You are here


Adhirasam is a traditional dessert eaten by the Indians belonging to the Southern state of Tamil Nadu. The accompanying syrup known as the ‘paagu’ is considered to be all important here. The consistency needs to be exactly right as depicted by the traditional adhirasam recipe. Usually made of flour, the adhirasam looks similar to a doughnut.

The adhirasam is usually prepared and consumed during the Diwali celebrations. It is also considered to be a food fit for the Gods and serves as an offering to the deities both at home and at the temples.

The yearly festival at the Panchavarnesvar Temple in Nallur, Tamil Nadu is characterized by an offering of adhirasam which number 6,000 in all. Together with 6000 Vadas they are considered to be a form of holy food during the celebrations. The sweet meat is prepared by following the traditional adhirasam recipe which is cooked within the temple premises itself between the hours of dawn to 11 PM in order to offer it to the deity at the stroke of midnight when the Pujas or the holy ritual begins.

History Of The Adhirasam Recipe

The origin of the adhirasam can be traced back to the era of Krishna Deva Raya who ruled over the Southern part of India from 1509-1529 C.E. The recipe of this local delicacy recommended the use of rice flour, butter and jaggery for preparing the sweetmeats. Pepper is also known to have been added to the dessert in ancient times.

Ingredients And Popular Adhirasam Recipes

A simple adhirasam recipe does not call for exotic ingredients instead it is prepared by deep frying a ball prepared by mixing rice flour in jaggery paste. A number of variations of the dish is usually tried out and varies from household to household. Some of the most popular variations of this dessert are:-

• Using freshly grounded rice powder

• Using a mixture of sugar and jaggery as sweetening agents.

• Using cardamom and bits of dried ginger for spicing up the adhirasam.

• Garnished with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

Nutritional Value Of Adhirasam

Adhirasam is particularly high in calories as it is made with jaggery and deep fried in oil. The use of rice flour makes it rich in carbohydrates as well. However, using refined sugar and butter is not advisable as it makes the dessert unhealthy. Consuming the sugary balls in moderations only during the festive occasions can help to reduce the ill effects of th