Sun Dried, Rice Based Onion Fritters (Piyava Vodi)

Sun Dried, Rice Based Onion Fritters (Piyava Vodi)

Vodi's are rice based, sun dried items that are deep fried to make crispy, crunchy fritters. Vodi's are Konkani cuisine's favourite fries and are a must to make a Konkani meal complete. Vadi/vodi/oodi/odi are had as a side dish for lunch/dinner. A handful of these fryums with a bowl of steaming hot conjee/rice is comfort food for many Konkanis. A bowl of steaming hot rice with daat dalithoy (Konkani style dal) and these fryums are part of daily lunch/dinner in most Konkani homes.

These fritters are generally made in the month of February to May, during the summer. Come Febrauary-March, the scorching sun and heat is unbearable in coastal Karnataka. That's the time when my mom, aunties and granny used to gather up and set out to our terraces and backyards to make a type of fritters(vodis) and papad everyday. My mother still makes huge batches of vadis and papad, then stores it for the year longs use and also distributes it to our relatives. 

These fritters are usually rice or split black gram (urad dal) based. Spice and few other ingredients are added to the rice/urad dal based batter to make a particular type of crispies/fryum.

These fritters need sun drying for a minimum of 5-7 days. Traditionally these fritters are sun dried on mats made by weaving coconut tree leaves together. But you can also use big sheets of plastic for sun drying these fritters and use weights on the sides to prevent the plastic from flying.

This post here is about piyava vadis or onion fritters made of rice. In Konkani, piyavu means onion, vodi/vadi/odi/oodi means fritters. These rice based fritters become super crispy, crunchy and light when are deep fried or are microwaved. Loads of onion are added to the spicy rice batter to make these fritters. Onions give a very nice flavor and aroma to these fritters when are deep fried. These vodis are pretty easy to make and dry up very fast under hot sun. Just in case you don't have enough space to sun dry them, look for microwave tips below, at the bottom of this post. These fritters are called as erulli sandige in Kannada. 

Nowadays only few people make these vodis at home. Time, space for drying are a constraint. Give these fritters a try, make a small batch with the measurements mentioned below and I am sure your effort will be worth it! If you love them (I'm sure you will), then scale up next time. :)

Here's another reason for you to give these a try. The cooked, steaming hot, fritter batter with onions in it, is absolutely a pleasure to eat with loads of coconut oil on top. We eat a bowlful of this steaming hot, spicy rice batter as soon as it is prepared. And also the next morning after overnight resting, once the batter's thick, enjoy it with loads of coconut oil on top. And half dried fritters (sun dried for 1-3 days) are such a pleasure to eat! Try it on and then you'll know what I'm talking about. :)


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of dosa rice (short grained rice)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons of red chilli powder or 12-15 dried red chillies
  • Salt to taste

For Drying: You will require big sheets of plastic and weights on the sides to prevent the plastic from flying.


Serves: 10-12 servings


Preparation Method:

Preparing the batter:

P.S: Prepare batter for making these fritters on the previous night of the day you intend to make these fritters.

1Prep to be done the previous day to make vodi peet - the batter:

 

1. Soak rice for a minimum of 30 minutes. 

2. Wash and grind it along with dried red chillies, salt into a smooth paste using as much water as needed. 

3. Transfer the ground batter into a skillet, add 4 - 5 cups of water to it. We need a very dilute batter to begin with so that it gets cooked through. Diluted more than the neer dosa batter. 

If the amount of water you add to cook is less, the batter will thicken very soon and won't be cooked through.

4. Add salt. Check and adjust salt.

Keep it slightly less salty than needed cuz the batter reduces to half on cooking, vodis shrink on drying up. They'll turn out salty on drying so adding little less salt than needed gives you perfect tasting vodis.

5. Heat the batter on medium to slow flame with constant stirring to ensure uniform heating and to prevent batter from sticking to the bottom. 

6. Cook until rawness of the batter goes off. 

7. In the end we need a not-so-thick, not-so-thin medium consistency slurry. 

Why?? If it's too watery you'll have a runny batter, that'll give you flat out vodis. But they will dry up well, make good tasting vodis but won't hold the beautiful shape. 

If the batter's too thick you'll have very thick batter as it cools down, that won't drop off your fingers when you try to make vodis for sun drying. 

8. So, if the batter remains raw while it has already thickened, you can add water, mix, stir and let it cook for a few more minutes. The amount of water you add depends on how raw your batter tastes. The best part is you can keep adding water any number of times, in any amount until your batter cooks through. 

9. The key being a smooth batter in the end that is medium thick in consistency.

10. What to do if there are clumps in your batter? As the batter cooks clumps could be formed. If they're tiny you should be able to flatten them out using the back of your laddle. If they're big and many in number you can add the batter to mixie once the batter cools down, grind it for a minute & you should have a smooth batter. 

