I am sure the ‘paper sweet’ from Andhra Pradesh is not new to many of you, but it was for me. I do have vague memories of Hyderabadi friends of my Amma talking about it years ago, but had never tasted it. Recently, the husband and I were at Pulla Reddy Sweets, and spotted these sweets there, among a whole host of other delicacies from Andhra Pradesh – pickles and Karachi Bakery biscuits included. The paper sweet looked too interesting to ignore, and so, we picked up a couple to try out.
For the uninitiated, these sweets look like rolled-up paper from the outside. If you open one of these up, it looks like several sheets of super-thin paper have been placed on top of each other and rolled up together, with specks of yellow in between. In fact, this is a sweet made from rice batter, which is poured over a hot metal pot to create super-fine paper-like sheets. These sheets are then rolled together with sugar/jaggery and, sometimes, dried fruits and nuts. There is a lot of ghee involved too, apparently. The specks of yellow that you can spot in between the layers are nothing but bits of jaggery. This sweet is said to have originated in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, and is known as ‘Pootharekulu‘. Most popularly, though, it is known as ‘Paper Sweet’.
It takes a lot of effort to prepare this sweet, considering that the rice flour batter has to be cooked into very, very thin wafers that resemble paper. (Click here if you are interested in knowing how exactly this sweet dish is prepared.) Sadly, the preparation of this dish is a dying art because of how labour-intensive it is, and the very low returns it brings in.
How did we like it? Both the OH and I didn’t grow to become great fans of this sweet dish, with all due respect to it. It was too sweet and too papery for us. We bought a couple just for the novelty factor that it had for us, and we doubt we will be trying this out again. Interesting, yes, but something not for us.
Have you ever tried out these paper sweets? How did you like them?