Karthigai deepam festival 2016 is nearing. It falls on 12th December, Monday. Every year on Karthigai Deepam festival day, we make pori urundai, appam, payasam and maa vilakku and offer God. Both MOM & MIL has the same practice.In Tamil nadu, during Karthigai deepam festival, we get a special mixture of aval pori ( Puffed Poha), pottukadalai( fried gram dal), Ellu ( roasted sesame seeds) in small packets. When I was young, I used to buy them from a small Chettiyar shop nearby my house.My mom used to roast them in ghee and add it to the boiled jaggery syrup. It tastes crispy and stays good for weeks together. But in my MIL’s place, getting readymade aval pori is difficult. So she used to roast the thick poha until puffy and follows the same.Both of them do not make balls with aval pori (aval pori urundai )instead they just mix the roasted aval pori in jaggery syrup and keep it as such. Today, I have followed my MIL’s method and prepared this Karthigai pori using thick poha. In Bangalore, puffed rice( arisi pori in Tamil, Mandakki In Kannada) is mostly available in all the shops whereas puffed poha ( Aval pori) is not easy to get. For people like me, this recipe would be useful. Generally, beginners may feel difficult to make balls from the hot aval pori mixture. Do not worry, this post is specially for you. Here you do not have to shape balls. Its just a mix and serve method. But the only difficulty in this recipe is poha should be roasted patiently in batches. It takes nearly 15 –20 minutes for roasting. But this Karthigai aval pori tastes super crispy than the ready made aval pori you buy from the market. So the time you put in this recipe is worthwhile. Do try this method of making Karthigai pori, I am sure you will be very happy with the results. So lets see how to make Karthigai pori recipe with step by step pictures and a video !
Please check out my other Karthigai Deepam Recipes HERE
Take a kadai and heat 1 tsp of ghee. Add 1/3 cup of poha ( Poha should be roasted only in batches). Roast in medium flame till it becomes puffy and slightly turns golden in color.it takes nearly 5 minutes to finish roasting one batch of poha. Remove in a plate. Repeat the same for the remaining poha and collect everything in a plate. Let it cool down. You have roast 1 cup of poha in 3 batches ( 1/3 cup per batch). Stay nearby and roast them patiently.
In the same kadai, dry roast the black sesame seeds till it crackles. It takes nearly 2-3 minutes. Remove them to the poha plate. In the hot kadai, put the fried gram dal and switch off the flame. It will become crispy in the heat of kadai. If your gram dal is fresh and crispy, you do not have to roast it, You can directly it mix with the roasted poha.
Chop coconut into small pieces.Heat 1 tsp of ghee and roast the coconut bits till golden in color. Stay nearby and roast till done. Remove in a separate bowl.
In a kadai, take 1/2 cup of jaggery and add 1/4 cup of water. Boil till the jaggery melts. Switch off the flame and strain the jaggery syrup using a metal strainer. Wash the kadai and add the strained syrup to it. Boil again till frothy and thick. Add cardamom powder( I used cardamom essence) and dry ginger powder( if using).
Keep the flame low to medium when the syrup starts to thicken. Now take little water in a small plate. Put few drops of jaggery syrup and try to gather them with your fingers. Syrup should not dissolve in water and you should be able to collect them and make a small ball with it.This is called soft ball consistency. Refer Video for clear understanding.
NOTE : You cannot shape balls/urundai in this consistency. For making balls, you should boil jaggery syrup till it reaches hard ball consistency.
Once the consistency is reached, switch off the flame and add the roasted poha mixture, roasted coconut. Mix well and set aside. Initially the mixture may look sticky. But when it cools down, it will look separate and tastes crunchy.Offer God & Enjoy !
You can store this in an air tight box and enjoy for weeks.
For me, 1/2 cup of jaggery was enough for 1 cup of aval. If you need more sweetness, you can add 3/4 cup of jaggery,
The consistency of jaggery syrup is very important else the pori will stick to each other and becomes soggy after few hours.
Hard ball consistency is needed to shape balls. For soft ball, balls cannot be made.
Black sesame seeds gives nice flavor. You can use white sesame seeds as well but flavor must be missing.
If you like, you can add 1/4 tsp of dry ginger powder/Sukku podi.
Try this easy method of Karthigai pori for this festival and enjoy !