Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ariyunda – A humble & rustic snack from a Kerala home….

Ariyunda is one of my favourite snacks my grandma made and packed for us whenever she visited us or we returned home after a long stay at her place. It was an ideal snack for munching that made us take a quick peep into the Palahaara-paathram aka snack boxes whenever we wandered lazily through the kitchen after watching television for long or reading a book. Traditionally it is made by roasting the rice which then hand pounded and ground into a fine powder, using ‘Ural & Ulakka’, the bigger versions of modern tabletop mortar and pestle, which is going extinct from most of the Kerala kitchens these days. The powdered roasted rice was them pounded with grated coconut and jaggery and then shaped into small balls. Though it was a physically challenging work to manually pound rice until it transforms into superfine granules, hand pounding made a world of difference. Both my maternal grandma and women at the paternal side resorted to preparing these humble snacks, on a breezy afternoon pounding rhythmically and chit-chatting with each other. It was music to ears when they pounded it with so much of rhythm and fireworks for palate when they were done!

It may take only less than 30 minutes for me to recreate this dish in my small kitchen, but the taste is not as superior as the ones grandma made. One of the key ingredients is grated coconut and it has to be fresh and moist and hand pounding enables the juice and oil components of the freshly grated coconut to ooze out, helping all the ingredients hold together and brings out even the subtle flavours that cannot be achieved with an electric grinder. Since it is one of those snacks embossed with the homemade element, I have seen many families serving this snack for guests visiting on the previous days of marriage. If you are a lucky traveler visiting Kerala, you may find them stacked in glass jars at small roadside shops, Pettikkada as most of the time women of the house prepare these humble snacks with inexpensive and readily available ingredients at home and the next day men folks take it to shop for selling.

Let me share with all of you a recipe for Ariyunda from my grandma’s kitchen for temporarily satisfying your curiosity and palate, until you make a visit to Kerala :)

Recipe for Ariyunda:

  • ¾ cup Kerala rosematta rice
  • ½ cup grated jaggery
  • ½ to ¾ cup freshly grated coconut
  • 3 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 cardamom pods crushed
  • Heat a Kadai/Cheenachatti or a stainless steel pan, and roast the rice, in medium heat, until the rice starts splitting and changes its colour. Reduce the heat to low if required and keep stirring, especially when you hear the splitting sound and continue to roast until the full batch of rice is uniform in colour and shrink a bit from its original size. Remove this to a grinder/mixer/blender
  • In the same pan, heat ghee and roast cashew nuts until they reach golden brown and keep this aside.
  • Grind the roasted rice into a fine powder and transfer it to a bowl.
  • In the same grinder bowl, add cashew nuts and powder it. To this add freshly grated coconut and jaggery and grind for less than a minute or till everything is blended together. Now add the crushed cardamom seeds, finely ground roasted rice powder and leftover ghee, if any, after roasting cashew nuts and whirl everything together until it is thoroughly combined. Transfer the entire mixture to a bowl. Take a fistful of the mixture and shape into a small ball, making the surface as smooth as you can. This yields around 10-11 Ariyunda and you can store it in an airtight container for up to a week and do refrigerate if you want to store it for more than that.
Note: You may notice some white specks on my Ariyunda and that is because I added some more grated coconut towards the end and did not get blended well. Though it is a negligible part, refrain from making the mistake I made :) It is tastier when fresh as it would be moist and has a crumbling texture but as the days go by, it tends to harden.

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  1. Those wanderings to kitchen and peepings to store room will be the memories of many..The sparkling steel dabbas lined and the tempting mix of passionate aroma while opening the store room door..ha..what a splendid memory to cherish..During Jackfruit season,my search always made an end with "chakka varutha dabba"..cant resist..even on a fine mng like this

  2. Oh, my goodness, Shn! You make pounding rice sound like fun. My mother has told me stories of having to pound rice in the same sort of contraption you talk about. In her case, it was in a huge joint family and she never said it was fun!! Hee hee. Snack looks delicious! :)

  3. yummmy!!! lovely presentation. gr8 pics too.

  4. Shn, this surely looks great! I hv tasted it agesss ago...what a tasty fare this would hv been!

  5. Yummy!!!!!
    I love ariyunda..
    Your descriptions make my mouth water :D

  6. hi dear... i stumbled upon your blog while searching for a lip smacking egg biriyani...and turned out great..thanks a ton...then i got to see your blog in's superb work...your blog pics are yummy :)..congrats...

