Traditional Rice flour lamps

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Depends on rice flour quantity

Thambittu or ತಂಬಿಟ್ಟು as it is called in Kannada, is prepared for many festivals during the months of Shraavana or Bhaadrapada(August-September as per the English calendar)most importantly for doing Aarathi to God using the same.Tiru-Tambittu Deepa(‘Purattaasi Maavu Vilakku’in Tamil) is a special vrata(a religious practice) observed on Saturdays. Basically the young boys of the household after the daily rituals such as Sandhyavandana, proceed from one home to another home of sages and elders singing out aloud "Sri Venkateshaaya Mangalam," or "Sri Nrsimhaaya Mangalam," to seek bhiksha(alms) of rice.(The latter expression refers to Lord Srinivasa who stands, gently bent forward with compassion, atop the Tirumala hills to receive eagerly his tired devotees.) This alms-seeking is a spiritual practice and very different from begging for food. This bhiksha is called upaadaana and it refers to collecting offerings to God given devoutly by the masters of the household. So this rice collected is then washed, pounded with jaggery and made to form lamps of ghee. However, the ritual has slowly got modified to make that roasted to enhance the flavour. The lack of time has skipped the rice washing step. This recipe is usually used as a lamp for nagarapanchami, mangalagowri, Varamahalakshmi and many other festivals to offer arathi to god. This recipe is loaded with ghee or also popularly made with wheat flour as its tastier than rice flour. I have used the traditional recipe and modified it to use healthy fats such as almond butter and also kept this gluten free. Alternatively, you can also just ground roasted gram dal, skip the roasting process and just mix the melted jaggery to make the lamps.


1 cup red rice flour

1/2c jaggery powder

1/8c fresh coconut

2 tbsp of almond butter

1 tsp cardamom powder


- Dry roastrice flour and coconut together in medium flame till the coconut becomes crispy like popcorn.

-Melt jaggery in a separate container with just 1 spoon of water just to kick start the melting process.

-Once it melts switch off the stove.

-Mix dry roasted riceflour, almond butter and cardamom powder

-Try to make balls and insert your finger in the ball to make room for the cotton wicks.

-If you think you need some moisture, sprinkle some almond milk or coconut milk and bring them together and make the lamps.

-Dip the wicks in cold pressed coconut oil and place them in the bowls made. Light the lamp.

Since there is very less oil in the wick, it will remain lit for just 5 mins just enough for the arathi.


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