Monday, March 15, 2010

Athirasam / Ariselu for ICC

This is one of the sweet that I am intrigued by. Memories of my mother's paternal aunt is associated with this beautiful dish. My mother's aunt was the one who raised her and she helped my mother with we kids. She used to make these every Gokulashtami or Krishna Jayanthi. My mother somehow never mastered this sweet and that is the reason I don't know how to make it. I had tried this about 10 years back and wasn't happy with the results. There went the end of Athirasam for me. Until now, after trying it out for ICC challenge, I can now say I do know how to make Athirasam, maybe not a great one, but pretty decent one. It still is no match for what my grand mother used to make or even close to it.

Srivalli did say that we should post only the recipe we follow, but I feel like I am qualified to post both since I tried both. I wanted to try the first method because I vaguely remember my grandmother making like that. It was a disaster. Then I almost gave up saying I am not going to make it, but couldn't stop after looking at all others' Athirasam pictures. I tell you one thing though, baking is so much easier compared to Indian sweet making. I, who can make lot of Indian sweets with no trouble had so much trouble today with these.

Here goes the copy of the recipe given:
Recipe 1
Makes 7 -8 pieces of regular poori size

Important note, please pound the rice flour at home. That is mandatory..:))
Ingredients Needed

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

Method to prepare.

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. Hope you understand what I am saying. This is very important because if the flour is very dry it wouldn't turn out well.

Have all the things ready when you put the jaggary for cooking.

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.

Recipe 2

This method yeilds about 8.

Ingredients Needed

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:

I had the Achu vellam, so grated and added 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, but I used up the entire glass of 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. Divide it to equal balls.

Heat a kadai with oil to deep fry these. In a greased plastic sheet, pat them down to equal sized discs. Press down the sesame seeds over the top. Once the oil is hot, gently drop these into them. Fry on both sides. Since the sesame seeds are just pressed over the top, they will get into the oil. If you want to avoid this, try adding to the dough.

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!
Recipe 1 was a disaster for me. I probably will try to master it though since I love the way my grandmother's athirasam used to taste and that is pretty much the method she used to follow.

But, when I tried the second recipe, it came out fine. I didn't add poppy seeds and I did increase the dry coconut by 2 TBSP since I love them. Apart from that, I followed the recipe as given above. I did make the Athirasam smaller than specified since I was so scared after the bad experience in the morning.

Happy Cooking !! Pin It


  1. Hey there - stumbled here through easy crafts - nice blog and great recipes... keep it up!!!

  2. Ariselu looks so perfect and yumm!!!!

  3. looks yummy i used the 2nd recipe

  4. They look yummmm....
    great work.

  5. These look delicious and so beautifully presented.

  6. Looks great..good to have you join us..

  7. I think the vellam quantity in the first recipe is more...that might have caused the athirasaams to separate in oil. Try the ratio 1 level cup powdered vellam to 1 heaped cup rice (not rice flour), you might achieve your grandmom's athirasams.


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