Monday, March 26, 2012

Guest Post~Sweet & Healthy Ground Rice Balls "Aggala" From Farwin Of Love And Other Spices

This is the first guest post at "Vegetarian Tastebuds"and I cannot be more happy that it comes from a wonderful friend Farwin Simaak, the creator of yummilicious blog "Love And Other Spices". In this virtual food blogging world we make many friends whom we know via their blogs, with some we connect in facebook , with some we engage in chats but there are only few with whom we get to meet and talk.

 Farwin is one such dear friend whom I met here in Dubai, she is a lovely person, talented blogger and above all a super mom of twin boys. She clicks beautiful pictures which are a treat for the eyes and also makes superb dishes. Farwin hails from Sri Lanka and we can see glimpse of her beautiful country in the food she cooks. Have a look at her Srilankan Milk Toffee With Nuts, Mint Custard Pudding and Coconut Roti & Sambal... you can see how unique these dishes are and her presentation is simply beautiful. 

Before few days we were chatting over phone and I asked her to write a guest post for me, she being such a sweetheart did not even think twice and immediately said yes. I was very thrilled as she is the first ever guest I invited at my space. I requested Farwin to make any traditional Srilankan dish for me, and when she sent me her mail with these Sweet & Healthy Ground Rice Balls called "Aggala" in local language, I was super thrilled to see her beautiful post with gorgeous pictures. Thanks a bunch Farwin for being such a sweetheart and providing me with a lovely guest post. 

Please welcome Farwin and do not forget to check her Facebook page and follow her on twitter

It's no myth that blogosphere has so many wonderful things to offer.Recipes that has amazing and an uncommon list of ingredients to the mouthwatering and saliva drooping food photos,you name it,you got it all. The most wonderful thing that offers, according to me is the hand of friendship. Isn't it amazing to find a friend who has the same tastes,similar opinions towards life and above all, blogs to discuss about ? We could go on for hours chatting. I met Raji online through the Fooderati Arabia and met in person at one of the foodie tours around Dubai. We clicked off immediately. She is this warm,friendly,down to earth person. And we have some meet ups planned and I'm sure we're going to enjoy it. Raji,thanks for giving me this opportunity. Apologize for the delay in submitting the blog post even though you wanted it some times back.

I planned to do a snack well known to me while I was growing up. It's called "Aggala" in local language. Actually I'm not quite sure how to call it in English.It's made with roasted  and ground rice,coconut and jaggery. I was thinking of calling it "Rice balls". But that would be similar to  rice balls dipped in various sauces found in Oriental cooking.This is something entirely different. Energy balls ? Sure they will give you loads of energy with all the coconut and jaggery content along with nuts. And it can definitely pass the healthy food test. I think I would settle on "Sweet and Healthy Ground Rice Balls".

According to Sinhalese folk lore, this snack was carried by travelers on a long journey to satisfy their hunger cravings and for energy needs. Back at home mom would prepare these for tea. This is also a popular snack when visitors arrive on a short notice. For us lankans,rice,coconut and jaggery are staples. If we are short on jaggery or coconut,a quick run to the grocery store a couple of blocks away is all we got to do. We never used to serve biscuits or shop bought goodies,it's always homemade snacks like this with tea for visitors. I still remember a distant aunt of mine who is famous for "Aggala" . For some reason,she never got bored of making these. Whenever we visit her,we are sure to find these along with"Aval" a snack made with flattened rice, with tea.

This snack is a breeze to make apart for roasting the rice. White raw rice is normally used for this,but I happen to have some brown basmati rice waiting to be used. I used  Kithul or black Jaggery. I didn't use any sugar. Use sugar if you are after some intense sweetness. Hope you'll like this simple and satisfying snack.

Here's the recipe.

1 cup rice
1 cup grated fresh coconut
125g jaggery (shaved or grated)
finely chopped nuts
pich of salt
water about 1/4 cup
desiccated coconut to garnish

Wash the rice under running water twice or thrice or until the water runs clear. Once it's fully drained,keep it aside.

Heat a heavy bottom skillet and add the rice.Roast the rice,stirring continuously for about 10 minutes until you hear the rice pop. Roast till the rice turns light brown in color. Make sure to keep the the flame, low to medium lest you burn the rice.

Transfer the rice off from fire to a bowl, and let it warm. When it's warm enough to handle,grind the rice on a food processor.Not very fine,though. It's ok to have a few grainy pieces.

Mix the flour with a pinch of salt,coconut and jaggery. Add water bit by bit and mix until it forms a mass. Add the chopped nuts.

Wet your palms with water,take a piece of the dough and roll it into a ball. Add more water if you feel the dough is breaking apart or not coming together.

Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

You can garnish with dessicated coconut and extra chopped nuts.

Linking this to Sensible Vegetarian's Cook Eat Healthy Desserts originally founded by Raven.


  1. che meraviglia di dolcini! complimenti, un bacio e buon inizio settimana! :)

  2. Its my fav snack...Looks beautiful...

  3. This entire post is too beautiful to get my head around. So, so good!

  4. Quiet tempting and wonderful clicks !!

    Ongoing event CC:Vegan Diet - Plant Based Food

  5. Great dish and very awesome clicks..

  6. Very healthy sweet and the pictures are just awesome, beautiful post.

  7. luks divinely it to my ongoing event "teatime"

  8. This looks gorgeous. And quite easy to make too. Reminds me a bit of Gulab Jamun. But these aren't deep-fried and that makes a difference!
    Great work Farwin and Raji!

  9. Such a wonderful post! I love the earthenware Farwin had used, so beautiful and elegant!!

  10. lovely lovely guest post farwin; thanks for sharing raji

  11. Wow looks super delicious,lovely clicks.

  12. Farwin, the photos are amazing!!! where did you get your jaggery? I'd like to replace our white sugar with it :)

  13. I was wondering what jaggery was, I am glad you showed a picture:-) This little snack sounds wonderful! And your photography is gorgeous:-) Take care, Terra

  14. oh they do look lovely. I remember seeing these little lovely pots in MAdras in so many exhibitions and also at Currimbhoys I guess. Simple lovely dish filled with bold flavours.


  15. Thank you so much dear for this opportunity.Glad to have you as a friend.

  16. Thanks for all the lovely comments. And a big hug to my dear friend for giving me this opportunity.

    Didi,you can get Srilankan jaggery at AlMaya supermarkets. Look for the "Araliya" brand "Kithul Jaggery".They are the original.

  17. very delicious and nice presentation.You have a wonderful blog with great recipes.Glad to follow you.
    Do visit my new blog in your free time.

  18. Great guest post! I love the look of these rice balls.

  19. Beautiful guest post. Love Farwin's blog and enjoy interacting with her on twitter. She is a sweetheart. Love the 'Aggala', seems very similar to a snack that my mum used to make.

  20. Great guest post...
    I enjoyed Farwin's space...
    and oh boy these looks scrumptious :D

  21. Wonderful click...looks delicious..

  22. this is just great and sounds authentic.. ur clicks are awesome!

  23. fell in love with ur space.. following u..

  24. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

  25. Was looking for this recipe for some time.....Thank you.


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