Athirasam can be classified as an Indian version of doughnut but made with rice flour and jaggery.
Athirasam is a common sweet made in TamilNadu. I have seen people frying these doughnuts for all the festivals they celebrate. In India, the traditional marriages are very expensive, that too a lot from the bride's side. It is a custom to give a lot of sweets and snacks like ladoo , athirasam , halwa, mixture, murukku, fruits etc to the bridegroom's house along with the jewels, money and ofcourse the bride too:).The snacks and sweets (that the bride brought) would be distributed by the mother inlaw to her friends and neighbors as 'maruveettu palagaram' that means snacks from bride's side. The sweets are prepared in certain numbers like 100 or 500 or more depending on the inlaws' request. Our athirasams also find a solid place among the gifts. Even now in villages, athirasam is a must to accompany a bride while entering the groom's house as one of the various gifts she bring.
Hope now you understand the importance of this humble sweet:)
The original athirasam recipe, calls for powdering the soaked rice in a rice-mill.
I can't find a mill here. So I altered the original recipe to suit the availability.
This athirasam recipe is my very own creation and I tried my best to get a typical Indian athirasam.
Actually if you can powder the wet rice or searching for an authentic athirasam then click here to see how Kribha has done it.
white Rice flour(very fine) (store bought) - 2 cups
Jaggery (crushed) - 2 cups
sugar - 1/4 cup
poppy seed (kasa kasa) - 2 tsp
sesame seed - 1 tbsp
cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
dry ginger powder - 1/2 tsp
milk - as required (say 1/4 cup)
Measure and put the flour into a wide mixing bowl.
Mix cardamom powder, sesame, poppy seed, dry ginger powder and keep adide.
Now we are going to fake our store bought flour to get that home made wet flour.
So sprinkle very little cold water (1/2 cup exactly) to moisten the flour.
Let it rest for an hour.
The athirasam flour (moistened to get the real texture).
Measure and put the jaggery + sugar on a vessel along with 1/4cup water and heat it in medium flame.
Check the consistency of the syrup to get a two string consistency.
(One string consistency: While stirring the syrup with a spoon, take the spoon above the vessel and let the syrup flow down to the vessel. If it forms one string like flow, then it is called one string consistency and if it forms two distinct strings then it is called two string consistency, which is of course a thick syrup).
Take care not to burn the syrup. Because making the perfect syrup is the only secret behind good athirasam.
Then pour the hot syrup over the flour and mix well so that the flour gets cooked a bit in that heat.
It should come to a sticky dough.
So add some milk to get the consistency.
(check the other blog for the dough picture).
Now we can place the dough in a cling wrap and protect it airtight for a day (24 hours).
Next day heat 300 ml vegetable oil in a wok.
Make adhirasams like very flat vadais (They will swell while frying) and deep fry in medium heat.
(I pierced a small hole in the center to facilitate the perfect cooking. But some people won't pierce it. Both are correct. In Southern Tamil nadu , we make a hole , whereas in Chennai they won't)
Take out when it becomes deep red in color.
Drain oil in a paper towel and let them cool.
Store them in airtight containers for a week.
Makes 25 - 30 athirasams depending upon the size.
The athirasam will become perfectly soft after 2- 3 hours.
Original recipe - rice jaggery proportion:
If we take 1 kg rice then use 3/4 kg jaggery + 3 tbsp white sugar.
syrup consistency : 2 string , but if dropped in a cup of water , then we should be able to roll it into soft balls.
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