Sundried items

Sabudana sweet fritters (Shabutandla goD vadi/odi or Sabbakki sihi sandige)

Every recipe that I post on this blog has a special place in my heart. But the traditional recipes that I post make me immensely happy. It feels like I am digging into a bag of sweet memories. My parents are here for last 45 days and I am enjoying every bit of their stay. Not only we talk endlessly sometimes, we cook so many things (I mean aayi cooks and I eat) which I would not have cooked alone. Daily I come up with a dish name and aayi is more than happy to make it for me. The whole credit to make these sun dried items goes to pappa and aayi, since they are the ones making sure these fritters get dried perfectly by making sure they are always under hot sun (like dragging the sheet across the tiny balcony of my home). In the process I am sure, they? are also dried a lot :(.

Now coming to this sabudana fritters, these are my favorite among all such sun dried fritters. These are not only eaten during meal, but also can be devoured any time during the day as snacks or chips. They are so crunchy, lightly sweet, tasty and … I can’t explain more, I am salivating terribly.

At my native, we have a neighbor whom we call fondly as mami (In Konkani, all the women neighbors and fellow Konkanis are called as mamis or vainis and guys are called mamas or annas). This mami has a small business of making papads and vadis. When I was growing up, I was very fond of this mami and would go to help her. Of course I would demand that she help me make a big batch for me (which she always did happily). I picked up these sabudana fritter taste from her vadis. Now after some 15+ years, aayi made these again and I lived those days again.

Now, my next worry was, how am I going to eat them. I am avoiding deep fried items these days and I was fed up of drooling over these beautiful looking vadis for over a week now. Then my cousin came to my rescue. When we went to Boston last month, my cousin Ushakka had fried papads in microwave. I tried same with these, lined up few of the vadis in a single layer in microwave and let it go for 1 min. What did I see? A batch of beautiful looking, perfectly fried sabudana fritters. Did I mention that I was like dancing to I like to move it move it after eating them?

Ingredients:
1 cup sabudana/shabutandul/sabbakki
5 cups water
2 tea spn sugar
1/2 tea spn salt

Method:
Wash sabudana in water and soak it in 2 cups of water for overnight.
Add 3 more cups of water (2 cups used for soaking and 3 more cups at this stage to make a total of 5 cups) and cook this mixture on a low flame mixing continuously. When the sabudana is cooked, it turns transparent. Now add salt, sugar and boil for sometime. The consistency should be somewhat like dosa batter. If required add more water (keep in mind, the batter becomes drier and drier as it cools down).

Line up a plastic paper under the sun. Spread some water on it (just sprinkle a handful of water and spread it).
When the batter is cooled down, spread the vadis.

Dry it till they come out easily off the paper and they have become crispy. Cool them to room temperature and then store in air tight container.

While using, deep fry them in oil (traditional method) or microwave them for 1 min(or less) till they have puffed up. Enjoy as a snack or sides with rice.

?PS: I am very unhappy with the pictures of these, but still I posted them because I feel it would help my readers to visualize how they look like in each step. Do not panic if they don’t look? good or look broken, they will be perfectly fine once done.

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Ash gourd fritters (KuvaLe vadi/odi or Budugumbalkayi sandige)

This is one of the most popular sun dried items among Konkanis (after papad). All these days, I had thought it is specific to Konkani(and Kannada) cuisine, but then I saw Mythili’s ash gourd fritters. After that I saw these fritters in many different places and it looks like everyone has their own version of these fritters.

When we were growing up, aayi used to make this every year. I used to help her spread these sometimes. It always looked like a time consuming and difficult task to me. Since we have a big front-yard, we used to make these in a bulk. Once prepared, these remain good for around a year.

These vadis/odis are either deep fried and eaten or they can be used in many different dishes. At my home, these are mostly used in different dishes. I will post these dishes soon. My husband is a great fan of these dishes, so I always have a big batch with me. But unfortunately when we came to US last year, I forgot to get it and I can’t say how much I missed it. So aayi sent a big batch with my brother last month and again when they came, they got one more batch. Then I got the idea of making it here, so now, I have all the stock that can last for one year (may be).

Ingredients:
1 cup urad dal
1 cup grated ash gourd(kuvaLe)
2 tea spn chili powder
1/2 tea spn asafoetida powder
Salt

Method:
Soak urad dal in water overnight.
Grate the ash gourd and put it in colander to remove any water from it (reserve this water, it is used later for grinding).
Grind the dal with reserved water to a very smooth paste(preferably, don’t use any other water). Now add asafoetida, chili powder and grind again. The mixture should not be too watery.
Take out the paste and add the ash gourd pieces(if these have too much water in them, the paste becomes watery. So make sure to squeeze off any water from them).
Mix salt. After salt is added, spread them immediately under the sun. If these are kept for long, the mix becomes watery.

