Story/History of recipe
Dry Fruit Pootharekulu/Poothareku is a traditional sweet that is originally from Atreyapuram a village in Andhra Pradesh. It has simple preparation steps of stuffing sugar, nuts and ghee in a rice starch sheet which is also known as the Pootharekulu sheet. The word ‘Pootha’ in English means coated and the word ‘Rekulu’ means sheets. This recipe is said to be invented by a village woman when sugar and ghee were added to the leftover rice starch. Later it was expanded as a business and became a renowned sweet of the village and Andhra. It is popularly prepared for many special occasions like Telugu weddings and other festivals.
Recipe Ingredients, Preparation Steps and Occasions Served
- Soak two cups of raw rice in water for around six hours. Later drain the water and grind them. Keep adding water little by little as it grinds. Grind it into a very thin batter and add more water if required.
- Meanwhile, dry roast the nuts until they turn light brown and grind them into a coarse powder. Mix one teaspoon of cardamom powder to this and keep it aside.
- Once the batter is ready, heat a flat-surfaced Tawa. Wipe it with a few drops of oil and let it heat.
- Transfer the prepared batter to plate one ladle at a time.
- You can dilute it more by adding water if needed before pouring it to the plate.
- Let it fill the plate evenly. Take a slightly wet piece of cloth that is long enough to fit the tawa.
- Spread and dip the cloth in the plate and cover it with the batter.
- Now spread and pull this cloth on the hot tawa, it will leave a thin trace of batter on it and let it cook.
- If it is not thin and transparent enough mix more water into the batter.
- Once it is cooked well the sheet will lift up. Remove and place it aside.
- Repeat the process for the remaining batter.
- Make sure that these sheets are thin and smooth.
- Once the sheets are done, prepare for the stuffing.
- Take a sheet or two and spread a few drops of ghee on it.
- Using a filter, sift the powdered sugar or sprinkle the grated jaggery evenly on the sheet.
- Sprinkle the coarsely ground powder of cashews, almonds and pistachios as the final layer. Now fold and roll the sheets.
- If preferred another layer of stuffing can be done after the first fold before rolling.
- Repeat the same process for the remaining sheets.
- The quantity of ghee, sugar and nuts to be used are only as per preference.
- The prepared Pootharekulu sweet can stay fresh for a week if stored in an airtight container.
- Raw rice contains nutrients like calcium and zinc. It is 100% gluten-free.
- Jaggery is rich in iron which gives energy and is helpful for problems like fatigue and anemia.
- It also contains potassium which lowers blood pressure and antioxidants and minerals that help to increase hemoglobin and cleanses the organs of our body.
- Ghee helps absorb nutrients and can improve the immune system as it contains antioxidants. It can also relieve digestion issues.
- It is a hugely popular sweet of Telugu cuisine and the villagers supply it in large batches to both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- This delicate sweet gave the village Atreyapuram a cottage industry run for over three centuries and around 400 families are said to be dependent on this cottage industry.
- Traditionally the thin rice sheet is prepared on a clean and smooth surface of an upside-down hot pot with flame under it.
- There are many variants for the stuffing like dry fruits, jaggery, chocolate powder. The spicy version of the same is also tried.
- The rice batter that is formed as the thin sheet is called ‘Jaya biyyam’ where ‘biyyam’ means rice.
- In August 2018, a group of cooks joined the Andhra Pradesh Tourism department in an attempt to popularize their cuisine and prepared a 10.5-meter long Pootharekulu.
Suggested consumable by age groups
- A significant quantity of one to two pieces of Pootharekulu can be consumed by all age groups.
Good times to eat:
- It can be eaten as an evening snack or as a dessert.
Eat along with:
- It can be eaten as it is or alongside any Indian snacks.
When not to eat or eat more often:
- Diabetic patients should avoid it.
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