September 28, 2011

Akkaravadisal / Akkara Adisil | For Blog Hop Wednesdays


This very word transports me back to my childhood days of standing in the queue patiently waiting for my turn to lay my hands on this prasadham in the nearby Perumal temple at my grandmother’s place. As the month of “Purattasi” has started in which the Saturdays are considered to be very auspicious to worship Lord Venkatesa Perumal, I chose this recipe which I usually make on the First and last Saturdays, from my this week’s Blog Hop partner Kalyani. You can find her recipe here.

I wanted to go the extra mile this time while making it, as normally I would take the shortcut and cook it in pressure cooker. I wanted it to taste authentic just like how it would taste in the temples. So I rang “Amma” and asked her for some suggestions on enhancing the taste to get it right.

The things she shared with made me wonder on what all we had lost over these years. The temple near my grandma’s place housed a shed where cows were maintained. So milk and ghee were always fresh. “Pasteurization, standardized, toned” would have been considered alien by them. Both the products were adulteration free. I don’t think excepting a few temples maintain cows now-a-days.

Akkaravadisal would be cooked in full cream whole milk from the cows and ghee would be made only just before adding. Also normally it would be cooked in a cast iron vessel or big clay pot but on auspicious days it would be cooked in “Bronze vessel” (Vengalam) with a big wooden ladle for mixing which lends a different flavor.
Cooking was not done on stove tops but on direct fire by burning wood. The smell of the burning wood gives a distinct smell to the whole dish. Finally the temple surroundings play a crucial part. The smell from the incense sticks, flowers, camphor, chanting of mantras, the brightness of the lamps, the divinity around us makes it taste as though we had been served the prasadham with the full blessing of the Lord himself.
So after keeping all the above said things in mind I set out to work. I cooked it in the small bronze pot I have with full cream milk. So did I get the authentic taste ?

Akkaravadisal / Akkara adisil

You’ll need:
Basmati Rice 1/2 cup
Whole Milk 4 cups
Jaggery 3/4 – 1 cup
Cardamom Powder 1/2 tsp
Edible Camphor 1 pinch
Almonds 7 – 10
Cashew nuts 7 – 10
Ghee 3 tbsp
Wash and soak basmati rice for I hour. In a wide vessel or a preferably a kadai bring milk to boiling hot. Add the soaked basmati rice and stir well. Keep the flame in medium and keep stirring it for the first 5 – 10 mins as it might boil over.
Simmer and let the rice cook in the milk. Keep cleaning the edges of the vessel by running a wooden spatula as the milk reduces. The rice should be cooked well. All the milk should be absorbed by the rice. You should be able to mash the rice between your fingers if you press gently.
In another stove place the jaggery in a vessel and add little water say, less than 1/4 cup. Bring it to a boil and let the jaggery dissolve completely. Pass it through a sieve after giving a standing time of 5 mins for the impurities to settle.
Add the filtered jaggery water to the cooked rice and cook over medium flame stirring it to avoid burning. Add cardamom powder and edible camphor / pachai karpooram. I actually made fresh ghee by melting the butter in another stove. First add the chopped almonds to the ghee and roast well and then add broken cashew nuts and add this to the cooking rice.
Cook for another 5 – 10 mins and you can see it coming together. It should be a semi solid mass, so don’t over cook it. Akkaravadisal is ready to be served steaming hot.
  • You can replace jaggery with sugar and follow the same method.
  • Only after the rice is cooked completely add jaggery. If you add it before, the sweetness will harden the rice and it will take more time to get cooked.
  • Using almonds is optional but it gives a nice crunch when roasted properly.
  • You can use the shortcut method and cook the rice in Pressure cooker but you won’t know what you are missing.
  • Using a wide bottomed pan helps the rice to cook faster.
  • You can also use seeraga samba rice in the place of basmati rice.
  • If you think the mixture is too dry for the rice to cook, add some milk / water only after heating it.
Verdict: I came close. In fact very close but something was still missing. I guess it must be the burnt wood smell. Also the pasteurized milk would have a played a crucial part. But apart from both these it tasted just divine.
So this is off to Blog Hop Wednesdays and to Kalyani's Vrat Ka Khaana. Do not forget to check out what the Blog Hoppers have cooked here.

Also stay tuned for the next post on Friday for a big Giveaway announcement.


  1. this is so sweety sweet and looking awesome!!!

  2. wonderful post.. and nothign to beat having the prasadam in donnai or fresh plantain leaves :-) If possible, do link it to the fasting foods event dear !


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  3. Looks mouthwatering authentic recipe.

