Huff, puff and crunch: The deep-fried magic of aralu sandige

Summer, my least favorite season, is winding to an finish. Growing up in Hyderabad, it meant scorching sizzling days and sudden energy cuts. However, the little home I grew up in was surrounded by greenery and had a small yard open to the sky, the place one thing I beloved occurred each summer season. This was when my mom made aralu sandige, which remains to be my favorite vadam or fryums. Made with puffed paddy rice, sago, inexperienced chillies, salt and both onions or pumpkin, a heady aroma would fill the home as she began cooking the bottom porridge for the sandige.

As youngsters, my sister and I’d at all times eat some of the mushy gruel with utmost relish, and even break bits off the still-wet sandige when it was put out to dry. The unrelenting summer season warmth was conveniently forgotten within the pleasure. The drying course of took only a couple of days because of the intense daylight, and then the sandiges made their manner into the kitchen, to be deep-fried and land on our plates. The sight of the shrunken sandiges rising and increasing magically within the sizzling oil remains to be a vivid reminiscence. There can be sufficient made to final a pair of months, and after that I’d stay up for the subsequent season’s ritual.

This grew to become a rarer prevalence once we shifted to an condominium in Secunderabad the place area was restricted, however a number of years later we moved to Bengaluru, the place many conventional shops used to inventory sandige. I came upon that not all sandiges develop and that many have been fairly flat — and not as tasty both. That is after I found an outdated conventional retailer in Basavanagudi that made some of the higher tasting sandiges, and that’s the place I replenished my inventory each summer season. But I at all times felt that one thing was lacking, and realised quickly sufficient that it was the flavour and style; of sandiges made at residence years in the past that also lingered in my thoughts.

Revisiting roots

Fast ahead to the summer season of 2020 and the lockdown left me with sufficient time on my fingers to revisit some of my culinary roots. I made a decision to make aralu sandige at residence. My first problem was to supply the components, particularly the aralu or puffed paddy rice. Concerned that the mission would derail even earlier than it began, it was my mom who instructed me that some of the alternate options might be puffed rice (the kind used to make bhel puri) and even the staple avalakki (the paper model versus the exhausting model) that was accessible at residence.

However, I made a decision to stay to the unique recipe and was fortunate sufficient to seek out cleaned and de-husked puffed paddy at a retailer very near my home. Thrilled, I headed residence, the place my mom helped make the gruel utilizing the sago and puffed paddy with a serving to of onions and inexperienced chillies. And quickly the wafting aroma reignited childhood days. Of course, I needed to instantly style the gruel, and it immediately related with the style I had been lacking all this whereas. While the combo turned out tremendous, the difficulty was easy methods to dry it. We put out the small batch to dry within the balcony. It took greater than three days, and as I used to be moderately involved that it will not dry fully, I used the microwave as effectively (placing them in to dry after the pre-heated mode). Three days later, the sandiges have been able to be fried. Hesitantly, I lowered one into the new oil — and, magically, it expanded and the crunch from the puffed paddy and sweetness of the browned onion transported me to culinary heaven. I’d rediscovered that I may make what I beloved in spite of everything, even when it did imply bending over backwards a bit.


Aralu sandige


1/Four kg puffed paddy rice

125 gms sago

4-5 medium-sized onions or 200 gms white pumpkin

8-10 inexperienced chillies

Salt to style


1. Wash the puffed paddy rice and squeeze out the surplus water, guaranteeing no husk is current.

2. Finely chop onions and inexperienced chillies. You can even use finely chopped white pumpkin as an alternative of onions. Add this to the popped rice combine. Add salt.

3. Wash the sago pearls and boil with water until it will get a gruel-like type.

4. Now pour the gruel into the puffed paddy rice combine.

5. Mix effectively and divide into small parts.

6. Place on butter paper and enable to dry within the solar, turning over the perimeters until it’s totally dry.

7. Heat oil and fry — a well-made aralu sandige will develop effectively to virtually double the dimensions. Enjoy with rice.

The freelance author and photographer from Bengaluru seeks offbeat experiences by means of journey.

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