‘Putarekulu’ making set to get simpler

Innovative approach:Edible films for ‘putarekulu’ being made on the electric machine at Atreyapuram.—Photo: By Arrangement  

: An intricate, laborious process goes into the making of the traditional sweet that melts in the mouth—‘putarekulu.’ With powdered sugar or jaggery and dry fruits stuffed between two ultra thin, edible films made of rice, it’s a unique sweet and a favourite of crores of people.

Behind the roll of sweet melting in the mouth once a bite is taken is a lengthy process that requires days of preparation and back-breaking labour before a hot pot. To make the pot suitable for making the edible films, a hole is made in it and it is alternately heated and wiped with a cloth dipped in oil for three days to smoothen the surface. To make the films, coarse rice is ground for nearly two hours and made into batter. It is diluted and a thin cloth dipped in the solution and put on the inverted pot with flame under it. Film forms on the pot in a jiffy in what appears to be sheer magic to the naked eye.

The making of edible films and the sweet is a cottage industry confined to a few villages in East Godavari district, says P.V.K. Jagannadha Rao, Principal Scientist, All India Coordinated Research Project on Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (AICRP-PHET of ICAR), Regional Agricultural Research Station, Anakapalle, affiliated to Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University.

Since it is a traditional sweet that is hugely popular and locally made it is eminently suitable for obtaining Geographical Indication-based patent on the lines of Tirupati laddu and Pochampally sari, he says. The making of ‘putarekulu’ has the potential to provide livelihood to a large number of people with very little investment.

RARS has studied the economic conditions and the making of the sweet at Atreyapuram, famed for its ‘putarekulu’ and also at Vasprapuri near Rajam of Srikakulam district and collected the data. It is estimated a family making 200 ‘putarekulu’ earns more than Rs.2,000 a day after counting out all expenses.

The making of the edible films is carried out in the open in hot conditions. The study revealed that before the film is made the temperature is between 150 and 160 degree Celsius and after the film is taken it is 120 degrees.

Provisional patent

To improve working conditions and to refine the process, the Anakapalle RARS has designed an electrically-operated machine to make the edible films under the technology programme of AICRP-PHET. “We had taken the machine to Atreyapuarm and tried it out with T. Venkata Srirama Murthy and family for making the edible films. They have suggested a few modifications, including a little slant to the machine, regulating the temperature and Teflon coating to the top sheet rather than a Teflon sheet itself to reduce stickiness,” Dr. Jagannadha Rao said. RARS has also applied for provisional patent with the Patent Office at Chennai.

Regional agri research station has developed an electrically-operated machine

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Printable version | Jan 13, 2021 11:48:03 AM |

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