Vella Arisi Puttu – A traditional Tamil sweet made during the festive season. Rice flour and jaggery syrup is mixed together to get a sandy and crumbly textured sweet to snack on.
As many of you are aware, the Navarathri period - a 9 day celebration that happens every autumn. As usual, this Indian festival is celebrated in a grand manner with delectable "Prasad" - food offering to God. Today's recipe Arisi Puttu is one such dish that is made especially during this time. Nonetheless, it serves as a perfect tea time snack as well.
The Navarathri Puttu also known as Vella Arisi Puttu is a sweet dish made with rice flour and jaggery. As simple as that but the process is slightly extensive and laborious. Let me assure you that this is all worth in the end. An important thing that you should remember while making this is Sieve, Sieve, Sieve! Yeah sieving is an important process in making Puttu. This gives a soft and fluffy texture that melts in your mouth. Else it is all gritty and grainy.
Following are some of the tips that you need to keep in mind while preparing this arisi vella puttu.
Roasting the rice flour
The rice flour should be roasted well until the flour changes its colour to a pinkish brown shade. Then Sieve the roasted flour. Do not forget to sieve it. While roasting a rice flour it tends to clump and hence sieving is very important.
Consistency of the flour
The next crucial part is mixing the flour with turmeric water and getting the right consistency. Ill confess it is very hard for me to describe it in english but Ill try my best. Gradually, sprinkle the turmeric mixed water to the flour and start mixing it. Keep sprinkling water until you reach the consistency where; when gathered, the mixture should clump together in your hand easily and it should easily crumble when you put it back. You need to add very little water just until you reach that consistency.
Then do not forget to sieve it. You can check below for image reference. The turmeric is added to get that beautiful golden colour.
Steaming the flour is as important as sieving it. The rice flour should be cooked through. If not, when you mix with the jaggery syrup it might become grainy and gritty. So steam it for a minimum of about 12-15 minutes. Over steaming is not a problem. When it is cooked properly, you can see the texture would have become fluffy like a cotton.
This is another crucial part of preparation. Getting the consistency of the jaggery syrup. In Indian terminology it is called hard ball consistency. I know! Boil the jaggery syrup until it reaches the consistency where you pour the syrup in a bowl with water; the syrup should clump together, be rolled it into a ball and is hard to touch. When you drop it on a plate, you will hear a metal clunk sound.
This is the consistency that you need for many of the traditional South Indian sweets. We need this consistency in order to get a fluffy and soft texture.
Click here to check on how to make Eera arisi mavu | homemade rice flour.
Vella arisi puttu made with rice flour and jaggery. A traditional sweet snack made during the navrathri festival. A gluten free Indian sweet.
- 1 cup rice flour Refer Notes
- 4 to 5 tablespoon hot water
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3/4 cup powdered jaggery Refer Notes
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 2 tablespoon melted Ghee
- 10-12 cashews broken into small pieces
Soak raw rice in water for about 2 hours. Drain the water. Spread the wet rice on a clean cloth and let it air dry for 30 minutes. The rice should not be dry completely. It should be moist and damp but not wet. Then grind it in a mixer until it becomes a smooth flour. Check this post for preparing homemade rice flour. (Refer notes 1)
Roast the ground flour in a pan until it changes colour to a slight pinkish brown shade.
Meanwhile, mix a pinch of salt and turmeric powder in hot water. Keep aside.
Spread the roasted rice flour in a wide vessel or a plate. Gradually, sprinkle the turmeric mixed water to the flour and start rubbing it with your fingers. You don't have to knead. Just mix them.
Keep sprinkling water until you reach the consistency - when gathered, the mixture should clump together in your hand easily and it should easily crumble when you put it back. Refer the image in the post under flour consistency.
Then sieve the flour. This is important to avoid forming lumps and grains after the flour is cooked.
Put this flour in a clean cloth and steam for about 12-15 minutes on med-high flame.
Add jaggery in a pan and melt it. Add 2 tablespoons water. Once it melts, filter it using a strainer to filter out the dirt present in the jaggery.
Pour this back in the pan and bring it to boil. Keep stirring until it reaches a hard jelly consistency. Please Refer notes 3 and the image in the post to check for the right consistency. It took about 12 minutes on medium high flame (electric stove) to achieve this. Be swift when handling jaggery syrup, it could easily become very hard.
Turn off the stove and pour this on the flour and start mixing it. Be swift while doing this. Once the syrup gets hard its difficult to mix. Mix it well without forming any lumps. Refer Notes 4
Rest it for few minutes and then break the lumps with the back of the spoon or use your fingers. The final texture should be sand textured.
Heat ghee and roast the cashews and add this to the mixture. You can also add some cardamom powder for flavour. MIx well.
Always serve this at room temperature. Serve it with a sundal if you are doing on navrathri or with some savoury snacks.
This can be kept at room temperature for one week and 3 to 4 days if its a very humid place.
- Note that 1 cup of raw rice when ground gives approximately 2 to 2.5 cups of rice flour depending on the quality of the rice. This flour can be used to make many other south Indian snacks. Click here to make arisi mavu / homemade rice flour
- Sprinkle enough water so when you try to make a ball, it should hold and when you break it, it should fall like a sand. If the description is too confusing, just add water enough to gather it to a mass.
- To test the consistency of the jaggery syrup; when you drop a little syrup in a bowl of water, you should be able to roll it out into a ball and when you press, it should be like a hard jelly.
*This post is updated with new pictures.