#AtoZApril 2017, AtoZChallenge

A is for…AtoZChallenge


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?

I Adapted.

72 thoughts on “A is for…AtoZChallenge

  1. Oh God, Mayuri! You picked my most favourite sweet of all time! Adhirasam is one thing I can binge eat despite any diet 😉 The texture, the filling, the sweetness- mmm. I’ve always loved the story of your arranged marriage no matter how many times I read it.

  2. Oh arranged inter caste marriage really looks so different het so cool… Something unlikely in our County.

    This is one delicacy I love. Not just because I have sweet tooth but also because I love sweets made of jaggery in particular. Beautiful story told extremely well.

  3. Combination of rice flour and jaggery sounds yum. I haven’t tried the Adhirasam, but in my mind it conjured up a flavour similar to what we make using the wheat flour and jaggery in north India.
    Loved the beautiful blending of a memory while talking about this sweet treat.
    Good luck for the rest of the challenge!

  4. Oh no! Reading this first thing in the morning, I now want that sweet. Never heard of it but happy to give it a try. Jaggery can make anything awesome. Yum post, Mayuri!

  5. Adhirasam sounds amazing.Is it something like mal pup ?I don’t know but your food story and love story made me smile.Waiting for lunch cant be fun, though!

  6. I love adhirasam….Does not matter if it has come out round , triangular or whatever shape….I just love them.And I totally loved the way you linked all with the letter A!☺

  7. That is super cute M – the marriage Story. We have late lunches and late dinners at my mom’s place and early food timings at in laws! With the name of this sweet dish I was thinking why is it half a rasam!!

  8. Ooo.. I wanna eat this Adhirasam! Please ya… it looks so tempting and I have a sweet tooth too!
    Yours is an arranged marriage? I didn’t know that?! Man!! That is some serious mix of culture! And I get you eating at 2.30! Such things happen to newly weds sometimes!

    I’m so much looking forward to know more about you, M!


  9. hey it’s similar to one of the sweets mom used to make during festival of Bihu.
    Hahaha I can totally understand the adjustment one has to make for food. I am a Rice Eater and my husband a Roti 😛

  10. I love this sweet similar to what yu have mentioned but I think its called something else in Karnataka. Thanks to your post ..now I am craving for it. And stories of your intercaste and interreligious marriage made this post really interesting. 🙂

  11. The food trauma is for real in many arranged marriages. Poor you! For me it was bliss. Exact opposite scenario. Everything was early and the food was yummier too.
    This sweet sounds a lot like Unniyappam when I consider the ingredients and deep frying. I haven’t eaten this I think.

  12. Love this sweet esp the way Gramma makes it.. And it is so true, food seems to be the biggest adjustment we make when we get into something new..

  13. 🙂 I agree food adjustments are a ‘thing’ I also had an ‘arranged marriage and I being a Delhi’ite, was never into biryanis…and niharis LOL
    But well, I too have ‘adapted! 😉

  14. Adhirasam/Ariselu is a sweet dish prepared in most of the South-Indian homes for any occasion esp in my household when my grandmom and aunts were alive. Otherwise I have this with lots of ghee whenever I feel like having some traditional.

  15. An arranged marriage! I have no doubt that loving parents can manage such a thing for their children, and those children could grow to love one another. It seems such a strange concept, and yet I think many of us who find it unusual have also had the fleeting though that it would be so much easier than dating!

    I’ve been happily married for nearly 34 years (and we dated for two before that). I’d suggest creating your own customs and traditions. Perhaps a lunch time that split the difference, just to be yourselves, together. 🙂 Adapting is fine, but it’s sweeter when both meet halfway. My husband and I both enjoy cooking, and take turns at it. It’s good when you like food and aren’t too picky to try a variety of new things. Better when you’re adventurous and curious, and can enjoy trying new things together.

    I swear, I cannot read all these blogs at once, or I will crave food and indulge in unneeded calories! Time for that walk!

    1. I did mention that crazy things do happen. Holly!:))) On a serious note, Arranged Marriages are very common in India.
      I love that you say ‘Adapting is fine, but it’s sweeter when you meet halfway’ i am going to explore and work on this thought/suggestion 🙂
      Thank you for dropping by, I loved having you here, Holly:)

  16. hahahaaa… I LOVE the play on the alphabet A! This looks delicious – I hope you will share the recipe soon 🙂 someday, you must tell us the story of how this ‘arranged’ marriage happened – truly!

  17. I have never had Adhirasam but I am imagining it’s taste and I so want to have one now!
    Was not aware that you are a Punjabi? I am one too!! Roti to Rice is a big adjustment especially for a Punjabi. 🙂
    Love your theme, Mayuri. Looking forward to know more about you and your fav food, this April. Cheers :)S

  18. I have had this sweet at a neighbor’s place but didn’t know its name. There is a sweet made in Hyderabad which tastes similar, again don’t know the name.

    About marriage, the husband though half Punjabi had been raised in Hyderabad and to a Marathi mom from Mysore. So I’ve had my own exposure to South Indian food but at my home the food is predominantly North Indian. Even my mil needs her daily rotis.

  19. The description you have given of adhirasam is truly delicious! Maybe I’ll get to binge on this calorie-loaded dish sometime in the future?

    I loved the way you added a personal story to the post! Good start to the challenge, Mayuri! 🙂

  20. My mom was raised in Chennai so Adhirasam was at home when we went to granny ‘s. Okay my food timings after marriage have changed like yours ! And I m doing the same
    I always live reading your love story

  21. I wasn’t originally a fan of this, but my mom used to make it so well, it became irresistible after that. I am a bigger fan of the appum. And I love it when they mash a little banana into it. The photo is so drool-worthy, Mayuri! I have to rely on the Mangalore Stores for my bite now. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Vidya:) Especially for the comment on the pic. No one else noticed my super MobileCam photography and I was so disappointed! Grand Sweets from Chennai is where I get my stash from, when it does not come from the village:))

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