Friday, December 25, 2009

Pori Urundai - Sweetened Puffed Rice with Palm Sugar

Dear readers, Merry Christmas!

DD2 has been asking to make rice crispies for a while now and for some reason or other it never materialized partly because I was not too keen on using marshmallows, I occasionally buy a bag because the kids like them but then which kid doesn't right.

She reminded me again a few days ago. While thinking of ways to avoid using marshmallows it dawned on me to make them with puffed rice and palm sugar. Used equal parts palm sugar and brown sugar (raw cane sugar of the Indian kind, called karumbu sarkarai in Tamil). For pictures of both kinds of sugar see this post. A totally guilt free snack if there can be one. Compared to the golden hue of pori urundai made using jaggery these are a dark brown almost black because of the palm sugar.

The fruit of the palmyra tree (from which palm sugar is made) abundant when we were growing up, a summer time constant in my grandparent's place was harder to find during our most recent visit. I was surprised and sad to hear how these palm trees were dying off due to drought. Once as numerous as the coconut trees that dot the landscape these are much harder to find with just a few here and there. We were lucky to even taste the fruit after paying an arm and a leg. The trees take 50 years at a maximum to bear fruit making it a hard sell among farmers to invest in these trees.

This will be the kick off for recipe marathon or the New Year marathon if you will. I am in good company here.Having never participated in marathons of the physical kind and with the dubious distinction on putting a wringer on DH's aspirations as well by not being enthusiastic enough after his 3rd, this is a chance to redeem myself in the food kind :)

Pori Urundai - Sweetened Puffed Rice Balls
1. 3/4 cups of sugar (I used equal parts palm sugar and brown sugar)
2. 8 cups of puffed rice
3. 1/2 cup of water
4. 1 tsp of ghee for greasing the hand

1. Take a heavy bottomed pan, I used a wide pan so the puffed rice can be mixed in the same pan, add the sugar and water(see Note) and let it boil till the syrup thickens to the stage when dropped in a bowl of water it does not flow and you are able to make a ball. Remove from heat immediately.

[Note: Once the sugar is melted, use a cheesecloth or a cotton towel to filter the sugar liquid to remove impurities (dust, sand etc)]

2. Add puffed rice and mix well, add just enough puffed rice so all of them are coated well.
3. Grease hands with ghee and make balls. Proceed quickly, it cannot be shaped once it cools down.


  1. Oh this totally beats rice krispies hands down! What a lovely golden color. Perfect start to the marathon :)

  2. Lovely colour and Lovely Pic!!

    panang karkandu la paagu panni use panna, nalla recipe.

  3. I wanted to make these for karthigai - looks great.

  4. Oh boy!!You just took me back to my childhood days..We used to buy these krispies for a rupee or so...Lovely Indo!!

  5. They look really delicious, ISG! I wonder if you could make them with the pistachios *inside* too, with the rice :)

    I will have to be on the lookout for some palm sugar, now.

  6. these are my favourites. lovely colour Indo.

  7. This reminds me of my childhood, mys granny used to make this for us. Very sweet start, looks very very tasty, pics are beautiful as well.

  8. I make this sometime using jaggery as it tends to stick more easily. Looks good ISG. Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays and a new year ahead.!

  9. You are making me nostalgic. Mom used make it for karthigai... Thanks for the palm sugar idea thats great

  10. Nupur, I am all set and ready :)

    Lavi, yes panang kalkandu would be great too, I used the karupatti.

    Linda, that would actually be quite a treat with a nutty inside. The nuts were DD's idea, the photographer.

    Laavanya, thanks.

    Shri, yes DD was reminded of the pori man who had these too for sale.

    Sayantani, the bright color is indeed attractive.

    Madhu, thanks to the DDs one for the idea and the other for the picture.

    RC, the palm sugar worked fine too. Thank you. Wising you a great year ahead!

    Koki, I was glad I used the palm sugar which has been sitting unuesd for a while.

  11. Wow ! these Ladoos look great ! My mom used to prepare these but I've never tried these , your post made me nostalgic, would love to try these sometime !

  12. Ahhh .. very, very nice! Love the beautiful color on them. I am definitely making these for my little one!

  13. ISG - Loved your Pori Urundai. We make a similar version in Goa called Churmuri Ladoo which is one of my favorites. Like your recpe collection.

  14. Pori urundai is my all time favorite! and I am glad that ice krispies can be substituted with these cute balls for an kid lik DD2!

  15. The trees take 50 years at a maximum to bear fruit

    Wow! I had no idea... How nice of the people who have planted it for the next generation to come.

    Love palm sugar, I don't have it right now.. But I have some date sugar that I can try making this for DD. She loves pori 'urundai' which I usually make into squares.


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