Thinai Adhirasam with Video. A very traditional sweet made using thinai. "Thinai" is also called as "Foxtail Millet" in English.
Adhirasam recipe as in itself is very simple, be it the number of ingredients (just 3) or the method when you explain it to someone else. But it is the nuances to be followed while making is what makes the recipe very difficult.
Even if it is a few mins here or there, this simple recipe will soon turn out to be a disaster. Before rice became very common and affordable to all and sundry, the working class made only "Thinai Adhirasam" to celebrate their special occasions like Deepavali, nombu or for any pooja.
The recipe is the same as when you make Adhirasam with rice. The only difference is in the quantity of water that you use when making the jaggery syrup. Thinai does not need as much water as rice would take.
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Consistency of thinai flour:
You have to make fresh flour after washing, soaking and drying thinai. You cannot use store bought thinai flour.
The flour can be fine or slightly coarse, it depends on your preference. I personally feel that dough made using fine flour drinks lot of oil.
Hence I usually grind thinai to fine rava consistency and do not sieve it before using. But you can sieve the flour if you want.
Once ground into flour, transfer to a bowl, pack tightly & cover with a cloth. As the flour would still be hot from the mixie jar, we need to avoid water droplets from forming & dropping on to the flour. So do not cover with a plate.
The ground flour should be immediately mixed with syrup and made into adhirasam dough.
You can either make adhirasam immediately or rest the dough for 1 day or for a week prior to making it.
Points to note while making Thinai Adhirasam:
- “Paagu Vellam” is important and do not use any other type of jaggery.
- The string consistency is very important. Do not miss it. Cook over low flame as it will make checking easier.
- Always cook adhirasam over low flame, else it will darken quickly and burn.
- Be gentle while pressing the adhirasam. There has to be little oil to keep it moist, else it will end up dry in room temperature.
How to repair Adhirasam dough:
After you slip in a pea sized ball, it should gently rise to the top. It should retain its shape and not separate. If it does, then:
- Add 1 to 2 tsp of wheat flour for every cup of thinai used, mix well and knead for few and then go ahead. You will get it perfectly.
- After resting, if the dough is too hard, add 1 to 2 tbsp warm milk and knead well. The body heat will soften the jaggery and make the dough malleable and pliant.
- If the dough is still loose, transfer to a heavy, thick bottomed pan and cook over low flame for 5-7 mins and the dough will thicken. Do not cook over high flame, else the dough will burn and stick to the pan.
You can check out how to make Adhirasam with rice. Except for rice and the water added to the jaggery, the rest of the ingredients ratio and the method are same.
Thinai Adhirasam Video Tutorial:
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Thinai Adhirasam Recipe Card with Video:
- Thinai or Foxtail Millet – 1 cup or 200 gms
- Jaggery – 3/4 cup or 150 gms
- Cardamom Pods – 1
- Water – 1/4 cup
- Ghee – 1 tsp
- Oil – For deep frying
- Wash and soak thinai for 2 hours.
- Drain into a colander and spread it on a cloth and let it dry for 10 minutes.
Preparing Thinai Flour:
- When thinai is still damp place it in a mixer jar along with cardamom pod and grind it to a powder.
- If you want, you can sieve to a fine powder. But I didn’t as I prefer it to the consistency of fine sooji or rava.
- Transfer the flour to a bowl and press it tight and place a clean cloth over the bowl to prevent formation of water droplets as the flour will be still warm.
Making Jaggery Syrup:
- Take jaggery in a saucepan. Add water to it and mix well. Let it boil well, till the syrup forms and the jaggery dissolves well.
- Pass the jaggery syrup through a sieve into a heavy bottomed kadai to remove impurities.
- Let it come to a boil over full flame. First the syrup will be thin and you can swipe the bubbles to the side to see the clear syrup.
- After some time, the syrup will thicken, color will darken and the bubbles will be incessant as it will boil from within. Simmer the flame completely. You will not be able to swipe away the bubble to the side with the spatula. This is the stage to start checking for string consistency.
- Keep a small bowl of water and add a few drops of the syrup. If the drops settle in the water and you are able to gather the syrup with your finger tips, that is the correct consistency. (In tamil, it is called as “Uruttu padham” or “Thakkali Padham”).
- Switch off the stove. Add ghee and mix well.
Making Adhirasam Dough:
- Add thinai flour little by little while mixing it with a ladle. All the flour will be used up.
- The dough will be a bit loose but it will come to the correct consistency once the syrup cools down.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl. Smear ghee on top to prevent drying.
- You can store this dough at room temperature for a week. You can either make adhirasam the next day or straight away. As I don’t make more than 2 cups, I make it immediately after the dough cools down.
How to make Thinai Adhirasam:
- Divide the dough into equal lemon sized balls.
- Grease a plastic sheet or a plantain leaf with ghee. Place a ball on the leaf and pat with your finger tips into a flat disc. It should neither be thick nor too thin.
- Heat oil in a kadai. After it gets hot, take a pea sized ball, gently press between your fingers and drop into the oil. If it rises slowly to the top, the temperature is correct. Now completely simmer the flame.
- Slip the adhirasam into the oil. It will sink initially and will then rise to the top.
- Flip it gently for the other side to cook. Drain and transfer to a plate.
- Immediately, press the cooked adhirasam with the bottom side of a bowl, to remove excess oil. You can press it between two ladles over the stove itself or you can also use a adhirasam kattai for this.
- Once the adhirasam cools down completely, store in a container arranging one next to the other to avoid them from sticking together.
- Thinai Adhirasam stores well for a fortnight at room temperature.