Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ellodharai (Ellu Sadam) /Black Sesame Seed Rice

Ellu sadam, ellodharai, or black sesame seed rice is a special we make during the Purattasi month (Tamil lunar calendar month). The Saturday is in that month are considered auspicious for god Vishnu and we make it as a neivedhyam on these days using the black sesame seeds. If you happen to go to Vishnu temple on these Saturdays, maybe you'll get this rice as a prasadham. We have the tradition to make this rice, ellu urundai (sesame seed balls or chikkis), and ellu podi (powdered sweet) during this month. Some people do Maavilaku for Purattasi Saturday. I was quite busy and hence couldn't post it during the Purattasi month. Now that you have the recipe here, you need not wait for the next year's Purattasi Saturday but can relish this simple dish any day.

Sesame seeds are very healthy. It is a good source of vitamin E and hence good for the skin. It is used widely all over the world. This nutritious nutty seed is used in many sweets and savories. Whether it is added to savories or made into sweet balls or topped in bread or in salads - it is one of my favorite. It is rich in oil and foods cooked with this oil are extra delicious. Make this rice using sesame oil for extra aroma and flavor, and you won't regret it.


Rice -  1 cup
Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
Urad dhal - 2 tbs
Black peppercorns - 7 or 8
Dried red chillies - 3 or 4
Sesame oil - 2 tsp + 1 tbsp

Seasoning (optional):

Sesame oil - 1 tsp
Dried red chilli - 1
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Split urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Cook rice and allow it to cool on a big plate by spreading. Also add 1 tbsp of sesame oil, to prevent the grains from sticking.

In a pan, heat sesame oil. Add red chillies, black pepper, and urad dhal. Fry till it turns light brown and then add the seasme seeds. Make sure you have a medium flame since the seeds splutter. Once the sesame seeds are roasted (the nutty aroma will tell you that it is roasted), switch off the flame and cool it. After it is cool, add salt and grind to a coarse powder. 

Add the whole powder to the rice and mix it thoroughly. 

Seasoning is not a must, but you can season with mustard seeds, split urad dhal asafoetida, and curry leaves. This rice is flavorful as such but a fried appalam or vadam (pappadums) is best together.


You can dry roast all the ingredients and make the powder too. In this way, you can store the powder for a few weeks.

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