Athirasa or Kajjaya

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Athirasa is a part of Sri Lankan cuisine. It’s prepared in parts of India during different festivals. It’s also called as Kajjaya in few parts of Karnataka. Prepared using freshly powdered rice flour and jaggery syrup, later deep fried to get crispy athirasa. They are deliciously delicious sweet for any occasion. The South Canara people add coconut gratings to athirasa which gives softness and unique flavor when deep fried. In this recipe I have not used coconut gratings. I have learnt this recipe from my neighbor aunty. Thanks to her for this full proof recipe.

Here is the recipe for athirasa

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Sri Lankan

Preparation time: 24 hours

Cooking time: 40 mins

Serves: 10 nos

Ingredients: 

Raw red rice- 2 cups

Grated jaggery- 1 ½ cup

Poppy seeds- 2 tsp

Cooking oil- 3 tsp

Oil for frying

Method: 

  1. Wash the rice 4-5 times until the colour of washed water changes from red to colourless.
  2. Soak the rice overnight. Drain the water and shade dry for 45 minutes and take care that little water content remains in the rice.
  3. Powder the rice into fine flour in the mixer and sieve the flour and repeat this step until all the rice is done into fine flour.
  4. Take grated jaggery into thick kadai, pour in little water, and prepare syrup of single thread consistency. Remove from flame, add the poppy seeds and now pour in the powdered rice flour into the syrup with continuous stirring
  5. Add the cooking oil. The rice flour begins to absorb the syrup. Keep the mixture aside and leave it to cool down (mixture thickens).
  6. After cooling grease the palm with oil and make small roundels with lemon sized flour mixture.
  7. Deep fry in oil on medium flame. Allow the athirasa to cool as they are a soft when hot and becomes crispy later.

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My Notes:

The rice flour should be slightly wet after drying and powdering.

Single thread consistency is the key to successful athirasa preparation. Using slightly wet finger, when we touch the syrup, a single thread should form between the finger tips.

Medium flame should be used for deep frying so that when we drop the athirasa into it, should slowly rise up and then it should be flipped.

If the athirasa when dropped into the oil splits open, add some whole wheat flour to the prepared athirasa mixture and leave for some time. Then prepare the athirasa.

The athirasa mixture can be stored in airtight container with a layer of ghee on top, for 6 months in refrigerator. Before using, it should be brought to room temperature.

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