October 08, 2019

Ellu Saadham | Ellu Ogre | Sesame flavored Rice

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Ellu means Sesame in Tamil and Kannada while it is called as Nuvvulu in Telugu and Til in Hindi /Marathi/Gujarati.

Sesame seeds have a very distinct and nutty flavor and adds a lot of flavor to any dish that makes use of these seeds .

Tamil Nadu cuisines extensively use Gingelly oil or Til oil in the day today cooking while Karnataka , Andhra cuisines use them in their spice powders as flavoring agent. Gujarati cuisine uses Til as tempering and garnish for various delicacies. 

Today we shall see a very traditional recipe ; Ellu Saadham / Ellu Ogre  made in most Tamil and Kannadiga homes mainly as an offering to Lord Balaji .

Saadham means Rice in Tamil so Ellu Saadham literally means Sesame Rice .
Ogre in kannada is flavored rice, so again literally translated,Ellu Ogre also means the same as mentioned above .
A very flavorful spice powder is freshly roasted and ground  and is mixed with pre cooked rice along with a tempering of mustard seeds , curry leaves and fried peanuts.

Without further delay let me get on to the recipe.

Preparation Time - 30 mins
Cooking Time - 45 mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity: Medium

150 gms rice
2 tablespoon udad dhall
2 tablespoon channa dhall
1 tablespoon  white sesame seeds/til /ellu
3-4 dry red chillies
1 tsp pepper
Pinch of asafoetida
Gingelly oil as needed
Salt to taste
Handful of groundnuts
Few curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds


  • Wash the rice well and pressure cook it with enough water such that the rice is separate and fluffy after cooking. 
  • Spread the hot rice on a big plate and pour about 2 tsp gingelly oil over the rice and let is cool .
  • In a dry pan , first dry roast the sesame seeds until it starts popping and gives out a fragrant aroma . Remove it from the kadai and keep aside on a plate for cooling. 
  • Now heat about 1 tsp oil and fry the udad + channa dhall until crisp and golden brown , followed by red chillies and pepper corn.  Add some asafoetida/hing. Let the roasted ingredients cool down .
  • First blend the roasted  lentils and chilli in a mixie jar until it is turned into a fine powder. 
  • Add the roasted sesame and give a quick pulse.Do not run the mixie for a long time as the sesame seeds will give out oil and the entire spice powder will become pasty .
  • In another pan , heat some gingelly oil and fry the peanuts followed by the mustard seeds and curry leaves. 
  • Pour this tempering over the hot rice and spread the freshly ground spice powder and salt on the rice and mix it well with a spoon .
  • Donot use your hands to mix as it will get spoilt in case you plan to use it sometime later in the day or packing for lunch or some picnic.
  • Adjust salt if needed and also add some more spice powder if you need a little more spice .
  • Enjoy it with some chilled curd and some papads or fryums .

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