This theme has brought back tons of childhood memories.During each summer vacation,mom would wake up quite early and start making preparations for breakfast and lunch.By the time I wake up, mom would be getting ready to prepare some variety of sun dried product.
Her best friend,Aunt R , would join her sometimes and both of them would set out in this endeavour.They would get the stuffs ready in the kitchen and take them out to dry in our small pretty lawn. They would spread out the plastic sheets and lay out the stuffs to dry. A large black umbrella would be placed near the sheets to scare off crows and other birds that love to feed on these stuffs.Those sheets would be brought back inside before sunset and would be laid out again the next day . This would continue till the products were completely dry. Then they would start making the next batch.Most of the times, it would just be mom doing all this .
We used to have large tin boxes filled with sun dried products that would last us for months together!I can never remember a day when mom got a pack of sun dried product from the shop.Everything was home made.
This time too mom made these sun dried crisps.A million Thanks to mom for teaching me to make these simple yet yummy crisps :).Today's Sun Dried Crisp is very easy and costs very less too. Just 2 main ingredients and loads of sun light is all you need.
Pressed rice / Aval / Avalakki / Poha - 1/2 kilo
White pumpkin- 1/4 kilo
Salt to taste
Green chillies - 4
Asafoetida powder - a large pinch
1. Grate the pumpkin. Do not discard the liquid.
2. Wash the poha in water and drain .Add asafoetida powder.
3. Grind the green chilli with a little water . Filter and add the liquid to the pressed rice. Discard the solid part
4.Add the grated pumpkin along with the liquid ,salt,mix well[ as seen below] and keep aside for some time. The poha should be soft .If the poha is not soft enough,sprinkle some water and keep aside for some time.
5.Take a small quantity of the poha mixture and make a small ball. The ball should not crack up. If it does, it means the water content is not sufficient,so sprinkle some more water and mix well. The ball should be smooth as seen below.
6.Lay out plastic sheets in an open area where there is ample sunlight.Flatten the balls and lay out on the plastic sheets.
7.Depending on the intensity of sun light,by evening the upper portion which is facing the sun light will be almost dry and can be easily removed from the sheet.In the pic below, the 4 pieces in the centre that are a little brown are the ones that are almost dry on one side. Bring the sheets indoors.Rearrange the crisps on a tray / plate so that the dried portion is facing down.Cover the plate with a newspaper / kitchen towel and keep it aside.Remove the paper cover and put them out to dry the next day and a few days more till they are completely dry.
8. Store the dried crisps in a clean airtight box.
Deep fry the crisps till golden brown and serve with rice or as a snack with tea...
- There are two varieties of pressed rice -the thick and thin varieties. Different varieties absorb water at different rates.
- Adjust green chillies to suit your taste. This quantity was mildly spicy.
- When flattening the poha balls in step 6, take care to see that it is even. If some portions are thicker, it takes longer to dry and longer to fry and thus some portions will be brown and other places black when deep fried.
- Place the sheets in an open area. If you are sure that there is no dust or birds attacking the crisps, leave it open,else place another sheet over the crisps. But if the crisps are covered, it takes a longer time to dry. The water will condense on the top sheet and you will have to wipe off the water and place it over the crisps from time to time.
- Instead of drying them out on plastic sheets, you can also use large metal plates / trays.
- Keep a bowl of water nearby while laying out the crisps. Wet your palm and makes balls and flatten them. It can be easily removed from the palm without breaking to be laid out.
- Start the preparation early so that you need not be drying out in the sun while laying out the crisps :)
Sending this to Walk Through Memory Lane hosted in Pradnya's blog , an event started by Gayathri
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#17