  7. Hi Shn,

    OMG I can't believe my eyes. Y'day I promised my husband that I would make him ariyunda some time soon.It is one of our favorite snacks and I make it quite often but with more ghee. The pictures are too tempting that I think I am going to make it today evening after reaching home.

    take care,

  8. not a die-hard fan of this snack..partly coz its too hard for me..though dad being hardcore fan of this snack has tried countless times to make me like it...pakshe nadanilla!!:-D

    but i like when it is made fresh and the moisture is still there making it soft..great snack with tea or coffee!!

    You should rechristen this in US as Mc Unda!!!;-P

  9. I love love this grandmother and some of my aunts still use the big mortar and pestle to grind rice and what not....even the idly mava my childhood i have seen all these things.....which mixer/grinder did u use to grind rosematta rice?...i cannt try in my mixer ,for sure i know it will blow up.....i have a spice grinder..kitchenaid...afraid to use it...Shn,u really took me back to good old days....


  10. this snack displays the beauty of simplicity of fresh ingredients... and most of all, the labor of love! Shn, I am so moved by your little memory and wonderful description, even I can't get any fresh coconuts, I still would love trying to make it one day :)

  11. Ann, oh room was always a place of interest and pls dont remind me of naadan chakka our place, it usually doesnt reach the dubba, as it is finished right out of the packet!! :)

    kalai, heheh....pounding is deft'ly a tough job but what i meant was the environment it created when more than two women are engaged...and how they start talking bt various things....i also tried my hands in pounding but i will stop with 2-3 as most of the time the punded rice in the ural will pop out needs some skill....:)

    Vij, Thank you :)

    Purnima, those who like this snack will always be a fan of it :)

    Dhanya, thank you very much...for the feedback and appreciation....I am glad you got lip smacking biryani in the end :)) Thanks again :)

    Nands, hmm...telepathy :))) you can send me some from ur new batch...i made this a month back and now I feel like having some :)

    Mathew, LOL :))Mc Unda!! well, u re right on the moisture 's more tasty when it is fresh, else u need ammikkallu to break it , sometimes it goes that hard, especially the ones made for large crowds...thanks for the pointer...i have added it to the notes.

    Rashmi, infact few days back, i was thinking of the same while writing my previous post on our ancestral home, they had lots of maids, so idli maavu was hand used to be a tiresome work..... Btw, I used Preethi chefProf I got from India....rashmi, once you roast the rice, it is easier to grind when it is still warm..atleast thats what i felt, may be coz i was using the indian mixer....if u re confident, u may try with a small batch...but dont blame if it gets conked out :P

    Gattina, labour of love it is !! if u get frozen coconut, it works well too...i used that I have no other option :)u can thaw it outside and when it comes to room temp and texture is like the freshly grated ones, u can use it.


  12. very simple and yummy recipe. I don't know where to find rosematta rice. ariyunda looks great

  13. looks just yummy..I can have it anytime!

  14. Mish, ari varuthu alle, going to make achaar? :D
    pinne ariyunda, I had posted long back.My fav. snack, madhuramayi ishtappedunna ore oru palaharam.. pinne, ithu undakkiya udan kazhikkan oru prathyeka taste alle..! :) :P

  15. Hi Shn,
    I definitely want to try this recipe for Ariyunda...but i have few doubts...I have seen in some recipes which calls for melting jaggery and then mixing and making balls..if there is no liquid like melted jaggery or something, wont it be difficult to make balls.....Also can you give the recipe for Kozhalappam

  16. Great post...the ariyunda looks very interesting...

  17. beautiful presentation. great recipe.

  18. Sharmi, Arent u still in Chicago..? Go to stores like P& P sons, Kairali around the Niles area...or check at Patel Bro's itself...they used to carry before the rice shortage came.

    Divya, thank you..:)

    Seena, achaar undakkeettilla...waiting for ur substitute solution :) sheriyaa....fresh ones are so moist...and taste is so addictive, i started eating this like groundnuts....and then I put everything into a dubba to stop me from eating more :P

    Priya, grated jaggery has a certain stickiness....and freshly grated coconut is moist and when pounded or ground it has its natural juices and oil oozing out ..this factor along with the stickiness of the jaggery acts as a binding agent.

    Usha, thanks :)

    Andhra Flavours, thank you...a warm welcome here :)


  19. endamoo ariunda! uve made the ariunda look 'glamorous' :) used to hate this when i was younger, but now i looooove it :D, wat abt avilos podi and avilos unda? u like tht? i love it now!

  20. This is a wonderful recipe, Shn, but I'm sure that much of their deliciousness comes from the happy memories of your grandma making them too.

  21. hi shn,i am new to this site and i know these recipes have been posted 2 years ago but nevertheless i cuoldn stop myself from appreciating and thanking you for giving me such great recipes.I have prepared most of the kerala dishes and it came out absolutely mouthwatering..thank you so much...


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