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{December 2, 2009}   Pori Urundai for Karthigai Deepam(Puffed Rice Balls)

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As today is karthigai, the tradition is to make puffed rice balls. These are also called as pori urundais, nei pori(ghee with rice balls) etc., Mom used to make two kinds of urundais and we had a corner shop  in the street to husk the rice  and fry it. Here, I just got pori from grocery store and made the simple urundai.

The tough part in making these sweets is to keep the correct consistency of jaggery syrup(paagu). I have tired a lot of times to make the desired paagu consistency and luckily today I was able to make the urundais. Usually we also stuff a tall cup with these and call them bride and groom. When I was young, back home in India, once we finish offering these to the god, we’d proceed to light the lamps in front of the house along with lighting fire crackers.

Ingredients(makes 6 urundais or 2 tall towers)

Puffed rice- 3 cups (approx)

Jaggery- 3 big chunks (grated amount  3/4 cup)

Water- 1/2 cup

Grated coconut- 2 tbsp

Ghee -2 tbsp.

Method:

Soak the jaggery in 1/2 cup water to dissolve. Filter once to remove the impurities. Pour this into a thick bottomed pan and heat it at medium-low. Keep stirring. Almost after 10 minutes try testing the syrup by pouring a drop of syrup  in a flat plate of water. If you are able to scoop it(and it does not dissolve) the consistency is reached. If less volume of water is added then syrup consistency will be reached faster. The more you add water, the time to get to syrup consistency will be longer.

Add the puffed rice to the syrup and mix well. Switch off the stove. Heat ghee in a pan and slightly fry the grated coconut. Add this to the pan of puffed rice in syrup. Wait for sometime till the mixture is warm enough to make the balls. Apply some ghee on the palms and squeeze the puffed rice into balls by applying slight pressure. There should not be any syrup left in the pan, the puffed rice should have absorbed all of the syrup. If there is still syrup remaining, heat the pan with the syrup again on a very low flame , switch off and add puffed rice till all the liquid is absorbed.

Here, I have made the bride-groom type by using two glasses to stuff  the puffed rice and then separating them after a few hours.

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