Atreyapuram Pootharekulu - Regular (Sankranti Special)
A popular sweet from Andhra Pradesh, Pootareku is a plastic-like novelty made from finely ground rice starch (of a special variety called Jaya biyyam; biyyam meaning rice in Telugu), black gram, powdered sugar and ghee. Its name comes from a amalgamation of the words 'Pootha' meaning coating and 'Reku' meaning sheetin Telugu.
Although the sweet is crispy from the outside, the soft insides add character to the Pootarekulu. While it can be stuffed with powdered sugar, the authentic producers in Atreyapuram have innovated the product to stuff it with jaggery and powdered cashewnuts as well. A visit to Atreyapuram provides the unparalleled experience of watching this delicacy being made, by pouring watered down rice batter on pre-heated upturned pot. These sheets are then powdered with the filling and rolled strategically after smearing them with ghee to ensure that they do not break.
Given the intricacies, making Pootareku is a labour-intensive art and, apart from the heavenly taste, this dependency has lent the label of delicacy to this food item. Undiscovered to the foodizens outside of Godavari district, Pootareku is truely a delight for the sweetly inclined.