Putarekulu, or Poothareku as is it also known as, is the most unusual sweet I have ever seen or eaten. The origins of this sweet can be found in Atreyapuram, a village in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, in the Southern region of India.
A particular Rice Batter, Powdered Sugar and Ghee are the ingredients that make up this dish along with the most important ingredient, an inverted Clay Pot.
Yes, you read that right.
A clay pot is heated and rubbed with a cloth dipped in oil for 3 days, to smoothen its surface. The batter of the 3 ingredients is prepared and spread on the inverted and heated pot. The batter ‘cooks’ to form a gossamer thin film which makes the outer covering of the sweet. It is then stuffed with dry fruits or jaggery and intricately folded into a neat rectangle.
This sweet rectangle does not weigh more than a tissue paper, and when bitten into, the Putarekulu just melts into your mouth.
For my Haldi ceremony ladies from my in-laws side came to our house bearing sweets, as is the tradition.
There were some usual ones like Laddu’s and some unusual ones like Khajas and Putarekulu. The Husbands Uncle (Mama) is a foodie and he had ensured that the sweets native to Andhra were specially prepared for the occasion.
After the ceremony we remembered the sweets and were most curious about the unique looking Putarekulu. We picked one, and were surprised at how incredibly light is weighed. Then we began unraveling it, thinking the outer layer to be some kind of butter paper or tissue paper. We kept unraveling this delicate sweet till we were left with the sparse dry fruit and jaggery filling, the quantity of which was barely that of a tablespoon.
How strange, we thought to ourselves and gingerly tasted the dry fruits, that to be honest didn’t taste like much. We clumsily ‘re wrapped’ the ‘tissue paper’ and kept it aside.
The next day when The Husband (then fiancée) asked me what we thought of the Putarekulu I told him ‘how the shopkeeper had probably packed the wrong sweets’ and sheepishly explained what we did.
To which he had a hearty laugh, and told me about the Putarekulu.
Till date this is a big joke in his family and till date my family cannot remember or pronounce the tongue twister of a name and we refer to it as the ‘Tissue Paper Sweet’.