Monday, October 15, 2012

Thambittu and Akki-Kadalebele Payasa - Some sweets from Karnataka

I have been trying to fill the gaps in Mysore cuisine on my blog the past couple months and the sweets/desserts course has been the most neglected. If you're following my blog for sometime now, you'd know that I am more of a savory gal (this is the fourth sweets/desserts post in six years!). Does not mean I don't like them, mind you. Just that I don't take the trouble of making them, especially when I can have someone nice make them for me :) Craving for sweets, including chocolate and ice cream, hardly ever hits me. And when I do make a sweet/dessert, it is usually something simple and quick, like the watergate salad.  Thanks to my mother and sister come these two sweet dishes that were made by Mom for Gowri festival recently and were photographed and sent to me, recipe and all, by Sis. Now that is sweet! :)

Thambittu is especially made during some festivals, Gowri habba being one of them. Thambittu is usually round and flattened but for the festival puja,  some are shaped into small diyas/lamps. A ghee-soaked wick is kept inside the well of the diya and lit as a lamp for the puja.


1 cup rice, washed and soaked for about an hour
1 cup jaggery/brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cup shredded fresh coconut
1 tbsp ghee


Dry the rice inside the house, on a cotton sheet, for about an hour or two. The outer layer should be dry but when you break a grain it should still be a little damp inside. Powder the rice until fine.
Gently heat the rice powder in a kadai but do not allow it to get too hot or browned. The flour  should be damp enough to be made into balls. Keep aside.
Melt jaggery in water. Heat jaggery water and  coconut in a thick bottomed pan and allow it to boil.
Add ghee to the  boiled mixture and then add in the rice flour. Mix well immediately and  turn off the heat and cover with a firm lid.
Allow it to cool down  enough to be handled. Make into balls.
They are best eaten after they  have been used as ghee lamps for pujas. The crust is charred, the wick  has to be removed carefully and oh the aroma!

Akki Kadalebebe Payasa (rice-chanadal kheer) is made during festivals or on occasions like weddings and upanayanam. Or as in the case with all the sweet toothed members of the family, anytime the craving hits!


Rice- 1 cup
Chana dal- 3/4 cup
Shredded jaggery - 1.5 cups
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup almonds, soaked in water for 30 mins *(optional)
Dry fruits like badam/pista/kaju and raisins for garnish
1 tsp ghee


In a pressure cooker, cook rice and dal together in 4 cups of water. To make it richer you can cook it in milk but be prepared for a messy cooker and lots of spillage. 3 whsitles.
Usually coconut shreds are added but a richer flavour comes from grinding the coconut with a little water to make a very smooth paste. Keep aside. *If using soaked almonds, grind along with the coconut. This adds a beautiful favor to the payasa, though traditionally this is not added.
Heat ghee and roast the dry fruits and nuts meant for garnish. Keep aside.
In a thick bottomed pan, melt the jaggery on a slow flame with about 1 cup of water. Allow the jaggery to dissolve completely. Strain to remove the impurities.
Now add the cooked rice/dal mix and boil for 5-10 minutes. 
Add the ground coconut (or coconut-almond) paste, mix well and bring to a boil.
Garnish with roasted nuts/fruits.
Variations include adding roasted and powdered khuskhus, roasted and ground copra or copra slices roasted in ghee.


BongMom said...

How sweet of your Mom and Sis. Loved that silver platter in the first pic and the sweets look too good. I love some desserts and of course make only the quick ones :)

Happy Navratri

deepta said...

Yummm.. surely making one of the 10 days.

Priya said...

Thambittu sounds quite new for me, kheer looks irresistible.

Vanamala Hebbar said...

nice recipes....happy dassara

Vanamala Hebbar said...

nice recipes....happy dassara

Kannada Cuisine said...

Yeah! I remember the Tambittu for the Gowri Pooje. The payasa looks yummy. We call it Gattakki Payasa though

Anu said...

looks delicious

Veena Theagarajan said...

looks yummy Happy Dassara

Anonymous said...

Awesome post, where is the rss? I cant find it!

Nagashree said...

2 authentic recipes. I make them very similarly. You are right, tambittu after the deepa is the best in taste :-).

divya said...

absolutely mouth-watery recipe

Cham said...

Is it so sweeet that ur sis and mom contributing to your blog! Tambitu is something we do also called "Maa (flour)veelaku (lamp)" but without water and coconut. The kheer looks cool too. I love the silver plate :)

Anonymous said...

Just as good as your last post. Do you accept advertisers?

Subhie Arun said...

wow yummy..first time here..
happy to follow u...
glad if u do the same..