A-ri-se (A pronounced as A in the word ‘Award’, ri pronounced as ri in the word ‘river’, and se pronounced as se in the word ‘set’) is the name of the Andhra sweat-meat that is specially and specifically made for Sankranti. It is the one item of sweetmeat that is identified with the festival Sankranti. You cannot, therefore, imagine a Sankranti without this item of sweetmeat, which is made of (newly arrived) rice-flour, jaggery (Indianized form of raw cane- sugar) and oil or ghee. The process of making this item involves a tedious and tiresome work, still people relish undergoing all the hard work for the taste of it and you can take it for sure that this item is already there in the homes before the arrival of Sankranti.
Made in sufficiently good numbers, these Ariselu were used to be stored in big earthen pots with large mouths, which were usually shoved into somewhat darker corners of the house, from where they seemed to be emerging in endless numbers thorough out the days of the festival period of ten to fifteen days. This sweetmeat item prepared with ghee (instead of oil, normally groundnut oil) retains their original flavor for even longer period. More often than not, people used to eat them in twos, since, as it has been experienced in many an occasion that it is very difficult to control oneself from asking for the second one, after finishing eating the first one.
Until a few years ago, this item of sweetmeat used to disappear after the festival days of Sankranti to reappear only with the next year Sankranti.
Things have since changed. Its commercial version is available thorough out the year now in many of the sweetmeat shops, everywhere!