Adhirasam is a traditional sweet from the Tamil Nadu region of India. This deep fried delicacy is usually made on Diwali, weddings and auspicious days in homes and in Temples and offered to the Gods as prasadam.
Looks are certainly deceptive when it comes to an Adhirasam, as this stodgy looking soft Puri may not look aesthetically appealing but once you bite into a well-made one, you’ll find yourself reaching for another, and another, and one more, calories be damned!
Rice Flour and Jaggery are always the core ingredients used to form the dough, which is kneaded after a careful procedure. Additions to the dough differ, as my Aunt-in-laws add Sesame seeds to it while others add Cardamon Powder or even Ginger Powder to it. In some recipes even the Jaggery is substituted with Sugar.
The original Adhirasam though remains my all-time favorite, rich and comforting. As I bite into its sweet goodness I am transported to happy occasions and auspicious moments and an imaginary fragrance of incense, the sounds the tinkling of bangles and echoes of laughter from the Poojas I first ate it at surrounds me. Every food I eat or have eaten is connected to a memory and I love the spiritual and happy memories I have associated with Adhirasam. Since it takes a lot of precision to make it, I am a bit hesitant to attempt making it myself, but perhaps one day I shall.
I had an Arranged Marriage. An Arranged ‘Inter-caste’ marriage, if you please. I am a Bombay born and bred Punjaban married to a Chennai based Telugu. Yes, crazy things do happen!
And do you know what is the biggest Adjustment one needs to make when one gets married, that too an Arranged Marriage?
It is Food!
Your cuisine, your timings, your food habits, everything changes, and in my case drastically! Pre marriage I was a daily Roti and rarely Rice eater whose usual Lunch time was 12:30 and Dinner time was 8:00. Post marriage Rice was had for lunch, EVERYDAY, and lunch time was 2:30! I was horrified, and very, very hungry!
So there we were, my growling stomach and I, looking at the clock every second, willing it to inch forward, which it obviously didn’t. With eyes glued to the barely moving clock I would drink enough water to irrigate about 10 fields.
Why didn’t I ask for an early lunch you wonder? Well, I was a new bride, in a new household, with new people who spoke a new language.
So what did I do?