Koozh vadam also called in different names as vadavam, vathal, karu vadam will definitely bring back memories of our childhood, when we see these crispy pieces.
It is a day long process where all the members of the family are involved in making “koozh” in large quantities, spreading and pressing it on a white cloth under hot sun, chasing the crows away from eating it, (but the children who watch the vadam will eat the koozh and half dried vadam in between and put the blame on the crows) removing the dried vadam from the cloth, all fun filled annual affair in Summer days.
Even though, it is not prepared in large quantities now-a-days, people still make it in small quantities and of course with more varieties. No white old cloth, but it is replaced with a neat clean plastic sheet. No need to someone accompany the vadam in the hot sun to chase away the birds. Just put red chillies on the vadam here and there. Birds will stay away seeing the red chillies.
The basic Koozh is prepared in many ways with Rice and Javvarisi (Sago) added with green chilli paste and salt. The rice can be raw rice or parboiled rice. It will be soaked in water for about 6 to 8 hours and then ground to a fine paste. Or the rice and javvarisi is sent to Flour Mill and ground to a fine powder. Then enough water is added to the flour to make a paste. Ferment it over night and next day early morning the Koozh is prepared. Some people make the Koozh in the night and keep it till next day morning.
When making the koozh, carrot or beetroot juice is added to the batter, to get natural colour. Commercially, lot of varieties of these Vadams are available in the market. However when we prepare at home, we can make it according to our own taste.
I give below simple way of making these Koozh Vadam:
Rice flour – 4 cups
Green chillies – 8 Nos
Jeeragam – 2 teaspoons
Asafotida Powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt – 2 teaspoons or as per taste
Water – 8 cups
Previous day evening, put the rice flour in a big vessel and add sufficient water to make it like a thick dosa batter. Keep it over night for fermentation. Next day, early morning add more water and make it a thin batter.
Grind green chillies and jeera to a fine paste and add to the rice batter. Add salt and asafetida powder and mix well.
Keep a thick bottomed broad vessel on the stove. Add 8 cups water and bring to boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and slowly add the rice batter continuously stirring. (You can take a help of another for pouring or stirring). Cook on low flame stirring continuously till it thickens. Taste for the salt and if you require more add it and mix it well. Remove and cool it.
Spread a clean thick plastic sheet in a place where you get sunlight (mostly terrace or backyard). Using Murukku Press with “one star hole” plate, put the koozh dough into the press and make long straight lines. Finish all the dough.
Allow to dry in the hot sun for the whole day. In the evening, you can easily gather the dried vadams. You can break it into desired length. If it is not fully dried, then next day also dry it in the sun. Store it in a container. It will stay good for more than a year.
Javvarisi (Sago) – 2 cups
Rice flour – 2 tablespoons
Green Chillies – 4 Nos
Asafotida Powder – ½ teaspoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste
Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
Water – 6 cups
Soak javvarisi for about 6 to 8 hours or over night.
Next day morning you can make the koozh.
Grind green chillies and salt to a fine paste.
Put a thick bottomed vessel on the stove and pour the water and bring to boil. When it starts boiling, add the soaked javvarisi and stir well. Mix the rice flour in little water and make a thin batter and add to the javvarisi along with ground green chilli paste. Add lemon juice also and stir continuously till the javvarisi is transparent.
The Koozh should be of pouring consistency. If it is too thick, then add enough hot water to make it loose. If it is too thin, just add little rice flour mixed with water and make it to a right pouring consistency.
Spread a clean plastic sheet in the terrace or backyard where you get sun light. Take out a small round spoon of this batter (use round size spoon) and pour it on the sheet. It will get spread round on its own. Finish all the batter like this.
Dry it for the whole day. When it is dried well, store it in a container.
Note: You can also grind the soaked javvarisi along with rice flour to a fine paste and make this koozh. In that case the vadam look like white appalam. If you use whole javvarisi, when it is fried you will find the small rounds in the vadam.
Whenever you want, deep fry it in hot oil. Goes well with any type of rice items like sambar sadam, rasam sadam and variety rices.