it into a plate of cold water, you are able to bring it together into a ball and lift it out of the water without it disintegrating.)

Once the jaggery is at the right consistency, add a tsp of ghee and the powdered cardamom. Mix it together and then take it off the heat. Now add the powdered rice and mix it in nicely. You do not want any lumps in the mix. So, put some elbow into it and mix it in nicely. It will all come together nicely into a smooth dough. Looks somewhat similar to cookie dough in consistency.

Now lightly grease a vessel (you want something that has a nice tight lid) with some ghee. Transfer the prepared dough into the vessel. Spread a little ghee over the surface (this is done to prevent the dough from drying out so while you don’t need a lot, you do want to make sure the surface is completely greased). This needs to be kept aside in a warm place for 3 days. I promise you I’m not joking. You wait 3 days before you make this lovely sweet.

After 3 days, you take the dough and roll them into little balls. About the size, you’d take to make a phulka. Now you take one of these balls and flatten it. Should be about the size of a doughnut in circumference and about a quarter of a cm thick.

Heat some oil, drop the flattened adhirasam into the hot oil. You need to keep the flame on medium-low and let the adhirasam cook. It will puff up the way a puri does. Turn it on its other side and once cooked, you use a slotted ladle and take it out of the oil. Use another flat ladle and squeeze out the excess oil.

For some, you could try pressing in some sesame seeds on the surface of the adhirasam just before you drop it into the oil.

And there just like that, it’s ready. The trick is to keep the ingredient measurements right. Try this lovely sweet this Diwali and enjoy a peaceful and beautiful Diwali everyone. Happy Diwali!!!

 

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