Do you have a favorite tea time snack… or should I ask… did you have a favorite tea time snack (nalumani palaharam in Malayalam) when you were a kid?? Well, my answer is… YES! I have and I will… and that’s one-and-only “ethakka varattiyathu” (banana roasted in ghee and sprinkled with sugar). Actually there’s a tight competition between ethakka varattiyathu & ethakkappam (banana fritters) for the top slot in my fav list :)
Before the bakery palaharam (bakery items) started reigning the tea time snacks, we used to have different varieties of home made snacks in the evening. Apart from the two snacks mentioned above there’s sukhiyan, vatteyappam, kozhukkata, unnakkai, pancake or mutta kuzhalappam, unda payasam (rice dumplings cooked in sweet coconut milk along with steamed banana), munthirikothu (something similar to sukhiyan), diamond cuts, unniyappam and lastly avolse unda & avalose podi. There are more snacks, I’ve just mentioned a few!
If you noticed I’ve mentioned avalose podi towards the end and the reason is I never fancied avalose podi or avlose unda when I was a kid. I used to have it when I didn’t have any other choice. Now you might be thinking, then why am I posting the recipe of something which I don’t like much… well, this recipe is different from the traditional avalose podi. As far as my understanding goes, traditional avalose podi is made with rice flour, coconut, sugar etc; This recipe uses rawa (semolina) instead of rice powder. I was surprised and at the same time very much impressed by this. Hence you see the recipe here.
Avalose podi also belongs to the category of “erippu palaharam” (snacks which can be made in advance & can be stored for a long period). I still remember my maternal grandma sitting in the kitchen and giving direction to the maids to make palaharams (snacks) such as avolse podi, avalose unda, diamond cuts, chakka varuthathu (jackfruit chips), panchasara varattiyathu (raw plantains fried in oil and dipped in sugar syrup), munthirikothu etc;
Usually all these preparations are done at the time of Xmas & Easter when there’s family get together. My amma has 8 siblings, including herself, so there’ll be around 30-40 people at the “tharavadu” (ancestral home) at this time. That’s also the time when the first and the fourth generation of the family comes together and everybody will be staying in one place for 3-4 days. You can imagine how feeding all these people is a major task in itself. That’s when the “erippu palaharam” plays an important role. It comes in very handy, especially, to feed the snack obsessed kids like us :) Those were the days…
Ok enough of past memories… even otherwise Jose complains that I live in the past… so lets do one thing, fast forward and here we are with the new version of avalose podi!
If you don’t like the usual avalose podi, please try it and see, am almost sure you’ll get hooked on to this new version. If you belong to the category of liking usual avalose podi, just try this for a change and if you belong to the third category of not having any clue at all about what this dish is, try it and see for yourself. Anyways there is no harm in trying, right ;)?
One last thing before going to the recipe – it’s a breeze to make this recipe! It wont take more than 10-15 mins of your time and the best part is you can store it for a long period, now that sounds nice :) Also you can have this as breakfast or a snack.
Here is the recipe:
- Rawa (semolina) – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/2 cup (refer notes)
Coconut – 1/4-1/2 cup
- Cashew nut & Raisins – a handful
- Ghee – 1 tbsp (refer notes)
- Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashew & raisins. Keep it aside. Add rawa to the same pan & fry it till it starts changing colour, about 3-4 mins. Add sugar & coconut. Mix it well. Fry it till it becomes golden brown colour. Sprinkle the cardamom powder & stir it. Remove from gas & let it cook. Powder the cooled rawa mixture. Add the fried cashews & raisins to this & mix well. Store in an airtight container.
Notes: I used a little less than 1/2 cup of sugar. I found that itself a bit sweet. If you dont want it very sweet, adjust the quantity of sugar accordingly. You can always add sugar while having it. I kept it at room temperature for a week. If you want to keep it for a longer time, refrigerate it. Usually this is served with sugar or banana. You can aslo serve it with steamed banana, drizzled with honey.
Check out other Kerala tea time snacks in this blog:
Recipe source: Lakshmi Nair, Magic Oven cookery show