Seedai / Uppu Seedai / Crispy Rice Balls / Palakayalu - Version 1

Uppu(salt) seedai is one of the savory snacks prepared for Krishna Jayanthi also called as Janmashtami. These are like mini rice balls that are crispy and one cannot stop eating with just one or two. Seedai can be made savory called as uppu(salt) seedai and or sweet called as vella seedai made with vellam(jaggery).

My mom says if you are not able to make any dishes for the celebrations just keep butter and aval( flattened or beaten rice/rice flakes) as offerings to Sri Krishna which are his most favourite.

There are different versions of making seedai and this version is a bit elaborate, but the result is very good and is very tasty and delicious.

Recipe and tips from my Mom and Grandma.

Boiled Rice - 2 Cups
Urad Dhal - 1/4 cup
Dalia/ Pottu Kadalai/ Hurigadale/ putnala powcder - 1/4 cup
Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds( white or black) - 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp
Butter - 1 tsp
Grated Coconut - 5 - 6 tbsp
Oil for deep frying.

Roast urad dhal in medium flame until light brownd and nice aroma comes. Remove and cool and powder finely. Sieve through a siever to get a fine powder. This also helps in reducing bursting of the balls while frying.

Wash and soak rice for 4 - 5 hours. Grind in a grinder until soft using as little water as possible. Remove and transfer to a wide vessel or mixing bowl. To it add urad dhal powder, dalia powder, salt, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, melted butter, grated coconut and asafoetida. This will come to a thick dough like consistency. No need to add water while mixing as water while grinding rice is more than enough. Add only if it cannot be mixed that too few drop by drop while mixing. Also if the dough is too watery, you can more of dalia/pottu kadalai powder and mix.

Next take small portion of the dough and from that pinch in a small bit and roll as mini balls. Do not put much pressure in rolling, just roll between the palms and spread in a wide plate or a cloth to dry them out( so the moisture is let out).
Repeat until you are done with all. Let it sit out for 20 - 30 minutes.

Heat oil for deep frying. Then reduce flame and add a bunch of the rolled balls in hot oil in one go, next increase the temp to medium and deep fry until golden brown. Repeat the same for all.

Tips from Mom and Grand Mom.

1. Dry the rolled balls in a plate or cloth to remove moisture,as the water in the balls would make the balls to burst in oil.

2. Important do not make very perfect round balls. While rolling, first gently roll between the palms and immediately give a
light pressure just like squeezing( can do this holding between two fingers- just give a light push). This will help the air bubbles to release. My mom says that the shapes should not be too round as this makes the balls to burst in oil while frying, just roll and press once gently this will help not to burst and even while frying it will retain its shape and come out good.

3. After rolling all the balls, poke through a needle a pin but inserting in one of the sides in each and every balls - just a small poke just like pricking.

4. Most important do not add the balls one by one while frying, the tip is to add the rolled balls in one bunch while frying.

5. You can also make seedais out of rice flour or processed rice flour and follow the same steps instead of soaking and grinding.

6. Adding grated coconut reduces the shelf life, instead to make it more soft add few tbsp of pottu kadalai powder/dalia powder and mix.

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18 Vara Mahalakshmi Vratham

Varalakshmi Vratham is an important pooja performed by women in the States like Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and also in some parts of Orissa and Maharashtra.. It falls on the second Friday in the month of Shravan alias Saavan.Those who cannot perform it on that day, can do it on any other Friday in that month. Goddess lakshmi the goddess of wealth and prosperity is worshipped on this day by married women. Vara means 'boon' literally meaning boon granting by goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalaksmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth (Dhana lakshmi), primeval force( Aadi  lakshmi), Courage( Dhairya Lakshmi), Wisdom/education( vidya Lakshmi), Children/family ( Santhana Lakshmi), Food ( Dhanya Lakshmi), Success ( Vijaya Lakshmi), Strength( Gaja Lakshmi).

Learn more about the festival from here.


Today I made 5 kind of offerings (Payasam, semiya kesari, Black Channa Sundal, Masala Vadai and Tamarind Rice) as neivedyam and 3 different kind of fruits and offered it to Goddess Lakshmi.

Vara Mahalakshmi celebrations at my Mom's place.

