Monday, November 18, 2013

Adhirasam | அதிரசம் | Diwali Sweets

Adhirasam, a traditional South Indian sweet made from rice flour and jaggery. It's one of the common sweets prepared during Deepavali/Diwali festival. 

In Childhood days , I was not fond of adhirasam much. At that time I was very fascinated about the milk sweets like pal khova.  But you know , as you age, your taste changes and now adhirasam is my most favorite sweet. When I started to make adhirasam on my own, I truly appreciated its simplicity compared to other sweets which need a ton of ghee. 

To me , my periamma(mom's sister) makes the best adhirasam, so I ask my mom to get a recipe for me. Once I got the recipe and tips, I tried it.To my surprise, I got it right at the first time itself(beginner's luck,it seems :-) ).

If you look at the step by step instructions. it may look like a lengthy process, but it doesn't! I just want to capture minute details, so it may be helpful to those who try it for the first time.
If you're making this for the first time, see the notes section and carefully follow the instructions, you too get it right at the first time itself. Now let's see how to make this delicious Adhirasam ! 


Preparation Time : 12 hrs(resting dough) | Cooking Time : 20 minsMakes : 15 
Recipe Category: Sweet | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Adhirasam,Athirasam,kajjaya,ariselu Adhirasam, a traditional South Indian sweet made from rice flour and jaggery. It's one of the common sweets prepared during Deepavali/Diwali festival.
Raw Rice - 1 Cup
Jaggery - 3/4 Cup
Cardamom - 4
Black sesame seed - 1 tbsp
Water - 1/4 cup
Oil for frying

Wash the rice in water twice and soak it in water for about 2 hrs.
After 2 hrs drain the water and spread the rice on clean kitchen towel and dry it for 1 hr.
When the rice is slightly wet,grind the rice in the mixer into fine powder.If you are doing it in larger batch, you can grind it in flour mill(in tamil  we say "idikurathu"). And sieve the flour to remove large rice granules.
Again grind the leftover rice granules into fine powder and add it along with already sieved rice flour.
Now dry roast the sesame seed  and put it in the flour. Add the water in the sauce pan for making jaggery syrup and bring to boil.
Grate the jaggery and add it in boiling water,let it comes to boil.
Once jaggery melted, remove the strain through strainer and keep it in flame again. Now add the cardamom powder and let it boil still  the jaggery syrup reaches one string consistency (wet your thumb and index finger and take the jaggery syrup between your fingers, it will form string). switch of the flame. In the mean time, mix the flour with sesame seed and keep it ready.
Add this jaggery syrup little by little into flour and mix it with spatula .Be careful here , the syrup is very hot. 
Once mix it with all the syrup, the batter should be thick ( neither too stiff nor too runny). Once it comes to room temperature, cover it with lid and keep aside for overnight.
On next day, heat the oil in fry pan, Now athirasam dough becomes thick and you can make balls from the batter.
Make small ball from mixture and spread it like vada(grease your hand with water) in greased polythene bag/ banana leaf,make hole in the center 
Add one by one and fry until it becomes crispy on outside.Once it became crispy,remove it and put it on tissue paper.
Once it completely cooled ,store it in air tight container and enjoy it .It remains good for even one week at room temperature. Look at those, they are delicious.

  • The oil should not be over heated on entire process, keep the flame in low to get crispy outside.
  • Making hole is the center is purely optional, it will gives crispy outside,we prefer that, so do the same.
  • The Jaggery syrup consistency is very important.
  • If you add the syrup into flour before it reaches single thread consistency, then the batter wont be thick on next day and also it absorbs more oil.
  • If you miss one string consistency, then the dough will be very hard,so keep the flame in low, when the syrup reaches one string consistency.
  • You can fry adhirasam immediately when you prepare the dough, but standing time gives soft adhirasam
  • You can keep the dough in refrigerator for weeks, whenever needed, fry and have hot & crispy adhirasam.
  • The rice flour should be slightly wet when you mix jaggery syrup with it, if you prepared rice flour few hours before, cover it with damn cloth to retain the moisture in the flour.
  • Keep the flame in low so that the inside also cooks well, otherwise the outer layer becomes dark very quickly and the inside dough is raw.


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  2. Our father's favourite. Whenever a festival like Vishu or Onam arrived among the different pastries that our Mom painstakingly made this Athirasam was daddy's favourite. The sweetmeats were made overnight when we children were fast asleep. Father stayed to help
    Mom. Only the next morning we get to know the sweet results.
    The sweet got its name thus meaning Very Sweet. It is not only sweet but crunchy too.
    Bhaskaradas C.S.

    1. Thanks for sharing your memories. Yeah they are sweet and crunchy, that's how i like it too.

  3. Hi,
    In case you wish to prepare sugar adhirasam (white sugar or raw cane sugar /brown sugar) try this way once... no syrup consistency fear!!! simple... take 1 cup of raw rice - procedure same for preparing rice flour. Take half cup of sugar - not powdered, as it is mix with the "little moist" rice flour for 2 - 3 minutes using a spoon or ladle, leave it covered overnight. Next day using your hands mix the dough which would by now resemble like chappathi dough. If need, repeat, only if there is a need and you feel the dough is very stiff, use half or 1 spoon of HOT water and gently knead and then deep fry them as usual!!!

    1. Thanks Meera for sharing your recipe, will give it a try on your method some time.

  4. Can the cough be steamed like idly

    1. No, you can't steamed them. It should be deep fried.

  5. How much water to be used for jaggery syrup