In a cup of water, add about 1/2 tea spn oil.
Spread a plastic paper under sun. Now spread a handful of oiled water on the paper(this helps in taking out vadis easily).

Now spread the vadis as shown below. Make sure to leave enough space between two, they spread a bit after sometime.

 

After drying it for 2-3 days, vadis come off the paper easily. If not, remove them and dry again till they become very crispy. Cool them to room temperature and store in air tight container.

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Sundried bittergourd chips (Karathe kachri/hagalkayi sandige)

I have posted a lot of Konkani dishes, but one thing that I have not covered is “sundried items”. During summer, like any other Indian families, we too make a lot of different papads, wadis/odis and other items that can be stored for the entire year. My aayi also used to make these when we were kids. I have very fond memories of the summer holidays when we made all these. I never attempted making any on my own, but when aayi came here, I made sure to ask her for these. Since the first few days we had a bright and hot sun, we could successfully make these bitter gourd(karathe – Konkani, hagalakayi – Kannada) sun dried chips (kachri – Konkani, sandige – Kannada). I don’t know how this series will continue because there is no sight of hot sun in last few days.

After these pieces are dried, these are stored in air tight container. When needed, a small batch is taken out and deep fried. These fried pieces can be stored for 4-5 days in air tight container. The fried pieces can be eaten along with papad as a side dish, or crushed slightly and put in curd rise or crushed and used in chutney/sasam. Any which way, they taste simply out of the world. Today instead of deep frying, we fried them in a shallow pan with 1-2 tea spn of oil. They still turned out to be very crispy and tasty.

Ingredients:
2 cup bitter gourd thinly sliced (the thinner the better)
2 tea spn chili powder
1/4 tea spn asafoetida powder
1 tea spn salt

Method:
Mix salt with the bitter gourd pieces( remove any hard seeds) and leave it overnight. Squeeze the pieces slightly to remove any water from the pieces (squeezing is optional, if you like them to be more bitter, leave the pieces as they are).

Now spread them on a plastic paper and leave under hot sun. After 3-4 days when they look slightly dried, make a paste of red chili powder and asafoetida with a tea spn water, and apply this paste to the pieces.

Spread this on the paper again and sun dry them till they become very crispy.
When they are cooled to room temperature, store in air tight container. While serving, fry them in oil, serve as suggested above.

PS: When the pieces dry, some of the chili powder falls off the pieces. Asafoetida looses its aroma when dried for long. So both of these should be added as late in the process as possible.

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Dried mango pulp(Ambe saTh or mambaLa)

Ambe – mango, saTh(pronounced as saaTh) in Konkani or mambaLa in Kannada is one of the most popular ways of preserving mango pulp during season at our native. There are two types of people, one absolutely love this and the other can’t stand it. I belong to first type. I can go on eating these forever without stopping.

We have many mango trees in our garden. Some of them have a very thick layer of pulp in them. These types are very suitable for this. I still remember my grandfather used to follow a very painful process of manually grinding the pulp and then taking to the field which is near our home to sun dry this. Now my parents do it but, they use the mixer to grind it and dry them on our house terrace which is newly built. So I have been eating this home made saTh throughout my life. I have tasted the ready made ones few times and absolutely hated them.

Jackfruit pulp is also preserved in a similar way, but I never developed a taste for it. My parents bought me batch of these which were prepared during this mango season. Its been a great help for me in office in between meals when I feel hungry. I just start eating one and go on till I finish the whole bunch I have taken that day :).

Ingredients:
Mango pulp
Pepper powder

Method:
Take out pulp from sweet and juicy mangoes. Slightly grind it to remove any lumps.
On a clean piece of cloth, spread a thin layer of this pulp and keep this cloth on a flat surface under the sun. (Do not attempt this on a cloudy day, it needs very bright and hot sun to dry this).
On day two, spread another layer of pulp on top of the first (on day 1, the pulp would have dried a bit).
Repeat this for around 4 days. Now carefully pull out the pulp off the cloth and put it upside down.
Now start putting the pulp on top for 2 days.
On the 7th day, mix pepper powder with the pulp and spread it.
On 8th day, spread a layer of only pulp on top.
Let it dry for 4-5 days then again turn it upside down. Let it dry for 4-5 more days. By now, it would have become totally dry and look like the one in picture.
Store in airtight container.
Cut it into desired sized and shaped pieces. Eat it as it is, or some people also use it to make some dishes. I have never tried cooking it. I love it as it is.
It remains good for about a year.

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