Akkara vadisal is an Iyengar speciality dish and is offered as prasadam in most of the Vaishnavite temples.This looks similar to Chakkarai pongal however the quantity of ingredients and method of cooking is totally different. In akkara vadisal, the rice is slowly cooked in large quantities of milk and also it has a semi solid consistency.For sakkari pongal, rice is cooked in water and little or no milk is used.
Every year whenever we visit our family deity at Thiruvannamalai, Srivilliputhur (not to be confused with Thiru Annamalai), we also visit Aandal temple.Kannadi maligai (mirror hall), Palkova and Akkara vadisal are the main attractions for me in this temple.
There is an interesting story behind why Akkara vadisal is offered on Aadi pooram.
Aandal was born in Aadi pooram who is the author of Thirupavai and Naachiar thirumozhi.She was determined to marry Renganathar at her young age.In Nachiar Thirumozhi there is a mention about akkara vadisal
மாலிருஞ்சோலை நம்பிக்கு நான் நூறு தடா நிறைந்த வெண்ணை வாய் நேர்ந்து பராவி வைத்தேன் நூறு தடா நிறைந்த அக்காரவடிசல் சொன்னேன்.
Maliruncholai nambikku naan noor thada niraintha vennai
vai nerdhu paraavi vaiththen nooru thada niraintha akkaravadisal sonnen
She promises to offer 100 vessels of butter and akkara vadisal to Renganathar if he marries her.Later when Ramanujar realized that Andal could not fulfil this, he himself offered butter and Akkara vadisal to Thirumal Iruncholai Azhagar.To continue this tradition, Akkara vadisal is offered at Azhagar temple on Aadi pooram
Andal has also mentioned how a perfect Akkaravadisal should be in her Thiruppavai Koodarai vellum paasuram
கூடாரை வெல்லுஞ்சீர்க் கோவிந்தா! உன்தன்னை
பாடிப் பறைகொண்டு யாம்பெறும் சம்மானம்;
நாடு புகழும் பரிசினால் நன்றாக,
சூடகமே தோள்வளையே தோடே செவிப்பூவே
பாடகமே யென்றனைய பல்கலனும் யாம் அணிவோம்;
ஆடை உடுப்போம்; அதன்பின்னே பாற்சோறு
மூடநெய் பெய்து முழங்கை வழிவார
கூடியிருந்து குளிர்ந்தேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்
In this she explains that paal choru (Milk rice/Akkara vadisal) should be immersed in ghee and when relished the ghee should drip down through the elbow
This year Aadi pooram falls on Friday (Aug 9) which is considered more auspicous.Akkara vadisal would be a perfect offering for this Aadi Velli.
Raw rice: 1/2 cup
Split yellow moong dhal: 2 tablespoons
Jaggery: 1/2 cup
Milk: 4 cups
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Ghee: 1/2 cup
Pachai Karpooram (Edible Camphor): a pinch
Saffron: a pinch
- Wash and drain the rice and moong dhal
- Soak the saffron in 2 tsp of warm milk
- Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a pressure cooker and fry the rice and moong dhal for a couple of minutes
- Add 1 cup of water and 1.5 cups of milk and cook for 4 whistles
- Now add the remaining milk and keep stirring in low flame until it reaches semi solid consistency.
- Melt the jaggery with 2 tablespoon of water and strain it through a filter for any impurities
- Add the jaggery syrup and sugar and mix well. After adding jaggery do not boil.Switch off the stove
- At this stage add the cardomom powder, edible camphor and saffron.Add ghee little by little.
- Finally garnish with cashews and raisins fried in ghee
Instead of using half cup of sugar, jaggery can also be used
The final color of the akkara vadisal depends upon the color of the jaggery. I used the dark colored one
Amount of ghee can be reduced if you are calorie conscious. But the taste will be little different
Do not add milk after adding the jaggery. If the akkara vadisal becomes thick after some time, add hot milk to it and mix well. But do not add cold milk and heat it.The milk may curdle with jaggery
Step by step pictures