  4. I can die for this,my fav anytime, well executed..

  5. absolutely sinful...with the ghee floating out...on the lush green banana leaf.(.which is a job to get here.)..looks awsum!..

  6. Looks sinfully delicious ...drooling here

  7. Wow Akkaravadisal looks so mouthwatering!! Pictures are too good Radhika!

  8. payasam looks simply divine n yummm...:)

  9. wonderful clicks!!!!
    nice recipe!!

  10. wonderful clicks!!!
    nice recipe!!!

  11. Looks yummy with all the ghee...beautiful clicks too..

  12. Awesome clicks! And yeah, we too used to run to the temple next by on the day of Pradosham for that divine tasting payasam. Never tried making them at home though!

    That 'something missing' factor could have been because of the basmati rice. It gives a flavor that is foreign to some traditional recipes.

    And a Big Thank you for your kind words :D. I thought I was boring people off with loooooong posts! Haven't mastered the art of writing short posts.

    Or comments for that matter (like this one :D!)

    Anyways, this post has made me hungry and let me go munch something!

  13. Just the way it has to be, with ghee on top! Wonderful clicks

  14. Luks so delicous in traditional Banana Leaves.Finger-lickingly so good.Thanks for sharing

  15. yummy yum- nice presentation radhika !

  16. Rich n creamy recipe radhika. Perumal temple prasadham are always a treat to the taste bud.

  17. Sinfully divine......Amazing clicks. Thanks for sharing

  18. Looks sinfully delicious ...drooling here

  19. Yummy .. I have blogged about it too and totally loved it. Nice choice. Love your presentation.

  20. Looks wonderful and tempting,following you.

  21. It was good to read through the introduction, painted a picture of temples and rituals, just gets you ready to have the prasad, which looks so tempting and delicious in the plantain leaf.

  22. Mouthwatering here by looking at this, very delicious.

  23. wow dear thats amazing presentation,luks like it's straight a way from perumal temple... Drooling over the clicks...amazing recipe...

  24. looks very traditional and yummy

  25. looks mouthwatering n lovely presentation!!

  26. mouthwatering radika.Making with basmati rice will make this more flavourful

  27. mouthwatering radika.nice presentation

  28. Radhika, Loved reading ur post. Got goose bumps all over.. I really felt standing by the temple premise watching them do this dish.! Thnx for that feel. I almost could taste them through ur pics. :o)

  29. OMG! awesome dear....lip the presentation, as too like eating hot food over banana leaf and miss a lot....

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  30. Lovely prasadam recipe and the pics are gr8 as well

  31. It is so natural and yummy!lovely clicks!

  32. This looks so yummy... mouthwatering..

  33. wow Radhika, you rock, I read every single word of this post very closely and I was just so involved and I could almost feel the smell and taste, I so have to make. It is like regular payasam, but with jaggery instead of sugar. Got to give it a try :)

  34. love the clicks on the vazhai tastes so good jus on sure it tasted truly amazing...

  35. wow wonderful clicks and so tempting ... I want to taste it right now ... craving literally ....

  36. I love this dish.. It looks yummy..

  37. I bookmarked it right away ~ I love jaggery based sweets very much n this one sounds so delectable! Love the way you presented it too, festive n authentic! Great post!

  38. Wonderful recipe and I loved the write up...Nice clicks too...

  39. Looks absolutely delicious!!

  40. Dear Radhika,
    I have an award for you...Plz check it out at my food blog .This is for posting awesome veg recipes..:-)

  41. You nailed it Radhika...This akkara adisil looks the true authentic version!!!! I so loved the description of the traditional way of cooking this..I could almost picture the scene & the smell!!! Btw...fantastic clicks too!!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  42. that really looks droolworthy

  43. Hi, this name pulled me to your post. Even after living in TN for years, I have never heard of it. Looks just great and the pics are jst awesome.

    I wud like to know how different is this from Sarkarai pongal?

  44. real droolworthy creamy dessert. prasad always taste made i perfectly.

  45. Radhika, Akkaravadishal is one of my favorite traditional sweet treats.. the taste is unbeatable... You sent me on a nostalgic trip back home reading about the Vengala paatram.. some things are most cherished!

  46. Clicks are awesome. The akkaravadisal floating on ghee is such a treat. Lovely write up too da. ... Sangeetha.

  47. Wow..The prasadam is luking divine for perumal...Awesome click on the dish..I am drooling..

  48. This is so familiar to us and the 'dark' payasam is favoured by the goddess; am drooling wistfully over the fresh plantain leaves you use! :-) Navaratri Greetings to you!


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