Ellu Sadam (South Indian Sesame Rice, Til Rice) is a traditional South Indian dish prepared with rice, sesame seeds, and a few more simple ingredients. Make it using my easy recipe (vegan).
About This Recipe
Ellu means “sesame” and sadam means “rice” in Tamil.
Ellu Sadam (Sesame Rice, Til Rice) is a South Indian rice preparation where cooked rice is mixed with a freshly ground powder prepared with sesame seeds and a few more simple ingredients.
It is easy to make and comes together in under 30 minutes.
Ellu Sadam is traditionally offered to the gods on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti. You can also serve it for a comforting weekday meal and it can also be packed for school or office lunch boxes.
Rice – Sona Masuri is the preferred choice to make Ellu Sadam. Having said that, you can use any other white short-grain nonsticky rice or basmati rice to make it.
Cook the rice beforehand and make sure it is cooled properly before stir-frying it.
Day-old cold rice is best to make Ellu Sadam.
If you want to make it using fresh rice, then cool it completely before suing.
To fasten the cooling process, spread the cooked rice on a baking tray and cover the tray with cling wrap.
Refrigerate the tray for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.
For The Sesame Powder
Sesame Seeds – You will need hulled or unhulled white sesame seeds to make til rice.
Fresh Coconut – Use already grated fresh coconut to save time. If fresh coconut is not available, then you can use desiccated coconut as well.
Others – You will also need chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), white urad dal (split and skinned black lentils), peanuts, dry red chilies, and asafetida (hing).
Avoid adding asafetida to make it gluten-free.
For The Tempering
To temper the rice, you will need a few basic ingredients such as vegetable oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves.
You can use coconut or sesame oil in place of vegetable oil.
How To Make Ellu Sadam
Make The Sesame Powder
Add 3 tablespoon chana dal, 3 tablespoon white urad dal, ¼ cup white sesame seeds, 3 tablespoon peanuts, 5-6 dry red chilies (stalks removed) and 2 tablespoon grated fresh coconut to a pan and dry roast over medium-low heat until brown and fragrant, stirring frequently.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the roasted ingredients cool completely.
Note – Cooling the ingredients completely is important otherwise they will release oil while grinding.
Add the roasted ingredients to a grinder or a food processor along with ¼ teaspoon asafoetida and pulse to make a fine powder.
Note – Do not grind in one go and they may get heated and release oil.
Mix The Rice
Transfer 2 and ½ cups of cooked and cooled rice to a large mixing bowl.
Add the sesame seeds powder and 2 teaspoon salt to the bowl and mix well to coat the rice with the powder.
Temper The Rice
Heat 3 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, and 10-12 curry leaves, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
Pour the tempering over the rice and mix well.
Serve the rice cold or heat it until warm!
Ellu Sadam can be served on its own for a comforting weekday lunch or dinner. You can serve a bowl of yogurt or raita of your choice on the side with papadam.
It can also be a part of your indulgent South Indian meals with other recipes.
Ellu Sadam can be stored in an air-tight container for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan or microwave until nice and hot before serving.
Sprinkle a little water while reheating, which will add a little moisture to the rice as it tends to become a little dry after refrigeration.
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Ellu Sadam Recipe (South Indian Sesame Rice)
- 2 and ½ cups cooked and cooled rice
- 2 teaspoon salt
To Make Sesame Powder
- 3 tablespoons chana dal (Bengal gram lentil)
- 3 tablespoons white urad dal (split and skinned black gram)
- ¼ cup white sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons peanuts
- 5-6 whole dry red chilies (stalks removed)
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut
- ¼ teaspoon hing (asafetida)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 10-12 whole curry leaves