11. What if your batter becomes a thick mass way early?? Add water, mix, stir and let it cook for a few more minutes. The amount of water you add depends on how raw your batter tastes. The best part is you can keep adding water any number of times, in any amount until your batter cooks through. 

12. So once you have a well cooked batter remove it from the flame. Add finely chopped onions to it if you're making piyava vodi - onion flavoured fritters. Keep it closed. It'll thicken as it cools down and will dilute a little by morning too because of onions that are added to it. So in the morning you should have a perfect consistency batter to make vodis. 

Alternatively, you can also add finely chopped onions to the batter in the morning before making vodis too. 

13. To make vodis in the morning give the batter a good mix. Mix water + oil in a glass. Sprinkle a layer of it on the surface of plastic or anything you are laying vodis onto. 

14. Take a spoonful of batter using your fingers and drop the batter onto the plastic or any surface you are using for sun drying. Mom usually uses coconut leaves woven into a mat called a madal in Konkani. 

15. Sun dry them for 4-5 days. As they dry out they come off the mat and can be transferred into plates for further sun drying. 

16. After 4-5 days of sun drying store them in airtight containers. Deep fry them whenever needed to enjoy crispy, crunchy vodis. 

Eating vodi peet:

We enjoy steaming hot vodi peet with lots of coconut oil on top. Just the batter or batter + onions with coconut oil on top. Tastes yummm once the batter cools down or the next day too. 

Enjoying half sun dried vodis:

We also enjoy half sun dried vodis too. They'll be all gooey and super yummm to eat after a few hours of sun drying. Perfect to enjoy after one day of sun drying. 

What if you don't have the space to sun dry them? Vodis dry out without direct sun light too. You can enjoy half sun dried vodis without direct sunlight. Even a few hours of direct sun light, 2-4-5 hours of direct sunlight can help dry vodis. Sun dry them for a few extra days in that case to store them for more than a year. 

The cooked batter after it cools down looks like this: You can also enjoy this with lots of coconut oil on top.

Sun drying:

The sun drying process starts the next morning. Next morning spread a clean plastic sheet under the sun. Grease the plastic sheet with a mixture of water and oil on one side to help dried fritters come off the plastic sheet easily. 

Once the place is set up, give the batter a good mix and start spreading out spoonfuls of batter on the plastic sheet as shown below. Spread them out on the plastic sheet with some distance between them.

A close up view of the same.

Let the fritter batter dry under the hot sun for 6-7 consecutive days until the fritters are well dried and are crispy.

After 2-3 days, these fritters shrink in size & as they dry, they come off the plastic. Removed them off the plastic and dry them on a plate for 3-4 more days. 

Dried fritters look like this:

Your sun dried fritters(piyava vodi) are ready!!

12. Let sun dried fritters cool down to room temperature and then store them in an air tight container in a dry place.

13. When you wish to eat these fritters, deep fry them in hot oil (or microwave in a single layer for 1 minute) and serve them. 

These fritters puff up and become light on deep frying.

14. Fry them in rolling hot oil on both sides for uniform frying. For proper frying, ensure the oil is rolling hot. If the oil isn't heated up properly, these fritters don't puff up fully and remain little hard unlike the light, fully puffed up fritters.

15. You get to enjoy these fritters throughout the year and for years to come. These stay good for years when are stored right, in dry, air tight containers and when are sun dried properly for 6-7 days under the hot sun.

Deep fried fritters look like this:


Serving suggestions:

Eat them as is.

Or serve them along with rice and dalithoy (Konkani style dal) as a side dish.

Or serve them as a side dish with congee. (pyej in Konkani)

Or serve them as a side dish for any Konkani meal, lunch, dinner. They go well with sambar-rice, curd rice and with any curry.


People who can’t sun dry these fritters do try out this microwave option:

If you don't have open space to sun dry these fritters, you can dry them in an oven. Bake these fritters at 200 F until they're dried completely (for about 5-6 hrs). These fritters come out very crispy. 

P.S: You can also substitute onion with garlic in this recipe. If you want to use garlic then use 2 big bulbs of garlic for 2 cups of rice (for the measurements mentioned above). Garlic has to be peeled, crushed lightly and ground along with the rice while making the above batter.


Cheats recipe to make awesome, crispy fritters from left over rice:

If you have lots of left over rice and are bored of turning left over rice into some dish like chitranna, mosranna, fried rice etc., you can turn them into awesome, crispy fritters in no time, without much effort.

All you need to do is, grind leftover rice along with red chilli powder and salt into a smooth paste, using as little water as possible (just enough water to grind the rice and turn it into a paste). And make fritters using this ground batter just like mentioned above and sun dry them just like mentioned above. 


Tags: Sun dried, fritters, sandige, vodi, oodi, side dish, lunch, dinner, eerulli sandige, onion fritters, Konkani dish, Konkani recipe, vadi, fries, Konkani food, Mangalore food, Udupi cuisine, Konkani cuisine, odi, fryums