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Sunflower seeds are not only tasty but also very nutritious. Toasted seeds tastes great to have as a snack in between meals.
The seeds provides you with high level of linoleic acid, minerals and amino acids. The substances in such seed will decrease the level of cholesterol in your body if taken regularly. Also it is very rich in Vitamin E,the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant.

Here is an easy and delicious way to use the seeds in Powder/ Podi form to use in our daily diet. Can be served with our Indian dishes like Idli/Dosa and also mixed up with rice. Try this it out and you will love it.

Sun Flower Seeds - 1 cup
Urad Dhal - 1 cup
Channa Dhal/ Bengal Gram Dhal - 1/4 Cup
Curry Leaves - 1/4 Cup
Red Chillies - Around 10( as spice needed)
Asafoetida/ Hing - Few Pinches or a small piece of block
Garlic - Around 10( optional)
Salt as required
Oil - 1 tsp

In a kadai/frying pan toast sunflower seeds in medium flame until they are toasted and nice smell come out. Remove and fry urad dhal until nice brown. Remove and add Channa dhal, fry till nice brown. In the same pan add oil and fry garlic, remove and keep aside.(It is optional to use garlic, but adding gives a good taste and aroma though the shelf life will not be for more than a week, can store in a fridge). In the same remaining oil add curry leaves and red chillies, fry till they are crisp. Switch off flame and add asafoetida powder and mix well. If using asafoetida block then add before adding curry leaves and red chillies. Remove and cool everything.


Take all the ingredients in a dry mixer/blender and run to powder as fine as possible. In the end add salt and garlic if
adding and run in for few seconds. Store in a airtight container and serve with any of your favourite dishes.

Note in this recipe the whole sunflower seeds with hull has been used, you can use seeds without hull. In case you are using with hull then follow all the steps and in the end to remove the extra fibre or the ones that are not grounded or powdered properly, you can sieve it through a siever for better powder consistency.


Maa Vilakku / Rice Flour Lamp / Biyyam Pindi Deepam / Akki Thambittu


Maa Vilakku is a lamp made with freshly pound rice flour and jaggery prepared during some months like Thai(Mid January - Mid Feb on Fridays) or Aadi( Mid July - Mid August on Fridays(or Tuesdays or Sundays) and or Purattaasi( Mid September - Mid October on Saturdays) and offered to god. The tradition varies from family to family. During the month Aadi, this is prepared and offered to goddesses like Mariamma or Amman or even to the House god or Diety especially on days like Friday which is considered to be very auspicious if not can also prepare and offer on Tuesdays or Sundays which is also considered good for Goddesses. Also it depends on the family to light one lamp or 2 lamps. It is then placed on top of a Banana Leaf.

Spread in front of the diety and the lamps are placed with some flowers below it and kumkum/vermilion applied to all four sides on the dent/hole where wick is placed. Ghee poured in the hole and wicks are litted. 

Other than preparing it on certain days, my grandparents used to prepare this and take to us to a temple( SankaranKovil), a temple near our native and offer it to the god in return to some prayings that is prayed for a cause( That is for a quick cure of something that someone has been having for a long period).

In Karnataka this is called as Akki Thambittu and prepared during Mangala Gowri Vrata and Nagar Pachami( The fifth day after Bheemana Amavasya that comes on Mid July - August)

Note, this post is just showing you how to prepare and how it looks. This has not been offered to any god, Will update the post with new pictures with the offerings.

Recipe and details from Mom:-

Raw Rice / Pacharisi / Pachi Biyyam - 1 cup
Jaggery / Vellam / Bellam - 1 cup


Wash and soak rice in water for 20 - 30 minutes. Drain water completely and spread on a cloth to dry under shade. Next when still moist, powder it in a mixie to a fine powder. Use a siever and sieve the powder over a paper. Place back the ones that does pass the siever again the mixie and run it to powder again until you are left with just few granules.
Next add the grated/shaved/powdered jaggery and mix well. Run this mixture once again in the mixie so both gets mixed. Remove and transfer to a wide container. Press it well and mix them both to form a dough consistency. The pressing itself warms the jaggery to melt and help in mixing well. Next shape as lamps like a round ball. Use the thumb to press on top to make a dent or hole to place the wick. Instead can use a lemon and just make a small push to form the hole. Pour ghee to fill it and place wick. Lit it and place and offer it to the god.

Break into pieces and distribute as prasadam to eat.

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