Ellu Sadam (South Indian Sesame Rice)

5 from 3 votes

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.

Here are more South Indian rice preparations that you may like: Beetroot Curd Rice, Ghee Rice, Indian Black Pepper Rice, Raw Mango Rice, and South Indian Lemon Rice.

Ellu sadam served in a bowl.
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About Ellu Sadam

Ellu means “sesame,” and sadam means “rice” in Tamil.

Ellu Sadam (Sesame Rice, Til Rice) is a South Indian rice preparation in which cooked rice is mixed with freshly ground powder prepared with sesame seeds and a few other 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 Pongal (Makar Sankranti). In Tamil homes, it is made on Saturdays of the auspicious Tamil month Puratasi. It is the sixth month of the Tamil calendar and corresponds to around October 15 to November 15 of the English Calendar. 

You can also serve it for a comforting weekday meal with plain yogurt, and papad. It is also great to pack for school or office lunch boxes.

Ingredients

Ellu sadam recipe ingredients - fresh coconut, dry red chilies, hing, white urad dal, chana dal, white sesame seeds and raw peanuts.
Ellu sadam recipe ingredients - salt and cooked and cooled white rice.
Ellu sadam recipe ingredients - cucmin seeds, brown mustard seeds, oil and curry leaves.

Rice

Sona Masuri is the preferred choice for making Ellu Sadam. However, you can use any other white short-grain, nonsticky rice or basmati rice.

Cook the rice beforehand and ensure it is adequately cooled before stir-frying it. If the rice is not cooled properly, it becomes mushy while stir-frying.

Day-old cold rice is best for making Ellu Sadam.

Cool it thoroughly if you want to make it using freshly cooked rice.

To speed up the cooling process, spread the freshly cooked rice on a baking tray and cover the tray with cling wrap. Refrigerate the tray for 30 minutes or freeze it for 15 minutes.

For The Sesame Powder

Sesame Seeds – You will need hulled or unhulled white sesame seeds to make til rice. Many people use black sesame seeds instead of white; you can try it too. You can also use a mix of white and black seeds.

Fresh Coconut – Use already grated fresh coconut to save time. If fresh coconut is unavailable, you can also use desiccated coconut.

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 essential ingredients such as oil, brown mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves.

You can use sunflower oil, canola oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, or any other oil of your choice.

How To Make Ellu Sadam

Make The Sesame Powder

Add the following ingredients to a pan, and dry roast over medium-low heat until brown and fragrant, stirring frequently.

  • 3 tablespoon chana dal
  • 3 tablespoon white urad dal
  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoon peanuts
  • 5-6 dry red chilies (stalks removed)
  • 2 tablespoon grated fresh coconut
Chana dal, urad dal, sesame seeds, peanuts, chilies and coconut added to a pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the roasted ingredients cool completely.

Note – Cooling the ingredients completely is essential; otherwise, they will release oil while grinding.

Roasted ingredients in the pan.

Add the roasted ingredients to a grinder or a food processor along with ¼ teaspoon asafetida and pulse to make a fine powder.

Note – Do not grind in one go; the ingredients may get heated and release oil.

Cooled roasted ingredients and hing added to a grinder.
Ready powder.

Mix The Rice

Transfer 2 and ½ cups of cooked and cooled rice to a large mixing bowl.

Cooked rice transferred to a bowl.

Add the sesame seeds powder and 2 teaspoon salt to the bowl and mix well to coat the rice with the powder.

Sesame powder and salt added to the bowl.
Powder mixed with rice.

Temper The Rice

Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a small pan over medium heat.

Oil heating in a small skillet.

When the oil is hot, add the following ingredients and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.

  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
Mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves added to hot oil.

Pour the tempering over the rice and mix well.

Tempering poured over the rice.

Serve the rice cold or heat it until warm!

Ready Ellu Sadam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any other grain to make this recipe?

You can replace cooked white rice with cooked brown rice, couscous, quinoa, red rice, or millet.

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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).
5 from 3 votes

Ellu Sadam Recipe (South Indian Sesame Rice)

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.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 2 and ½ cups cooked and cooled rice
  • 2 teaspoons 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 (or black sesame seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons peanuts
  • 5-6 whole dry red chilies (stalks removed)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon hing (asafetida) (skip for gluten-free)

For Tempering

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 10-12 whole curry leaves
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Instructions 

Make The Sesame Powder

  • Add chana dal, urad dal, sesame seeds, peanuts, red chilies, and 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 asafetida and pulse to make a fine powder.
  • Note – Do not grind in one go as the ingredients may get heated and release oil.

Mix The Rice

  • Transfer rice to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the sesame seeds powder and salt to the bowl and mix well to coat the rice with the powder.

Temper The Rice

  • Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and 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!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 1187mg, Potassium: 120mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 0.2g, Vitamin A: 4IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 108mg, Iron: 2mg
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2 Comments

    1. Do give it a try and let me know how it came out for you. About the event, this year it’s just 5 of us who are doing it but may be next year we can invite bloggers to participate and come up with new and interesting recipes 🙂