2 cups Rice flour
1.5 cups Grated Jaggery
1 tsp Elachi Powder
3 tsp Ghee
Oil to fry
Wash rice thoroughly and soak overnight. For better quality, rice can be soaked for a 2nd day also. In that case, change water after 8 hrs.

Drain water and spread rice on a cloth for a half hour, make sure that the rice is not dripping wet.

Make fine flour in a mixee and sieve to make sure no grains are left behind and set aside. The flour should be slightly damp.

Add half cup of water to grated jaggery and bring to boil in a skillet. Initially it will be foamy, but will settle as it is stirred. To check if done, add a few drops to cold water in a plate and if it can be rolled over or made into a ball, it has reached the right consistency. Filter syrup to remove any unwanted particles from jaggery (avoid if using clear jaggery).

Turn the flame to low and add rice flour to the syrup slowly and stirring well, making sure no lumps are formed. Stir till a dough consistency is reached. Remove from flame and bring to room temperature or when the dough can be handled with hand, make small lime sized balls with it and place them on rice flour to avoid sticking to each other and to the plate.

Pat each ball with fingers into a thin, round and flat circle on aluminum foil and dab it with a few sesame seeds (optional).

Fry in batches in oil on low flame till golden yellow and remove. Squeeze between flat ladles or by using paper towels to drain the excess oil. Add the excess oil back to the frying pan. Ideally there is an Ariselu presser with 2 claws, when each Arise is pressed with it, excess oil drips out immediately. Or squeeze with paper towels.

Repeat the process till the dough is over or store in a Ziploc bag for a quickie for future use.

When cool store them in an air tight container. Ariselu last for more than two weeks.

I do not want to scare anybody potentially who want to try this out. It is a lengthy process, but the end product is rewarding. The key to making good ariselu are 3 things.
1. To make damp rice flour. That is easy when followed the right procedure.
2. To make the right consistency jaggery syrup. Take the test, of dropping in cold water to make sure. Basically "letha pakam" or tender syrup consistency should be reached. This is the key to good ariselu.
3. Last, while frying, fry in low/medium heat and remove when changes color, too much frying will make it very crispy and hard.
So, good luck!

Ariselu - Photo Tutorial

Soak raw rice for 2 days and dry for 1/2 hr in the Sun.
Grind the rice to a smooth flour, add elachi, seive for better quality.
Add grated jaggery to a skillet.
Add a cup of water and bring to a boil.
Add rice flour stirring slowly and cook till it comes together. Bring to room temperature.
Make small balls and place in a plate with rice flour so that they won't stick.
Flatten the round balls on a foil sprayed with PAM or greased with oil.
Fry the flattened circles on medium flame in oil till they turn to golden yellow. Squeeze excess oil between 2 ladles or with a paper towel.
Ariselu are ready. Store in a air tight container for up to 2 weeks at room temperature.

Chamadumpa Fry - Arbi

Arbi or sometimes called as Arvi is the Taro root vegetable. It is extensively used in South Asia. It is called as Chamadumpa in Telugu.

It is cooked just like a potato but it’s skin is not edible. After peeling it’s skin, the vegetable could be used in a variety of dishes. The crispy outside and soft and melt-in-your-mouth inside roasted fry is simply irresistible.

I have a small story to share about this vegetable here. After his marriage, on a trip to "Kasi" my father "left" this vegetable in a ceremony by the Ganges. It is like he has given up all together on that particular thing for the rest of his life. For people who did not understand what all this is about, there is a ceremony by the Ganges in Kasi where they have to let go of a favourite thing, like an "arpanam" - giving to Ganges. My dad's favorite growing up was Chamadumpallu. He Left that without a second thought. The point I want to make here is, we never saw that vegetable growing up, leave alone taste it. Even my aunts and others knowing that my dad will not eat it never used to make it around us.

So, after I got married, when I ate this fry for the first time, it was a different feel, but loved it instantly. Only my parents cannot eat them, we all can eat it.

8 – 10 Arbi - Chamadumpallu
2 tsp Besan - Senagapindi

Pressure cook arbi with salt until just done and not too mushy. Remove it’s skin, cut into big pieces and keep it aside. Sprinkle besan on the pieces and mix well with a fork, till all are nicely coated with besan.

Take 4 tsp of oil in a non-stick pan as arbi tends to stick to stainless steel. Now add the cut arbi pieces and slowly mix them so that the oil is coated evenly. Let it cook on medium flame for a few minutes. Do not disturb it. Turn the pieces and let them cook well. When pieces are nicely roasted add red chili powder and remove from flame.

Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Roasted Corn

Sunday we went to a beautiful Botanical Gardens in our county. It was not a planned trip and so, I did not have my camera and hence no pictures. But on our way back, we stooped by a road side farm for some fresh corn. The maze was not open for public picking yet.

Corn on the cob takes me to memories of childhood. I could never figure the reason I wanted to go to the beach as a child, love of the water or eat corn and bhel mix from the road side vendors. Anyways, I have to mention here that Vizag had the best beaches. They were many, VUDA park, RK Beach, Bhimili, Rishikonda, Harbour were the few we used to visit a lot with our family, friends and as field trips and excursions with our class from the School.

I must say, trips to the beaches are a perk for living in Vizag. I miss those things here, least we have beaches around us, but, with some driving and hassles of parking.

So, for now I will reminisce my memories and enjoy a summer afternoon with roasted corn ears.

Corn grows in "ears," each of which is covered in rows of kernels that are then protected by the silk-like threads called "corn silk" and encased in a husk.

Remove the husk roast the corn on medium/slow flame turning them frequently on all sides.

Take 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp red chili powder in a bowl, squeeze some lemon juice and mix well. Using a half of a lemon apply/coat the corn with the spice mix. Enjoy while it is warm.