Seeni Ariyatharam

Today’s recipe is that of another Jaffna traditional festival snack – seeni ariyatharam. With the modification of one ingredient, it can be found in traditional festival Sinhalese and South Indian cuisine under the name of ‘athirasa.’ In Sri Lanka, ‘seeni ariyatharam’/’athirasa’ is most often made during the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year which comes around in April.

This is my mother’s recipe for seeni ariyatharam accompanied by a photo I took of some that a neighbour brought us for Theepawali earlier this month.

Seeni Ariyatharam

Time taken: 45 mins + soaking time for raw rice, if preparing flour from scratch

Makes 10

Seeni AriyatharamIngredients:

  • Raw rice – ½ cup
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Cardamom – a few, crushed
  • Low fat oil – for deep-frying


  1. Soak the raw rice and then using a dry grinder, grind the rice into flour or alternatively, simply purchase the pre-prepared raw rice flour.
  2. Heat the sugar in ¼ cup of water in a sauce pan, with some crushed cardamom, over low heat.
  3. When the consistency is syrupy (not too thick), remove from the stove. Stir in the raw rice flour to make the dough. If the consistency of the dough seems too watery, add a tbsp of raw rice flour. It should also not be too thick but smooth.
  4. Heat the oil in the pan over low heat.
  5. Dab the surface of a small piece of banana leaf with water and then scoop a little of the ‘seeni ariyatharam’ dough onto the banana leaf and flatten it lightly into a circular shape.
  6. Drop the ‘seeni ariyatharam’ into the oil pan and deep-fry. Flip it to the other side so that both sides are browned before transferring onto a tray lined with grease absorbing paper.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.


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