Ellu Sadam / South Indian Sesame Rice

Ellu Sadam is a popular temple prasadam, Kalavai Sadam or South Indian Variety Rice made with Sesame seeds.

Ellu Sadam / South Indian Sesame Rice

The Auspicious month of Aadi begins next week. The most popular recipe during Aadi Pandigai is Kalavai Sadam or Variety Rice. So the recipe I share today is one such variety rice made with Ellu or Sesame seeds. Presenting Ellu Sadam or South Indian Sesame Rice.

Ellu Sadam is a popular Temple Prasadam along with Lemon Rice, Curd Rice and Coconut Rice. It is also made during Puratasi Masam (Puratasi Sani) for Lord Vishnu.

For Aadi Perukku or Aadi 18, 5 Varieties of Rice are cooked (4 savory and 1 sweet), offered as neivedyam and eaten as prasad or lunch.

We generally make Lemon Rice, Curd Rice, Ellu Sadam and Coconut Rice as the 4 savory varieties and opt for a Sakkarai Pongal as the sweet dish. Payasam varieties such as Pal Payasam or Semiya Payasam are also made in many homes.

Every household have their own version of making Ellu Sadam. This is my take on Sesame Rice. Typically, white sesame seeds are used for this rice recipe. Although, I prefer adding a mix of Black and white sesame seeds.

The black sesame seeds add lovely aroma and nutty taste to this rice. While many may not be particularly fond of the appearance (the slight dark colour), the taste is outstanding. Try it to believe it!

Delicious Ellu Sadam full of flavours
The Black Sesame Seeds provides a deep colour to the rice

Ellu Sadam requires Ellu Podi that is mixed with warm white rice (short grain, non-aromatic rice variety) and tempered with mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal and curry leaves. The oil used for tempering should be Sesame Oil only for best results.

The Podi recipe that I have shared can be made ahead and stored in a refrigerator. It stays fresh for a couple of weeks and you can make Ellu Sadam quickly with the podi readily available in the refrigerator.

Ellu Sadam served as prasad for puratasi sani and aadi 18
Delicious Ellu Sadam with the aromatic curry leaves

Ingredients For Ellu Sadam

  • All the ingredients {as seen in the picture below} to be roasted separately with a couple of drops of oil.
  • Allow the ingredients to cool and grind to form a slightly coarse powder.
  • If you are not using the Ellu Podi immediately, store in a glass jar with a tight lid. Stays fresh for 2 weeks.
  • I wouldn’t recommend more than 2 weeks as sesame tends to leave oil thereby compromising the taste of the podi.
Ingredients for making Ellu Podi
Ingredients to Make Ellu Podi for Ellu Sadam

Step by Step Pics to Make Ellu Sadam with tips

  • Roast all the ingredients separately, cool and grind into a coarse powder.
  • Heat a pan or kadhai, add sesame oil and mustard seeds, chana dal (split chickpeas), urad dal {split skinless black gram), whole red chillies, curry leaves and some hing or asafoetida.
  • Saute until the chana dal and urad dal have turned slightly brown. Switch off the flame, add the cooked rice in the kadhai along with salt to taste and the coarsely ground sesame powder.
  • Mix well and then serve immediately as prasad and / or meal.
Ellu Podi
Cooked Rice
Tempering for the sesame rice
Rice and ellu podi mixed with salt
Ellu Sadam ready to eat

Some Important Tips

  • It is not necessary to add black sesame seeds. We personally love it over white sesame seeds as the aroma is unbeatable. It does tend to make the rice colour dark but you will thank me for the taste, once you try it at home.
  • It is highly recommended to use Sesame Oil for this particular recipe. As the name suggests, Ellu Sadam, the oil adds to the flavour of the rice.
  • Adjust spice levels according to your tolerance.
  • Use cooked white rice for best results, as they do in temples. Alternatively, if you are conscious, try millets instead.
Ellu sadam Sesame rice

Ellu Sadam / South Indian Sesame Rice

Vidya Narayan
Ellu Sadam is a popular temple prasadam, Kalavai Sadam or South Indian Variety Rice made with Sesame seeds.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4 people


  • Mixer Grinder


  • 4 tbsp Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas)
  • 4 tbsp Urad Dal (Split skinless black gram)
  • 4 nos Beydagi Red Chillies You can opt for Pondi chillies for spice or Kashmiri red chillies too
  • 2 tbsp White Sesame Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Black Sesame Seeds In case you do not prefer Black sesame, add white sesame instead same quantity
  • 1 tbsp Black Peppercorns Do not use pepper powder
  • 5 cups Cooked Rice I have used Ponni Rice Variety (1 cup is 250 ml measurement)
  • 4 – 5 tbsp Sesame Oil or Gingelly Oil + Additional for roasting dal as required
  • 4-5 nos. Whole Red chillies (broken into two)
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal or Split Chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp Urad Dal or Split Skinless Black Gram
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds or Rai
  • 1 pinch Hing or Asafoetida skip this ingredient for gluten free recipe
  • Few sprigs of Curry Leaves
  • Salt to taste


  • We start by making Podi or the spiced powder for the Ellu Sadam or Sesame Rice by heating a pan. Ensure you keep a plate or vessel in handy to empty the roasted dals and chillies.
  • Add Chana dal or Split chickpeas with a drop of oil and roast until its slightly brown. Keep this aside.
  • In the same pan, repeat the process with Urad dal and keep aside
  • Now saute the red chillies and keep aside.
  • Now roast the black and white sesame seeds until they pop (no need to add oil). Keep aside for cooling.
  • Heat the peppercorns slightly (without oil) and keep aside for cooling.
  • Once all the above ingredients have slightly cooled down, grind them in a mixer grinder into a slightly coarse powder.
  • You can store the podi or powder in the refrigerator and make Ellu sadam later. If you have cooked rice, you can proceed with the steps below.
  • Heat a kadhai and add 4 to 5 tbsp Sesame oil. Now add mustard seeds and hing or asafoetida.
  • Add chana dal, urad dal and whole red chillies. Saute until the dals have browned a bit.
  • Add curry leaves and switch off the flame.
  • Now add the cooked rice to the kadhai along with the coarsely ground ellu podi and salt to taste.
  • Mix well and serve immediately. Drizzle another tbsp of sesame oil before serving for best results.


  • Never heat the rice and the podi together. Always switch off the flame, mix the rice with tempering and podi together to retain aroma. 
  • Use freshly cooked rice. If you have leftover rice, please steam them or warm them in a microwave oven and follow the procedure. The rice should be soft enough to soak the flavours. 
  • This is a no onion no garlic recipe. Vegan but not gluten free. Skip Hing or asafoetida for gluten free version of the recipe. 
Keyword Aadi Perukku Recipe, Ellu Sadam, kalavai sadam, Puratasi Sani Recipe, Sesame Rice, Variety Rice
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @masalachilli_vidyanarayan or tag #masalachilli_vidyanarayan

Loving the Recipes shared by us? Planning to try this at home? Do give us a shout out or tag us when you post a recipe on any of our social media handles – INSTAGRAMTWITTERFACEBOOK PAGE AND PINTEREST.

You can also subscribe to our website to receive all the delicious recipes in your mail box.

Would be really happy to receive your feedback.

Thank you for visiting

Vidya Narayan

Views: 6150

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Samana Mustafa

    5 stars
    Lovely. Will definitely try.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much, looking forward to your feedback. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.