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Diwali recipes: Susiyam, Adhirasam and more

Last updated on: October 28, 2013 21:44 IST

Diwali recipes: Susiyam, Adhirasam and more

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S Saraswathi

As part of our every-day series on Diwali, we'd earlier shared with you recipes of mysore pak, kalakand and kuttu ke pakore.

Here are some traditional recipes from South India that you must try home this Diwali.

There can be no Diwali without sweets, Diwali and sweets are synonymous. 

And the best part is that most families prefer to make their own sweets and savories to distribute to friends rather than buying the usual boring shop-sold varieties.

There is sense of deep satisfaction and pride in gifting your near and dear ones with a plateful of delicious homemade sweets.

So here is a set of simple, easy to make recipes that is sure to earn you heaps of praises this Diwali.

Susiyam

The susiyam, a traditional sweet dish that is famous in southern Tamil Nadu, especially in Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, and Nagercoil is almost always made during Diwali.

Though very simple and easy to make, this tempting treat is hard to resist and you can rarely stop with just one.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chana dal
  • 1 cup jaggery
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1 tsp ghee            
  • 1-2 pinches cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup maida
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Wash and cook the chana dal in a pressure cooker until just soft.  Remove and cool.
  • Heat the ghee and roast the grated coconut for a few minutes.
  • Grind the dal, jaggery grated coconut and cardamom powder together in a mixer without adding any water.
  • Do not grind it to a fine paste, just enough to bind them together.
  • Make a thick batter with maida, salt and water.
  • Prepare small balls of the dal and jaggery mixture, dip into the maida batter and deep fry in hot oil.

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Image: Susiyam is made from chana dal and jaggery
Photographs: Courtesy Uma's Kitchen

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Adhirasam

Adhirasam is top on the list of Diwali sweets for most Tamilians.

This sweet dish is prepared using freshly ground rice flour and jaggery and frequently prepared during festive occasions, especially as an offering to God.

Though very few ingredients are required, the proportion of the ingredients in the batter and the consistency needs to be just right for deliciously soft adhirasams.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw rice                 
  • 1-1/2 cup jaggery
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom                     
  • 1-2 pinches of dried ginger powder
  • 1-2 tbsp ghee
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

  • Wash and soak the rice for about 30 minutes.
  • Drain the water and spread the rice on a clean cloth to dry for about 10 minutes.
  • When the rice is still slightly damp, grind it in the mixer to a powder.  The powder need not be very fine, more like sooji/rava consistency.
  • The jaggery can be grated or broken into little pieces.
  • Add 1/4 glass of water in a thick bottomed vessel, add the jaggery and let it come to a boil.
  • When the mixture starts boiling, reduce the flame.
  • Keep checking the mixture for the right consistency. For this you need to add a few drops of the mixture into a small bowl of water. 
  • If the mixture settles at the bottom and you are able to form a small ball with it, then you can switch off the flame.
  • Add ghee, cardamom powder, and dried ginger powder to this mixture and mix well.
  • Slowly add the rice flour to this syrup, while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon.
  • Mix well and keep this mixture aside at room temperature for at least a couple of days before using it. 
  • The batter should be soft (like the chapathi dough consistency), when you are ready to use it on the third day.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel.
  • Take small quantities of the dough (lemon-sized) and flatten it on a plastic sheet or small piece of banana leaf smeared with a little oil.
  • Make a small hole in the centre.
  • Now gently drop the adhirasam in hot oil.
  • Deep fry till golden brown on medium heat.
  • Your soft and delicious adhirasams are ready.

Image: Adhirasam
Photographs: WP SpacemanSpiff/Creative Commons

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Thenkuzhal Murukku

This all-time favourite snack is usually prepared in large quantities and stored in huge tins to be distributed among family and friends at the time of Diwali.

Though the murukku is made in almost all houses in South India during Diwali, it would be perfectly safe to say that no two murukkus taste alike.

It all depends on the years of experience you have in making this extremely popular snack that has many different varieties.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1/2 cup urad dal flour
  • 3 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

  • Lightly dry roast the rice flour and the urad dal flour separately.
  • In a bowl, add rice flour, urad dal flour, asafetida, sesame seeds, coconut oil, salt and mix well.
  • Add warm water and knead it to a smooth and soft dough.
  • Heat oil in a deep kadai.
  • Take the murukku mold and use the plate with three small round holes in it.
  • Fill the murukku mold with the dough and slowly press the mold and squeeze the dough in circles onto a ladle.
  • Now slowly immerse the ladle into the hot oil and fry on medium flame until crisp and golden.
  • The more experienced can directly squeeze the murukkus into the hot oil.

Image: Thenkuzhal Murukku
Photographs: Thamizhpparithi Maari/Creative Commons

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Sweet Rava/Maida Paniyaram

This tasty deep fried south Indian snack is easy to make and requires no extra effort.

The paniyaram has a crispy outside and a soft inside, which makes it all the more delicious.

It is yummy and can be made with simple ingredients in a jiffy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup maida             
  • 1 cup rava/sooji                     
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • A pinch of cardamom powder
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • Mix rava, maida, cardamom powder, sugar and egg together.
  • Mash the ripe banana with your hands and add to the mixture.
  • Slowly add enough water to make a slightly thick batter of pouring consistency.
  • Keep it aside for about 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan.
  • Now scoop up a spoonful of batter and gently pour it into the hot oil.
  • After the batter puffs up, slowly turn and cook on the other side.
  • Wait until it turns brown on both sides.
  • Remove and place on tissue paper to absorb the extra oil.

Image: Different steps reveal how a paniyaram is made
Photographs: Divya Kuda/Creative Commons

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