South Indian cuisine that is now becoming a world-wide phenomenon, has been making heads turn in India for centuries with its piquant, unique flavours. The food hailing from this region is tough to find in other regional cuisines, however, if you dig deeper, you would find many commonalities. Afterall, we are not the only generation caught by the #travelbug. People travelled and with them travelled their foods and flavours too. Karnataka’s Adhirasam is a sweet, fried pastry, that looks a lot like the Odiya doughnut pitha. It has similar looking variants even in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh known by different names locally, like Kajjaya and  Ariselu. So what is special about this dessert that looks like a vada but is actually sinfully sweet. Let’s find out.

Adhirasam: A Royal Fit

The sweet was incredibly popular in The Vijanagara empire, especially under King Krishnadevarya’s reign According to inscriptions of the time, the dessert was simply made with butter, pepper, rice flour and jaggery. The popularity of the dessert is still far from fading, an offering of about 6000 Adhirasams along with 6000 vadas is made to the Gods at the annual festival at the Panchavarnesvar Temple in Nallur. All the Adhirasams are prepared in the kitchen of the temple, and the chefs start early in the morning to prepare the batch.  

Adhirasam can be found across every major sweetmeat shop of Karnataka, it is also a very popular sweet to be distributed during Diwali.

Making Adhirasam

Preparing adhirasam is actually not that tough a feat. All you need is to soak and grind the rice. Prepare the sweet, jaggery syrup. You can flavour it with cardamom powder too. Then make the dough, pull out small balls, fry them, serve them with syrup.  

Here is the full recipe.