Pootharekulu a.k.a. Paper Sweet

I was gorging on some Pootharekulu (read on to know what they are) brought by Bro’ from his overnight trip to Vijayawada and was immediately reminded of the ones that my Grandma used to make. They are, quite simply, the best Pootharekulu  in the World! The ones I was having were close, but not quite. It was then that I wondered how they came into being i.e. whatz their origin, the myths behind it or the reason for its popularity. A quick but deep search on the web yielded no great shakes but one thing is for sure – they are one of the most popular selling items on shopping websites esp. those specializing in Andhra-to-America deliveries!

Pootharekulu

The Wikipedia entry for Pootharekulu hazards a guess about its origins as being in the 16th Century but explains clearly what it is: “It is a sweet version of a Vegetable Roll where the vegetables are replaced by finely ground sugar powder in fine laminated foils made of rice. The wafer’s size varies from 100 to 1000 micrometres depending on the expertise of the person who makes it”. I’ve heard my Granny talk about the making procedure and from the sounds of it, the wafer-making is the toughest part for sure. Also tough is to prevent the wafer from breaking/crumbling as it is being rolled. Few years ago (I’m talking about pre-Independence days), the wafers were prepared at our home itself but since that involved lot of effort and manpower, it was abandoned. We now purchase the raw wafers from the markets in Visakhapatnam.

Pootharekulu - Paper Sweet

I’ll try my best to explain the preparation procedure. Ground Rice dough (starchy) of very thin constituency is poured upon earthen pots which are then baked from the inside. Once done, the wafer is peeled off gently and is cut into rectangular mats. They’re to be handled with great care. Very finely powdered Sugar – sometimes mixed with cinnamon or cardamom for flavour – is then sprinkled onto the rice mats/wafers and is wetted by liberal amounts of pure ghee. The ghee should not be poured on but more like sprinkled upon the mats/wafers, evenly spreading it across. The wafer is then folded (not rolled cylindrically) into a rectangular shape (My granny does like this – one fold from bottom towards the middle, another fold from the top towards the middle on top of the previous fold, thus making three layers & then folding from right-to-left to make a rectangular box-like shape). Delicious Pootharekulu are ready!!! They can be had immediately or allowed to stand and turn crisp – coz the ghee will solidify – and then eaten. Of course, the crisper they are, the more are the chances of crumbling and loss of the sugar within! Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go finish the remaining Pootharekulu :mrgreen:

Images Courtesy: Tajonline & Rediff

7 thoughts on “Pootharekulu a.k.a. Paper Sweet

  1. How long can Pootharekulu be preserved without refrigeration for?

    I would be taking them from Hyderabad to Mumbai by train. Would they last?

  2. i have had poothrekelus couriered from huderabad to chandigarh to guwahati, and then i had them for quite a few days, so don’t worry

    • And where did you keep it. In refrigeration or normal room temprature ?
      I need to know.

      • Keep in a cool place, should last for a few days without spoiling (depending on quality of ghee & sugar used). Keeping in fridge would solidify the ghee used so eating them would be unpleasant.

  3. Would you believe I halfbreed to taste this for the first time just last week! I had no idea about the labour involved. Given that it contributes to be popular, it should survive modern living.

    [I thought it was time to know more about where you are from! ;)]

    • *happened (not halfbreed!)
      *continues (not contributes)
      From now on, will try to avoid commenting over the smart phone!

  4. *happened (not halfbreed!)

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