Arsa is a sweet hill dish from Uttarakhand. which is a sweet made in the hills on special occasions like traditional festivals and weddings. This Pahari recipe made in Uttarakhand is prepared by making a paste of soaked rice mixed with jaggery (gud) and fried in oil.
What is arsa ?
Arsa is a pahadi sweet dish recipe. which is made into a fine paste by soaking rice in the mountains, and that paste is mixed with sugar and jaggery and kneaded. which is fried in oil till it becomes golden. Whenever there is a marriage or a big function in the village, rice is kept for soaking at night. After soaking the rice overnight, drain the water in the morning and leave it to dry. Then the rice is pounded in a mortar and ground into a fine powder, mixed with the (pak) jaggery sauce and kneaded.
How did originate?
Arsa is made as a sweet in the mountains. But nowadays, sweets have taken its place. In olden times, people were not as familiar with sweets as they are today. With the simple lives of the people of the village and the grains (of which rice is the main one) grown from agriculture, people used to make arsa. When there was a marriage in the village, Arsa was made as a sweet for the marriage. And when the girl used to go to her in-laws’ house, it was a custom in Uttarakhand that parents send sweets to the daughter’s house twice a year, the first time in the month of Chaitra and the second time in the month of Posh. The reason behind giving sweets to the daughter’s house in these 2 months is to deliver the sweets made from new grains to the daughter and to know about her well-being. In the mountains, usually the crop is ready before these two months. People in the mountains have still maintained their ancient culture.
How make Arsa ?
- First of all, keep the rice soaked in water overnight for at least 8–10 hours in a big pot. After soaking overnight, drain the water and let the rice dry.
Grind the rice finely in a mixer grinder. Boil water in a pan on medium heat, add finely chopped gud jaggery and let it boil. Let it boil till it becomes thick syrup.
Prepare flour by mixing rice paste with (gud) jaggery sauce. Roll the dough into the shape of donuts.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, and deep fry all the rolls evenly. Cook till golden brown.
- Take it out on a plate and serve arsa hot with tea.