Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena
PrepTime:2 mins CookTime:10 mins Cuisine:Indian
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Flattened rice flakes are called as Atukulu in Telugu (South Indian regional language) & Poha in Hindi (Indian national language).
I am sharing this recipe for the upcoming, Sri Krishna Janmashtami. In different regions of India, it is also called as Krishnaashtami (or) Janmaashtami (or) Gokulaashtami. An Indian festival celebrating the auspicious occasion of the birth of the divine Hindu God, Lord Sri Krishna.
If you would like to know more about this festival, its cause, purpose, how its celebrated and my special platter for this festival, just check this link⇒ SriKrishnashtami Vindhu Bhojanam / Festive Platter
Plus points of ‘Atukula Kesari / Poha Halwa / Poha Sheera’:
The first thing that comes into my mind is, this dessert is Gluten free. Though the making of this dessert is just the same as, Rava Kesari / Kesari Bath/ Semolina Pudding (without milk), the main difference is, Semolina is not gluten-free while poha is.
And the next one is, there is no need to worry that lumps might form, while adding water to poha/atukulu. Just a gentle stir would play the role.
While, in Rava Kesari / Kesari Bath/ Semolina Pudding (without milk), you would have to stir continuously, to be extra careful while adding the water & semolina, to prevent from lumps.
Possible Alterations for the recipe, ‘Atukula Kesari / Poha Halwa’:
Using Wheat Poha: I have used Rice flakes made from White rice. But the same recipe works well with Brown Rice flakes too.
To use Jaggery: And the sugar I have used is, Unrefined Cane Sugar, which you can replace with normal white sugar or even with grated jaggery, but the quantity remains the same.
Replace food colour: If you wish not to use processed orange food colour, just use the same amount of beetroot juice. Which would suffice the purpose.
Vegans, can use any plant based butter (or) coconut oil in the place of ghee that I used.
Health Benefits of ‘Poha Halwa / Atukula Kesari / Flattened Rice Flakes Pudding’:
Poha / Flattened Rice flakes, are widely used because of its tremendous all in one health benefits, like, gluten free, rich in iron, vitamin B, carbohydrates and protein. (info from internet)
Being rice based, they form a very good source of instant energy. Just put it in hot water for 2-3 mins, drain and add some salt, pepper/sugar, makes an excellent instant food when you are feeling sick / lazy.
Unrefined Sugar: As I didn’t use refined sugar, though not totally, its better than the refined white sugar.
To conclude, this Indian sweet recipe is gluten free and is a rice based carb rich dish suitable for vegetarian, celiac, kids friendly diets.
Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips mentioned at the end.
My other Dessert recipes⇒ Desserts / Mithayi
Burfi recipes collection⇒ Indian Burfi / Fudge Recipes
Ladoo recipes collection⇒ Laddoo Recipes / Indian Energy Balls
Traditional Festive Platters collection⇒ Traditional Indian Festival Recipes / Panduga Nayivedyalu
- Rava Kesari / Kesari Bath/ Semolina Pudding (without milk)
- Atukulu / Poha Laddoo / Energy Balls with Flattened Rice Flakes
- Minapa Sunnundalu / Urad Dal Laddoo
- Pesarapappu Payasam / Yellow Moong Dal Kheer
- Atukulu / Poha / Flattened Rice flakes – ½ cup
- Sugar – ¾ to 1 cup
- Hot Water – ¾ cup
- Ghee / Butter – 4 tablespoons
- Chopped nuts – 1 tablespoon
- Raisins / Kishmish – 10
- Cardamom / Elaichi Powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Saffron / Kesar / Kumkumapuvvu – 5 strands (optional)
- Hot Water – 1 cup
- Ghee / Butter
Step wise pics Procedure for ‘Atukula Kesari / Poha Halwa / Poha Sheera’:
- I have added just ¾ cup of sugar, while you can add more as per your taste.
- You can add any dry fruits & nuts of your choice.
- Vegans, can use any plant based butter or coconut oil in the place of ghee that I used.
- Be very careful, while roasting the poha. It should not be burnt. If not the entire aroma of the dish will have a burnt smell.
- While pouring the hot boiling water, please be careful that it might not spill upon you.
- You can serve this dessert hot, immediately once its done (or) when its cooled down to room temperature.
- Storage: This dessert tastes good for 2 days at room temperature. Or you can store in the fridge, re-heat before serving. This way it tastes good for 4-5 days.
- The taste of this, Atukula Kesari / Poha Halwa has the right amount of sweetness & carries the aroma of the homemade ghee.
- I must say about the texture, where every spoon has the small bits of poha & pieces of nuts.
- This traditional dessert fits decently in the Krishashtami / Gokulashtami festive nayivedyam thali / platter. Just like this>>> SriKrishnashtami Vindhu Bhojanam / Festive Platter
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Atukula Kesari / Poha Halwa
- Sauce Pan / Vessel (for stove-top method)
- ½ cup Atukulu / Poha / Flattened Rice flakes
- ¾ cup Sugar
- 1 cup Hot Water
- 4 tablespoons Ghee / Butter
- 1 tablespoon Chopped nuts
- 10 count Raisins / Kishmish
- ¼ teaspoon Cardamom / Elaichi Powder
- 5 strands Saffron / Kesar / Kumkumapuvvu (optional)
- Put a wide bottom pan / vessel on stove top under medium flame. Add a tablespoon of ghee / butter and the chopped nuts and fruits.Fry them to golden brown, remove from pan & set aside.
- In the same pan, add the poha and stir fry for 2-3 mins until they turn very thin, more crispy & lightly golden in colour along with a pleasant aroma.
- Pour the hot water onto the stir fried poha / atukulu. Give a mix, close the pan with lid.Let the water be completely absorbed by the poha / atukulu. They would become soft.
- Now add the sugar, food colour, elaichi / cardamom powder & saffron / kesar to the pan. Mix up everything.
- Let the sugar melt and be absorbed by the poha / atukulu. And the content would become thick as shown.
- After 5 to 6 mins, the content would leave the sides of the pan. At this stage, add the remaining ghee / butter, mix up.
- And at last, garnish with dry fruits & nuts, which we kept aside.Serve it immediately or when it cools down. Done!
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