Traditional Kajjaya (Athirasa, Apaala) Qualities And Health Benefits

By Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu) PhD.
‘Atirasa’ is a famous traditional sweet in Kerala and Karnataka. This is offered as Prasadam in many deities in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. It is a healthy sweet, specially for winter season. This is a good energizer, nutritive and appetizer.

Even today it is practiced as a seasonal customary sweet in few families in Kerala state.

Introduction

Due to its strong sweet taste and appetizing nature it is named as Athirasa.
Due to flat surface it has another name – Apaala which means even surface or that which is smooth. In Kannada, it is commonly called Kajjaya.
Read – Gujiya – Ayurvedic Method, Qualities And Health Benefits

Classical reference: Bhojana kutoohala/ Siddhanta prakarana- Bhakshya vishesha

Atirasa

Preparation method

Rice is soaked in water and ground well to obtain the thick, semisolid paste/dough.
To this jaggery is added and mixed thoroughly.
Further it is made into flat surface of 3-4 inch diameter and ½ cm thick, over a banana leaf.
It is cooked well with ghee to the extent it is semisolid, brown in color like the color of honey. It is taken out and on cooling it is preserved or packed.

While preparing this sweet traditional families keep or store this sweet in earthen vessels/pots for 2-3 days and later they use it.

According to the village people, such an ‘Atirasa’ will have more taste and good for health; also it will not cause indigestion or heaviness unlike other oily preparations.

Note: According to the text, if the same is prepared in very thin manner this is called ‘Apaalam’.
Read – Ayurvedic Wheat Noodles: How To Make? Benefits

Qualities and Action

Balances pitta, energizer, tasty , unctuous and heavy for digestion .

Utility

It is a good aphrodisiac and has potency to increase the quality and quantity of semen/sperm.
It is soothing and appetizer too.  It can be given to the patients who are suffering from Vata and paittic disorders, if they have good digestive capacity.
Note: This resembles the Anarasa sweet and few call this as Anaarasa too.
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Few prepare similar kind of preparation by using wheat flour and jaggery.
Now a days this is cooked in oil instead of ghee. Such preparations are considered to be increase pitta and kapha and balances vata, they are said to be bad for the eyes.

Anaras

Anaras – A Gujarati dish –
Anaras – is a classical sweet preparation commonly found in Gujarath, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan etc.
Same is termed as Atirasa in Karnataka (by few) and Rasottama in Tamilnadu, Rasotta in Kerala. However it is may be the name it has unique health benefits too.
Classical reference: Bhojana kutoohala/ Siddhanta prakarana- Bhakshya vishesha

Preparation Method

Rice is soaked in water and kept overnight. Next day it is macerated well and water is decanted. This is ground well and fine paste is made (good quality of rice powder can be made into dough can also be used for this purpose).
To this, powdered sugar candy is added and mixed well. Further this is made into bolus.
By spreading seeds of opium or white sesame seeds it is pressed a little, approximately of the diameter 3-4 inch. This is fried in ghee and stored.
This sweet can be preserved for 8-10 days.
Read – Jalebi – Ayurvedic Method, Qualities, Health Benefits

Note: In present day practice jaggery is added in the place of sugar candy.

Qualities and Action

This has same properties of Kundalini (Jalebi); it is aphrodisiac, balances pitta, nutritive and appetizer.

Utility

As it is a nutritive, and bulk enhancer, it is recommended in emaciating disorders and in vata aggravated conditions. Being aphrodisiac, it is wise to advice in loss of sexual libido. Also, this is recommended during pregnancy so as to impart luster and complexion to the growing child, in villages of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Read – Sharbat – Ayurvedic Method, Qualities, Benefits

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