Arisi Vella Puttu Recipe | Navarathri Vella Puttu Recipe | Navaratri Recipes
This is a traditional recipe that's made during Navarathri Festival - esp. on a Friday. As far as I know there are only two occasions when this recipe is made - one is during this festival and another when a young girl attains puberty. Yes, you read that right! Our culture celebrates the event with pomp. As to what goes through that young girl's mind, at that time,  is a separate discussion altogether :)  Among the delicious Sundals like Kadalai Paruppu Sundal, Kara Kondakadalai Sundal, Rajma Sundal, Verkadalai (Peanut) Sundal, Mulai Payaru (Sprouted Green Gram) Sundal, Chickpeas (Kondakadalai) Sundalthis puttu is of equal prominence.
Arisi Vella Puttu Recipe | Navarathri Vella Puttu Recipe | Navaratri Recipes
The traditional recipe is little arduous compared to the other recipes made during this festival. My mom's version is quite straightforward where she uses fine idli rava to replace the parboiled rice. We do not use rice flour in this recipe. One important thing to note about the following is the amount of jaggery. My perima (my mom's sister) is famous for her puttu that I absolutely LOVE and request for every time I visit her. She uses equal jaggery - parboiled rice version. Example: If you use 1 cup parboiled rice, you would use 1 cup Jaggery. This will make for a sweet addictive puttu. This version below will make a very mildly sweet puttu which is the preference of my family (read as husband and kid). Though this takes time and little effort, the end result is so worth it. 
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4-6 people
  • Yields: Around 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups Idli Rava, see Tips
  • 1 tsp cooked Pigeon Peas (Toor Dal)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Jaggery or see Tips  *Important
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
    To be Roasted
  • 1 tbsp Homemade Ghee - see Tips
  • 2-3 tbsp broken Cashews
  • 1/4 cup grated Coconut - see Tips
Tips
1. Idli Rava: Traditional version uses parboiled rice called as "Puzhungal Arisi" or "Idli Rice". We get fine Idli rava in our local store and hence my mother used that. But if you want to use the former, simply pulse it (step 2) to a fine powder and proceed with the recipe.

2. Jaggery: The amount of jaggery will depend on your sweet preferences. We prefer our puttu mildly sweet and hence this amount that makes this with minimal sweetness. If you love it medium to very sweet, I would suggest using around 3/4 to 1-1/2  cups of jaggery instead. The taste will also differ  based on the quality/type of your jaggery and hence use prudence. It might take few tries to reach your optimum flavor.

3. Coconut: If you are not keen on coconut, you can use just 2 tbsp instead. Or simply use 1 tbsp of coconut pieces that's traditionally used.

4. Ghee: Ghee is traditional but if you want to absolutely abstain from it at any cost, use a neutral oil of your choice.
Method
1. Dry roast the idli rava,
2. until very aromatic and slightly reddish brown. This is very important since raw taste will be very off putting later once the dish is done. Pulse this in a mixer 3-4 times until it becomes coarse flour. Not smooth/ powdery but  resembling finer rava. The ones I get are quite fine so just 1-2 pulses was more than enough. Depending on what you get you might need more or less.
3. Take it in a  large pan and add the turmeric and salt. My mother adds the salt to a water solution, stirs until well combined and then
4. sprinkles it over the rava and mixes it. I think she used almost 3/4 cup of water.  Depending upon your climate and the quality of your ingredients you might need more or less.
5. The aim is to have a texture which resembles breadcrumbs.
6. The consistency you are looking for is - when you clump the mixture, it sort of bunches up
7. but when dropped back into the pan disintegrates into breadcrumbs.
8. Now take this mixture into a cloth towel/ bag, bundle it and place it on a steamer.
9. The steaming process could take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. You know it's ready when it's soft, without any gritty texture. It will be pillowy when pressed.  If unsure, you can always put some in your mouth to taste for any rawness. If smooth, you know it's ready.

Note: If unsure, it's always better to steam it some more until you are satisfied since once you add the jaggery, it cannot be rectified again.
10. Set aside to cool.
11. When cooled, add the cooked toor dal (split pigeon peas)
12. and toss to combine. Set aside.
13. In a saucepan take the required amount of jaggery (see Tips section for the amount) and add enough water to cover it. Add the cardamom powder.
14. Bring it to a boil.
15. You are looking to make a "soft ball consistency". Right after 1 string consistency (where the sticky syrup when placed between your thumb and index finger, forms a single thread when lifted)  we have the soft ball stage where a drop of hot syrup can be formed into a small ball in a bowl of cold water. Here we dropped a little syrup to a bowl of cold water
16. and when you move your fingers over it, it comes together into a small ball. This is the stage we are looking for.
17. Remove the Jaggery syrup immediately at this stage and pour it over the steamed Rava. 
18. Quickly give it a mix.
19. Roast the cashews and coconut in the ghee. Then add them
20. to the puttu. Mix until well combined and delicious puttu is ready.
Arisi Vella Puttu Recipe | Navarathri Vella Puttu Recipe | Navaratri Recipes

Recipe Reference

Mom's Kitchen Notes with additional tips from my lovely Periamma (mom's sister)

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2 Comments

By dharini on Mar 18, 2016

This is exactly the same kind I tried about 8 years ago which turned out too good. I stuck by it ever since. A lot of other blogs don't include Ricardo deal. So glad to find it in your blog. Keep up the good work.

By Ashish on Nov 30, 2015

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