Rava Seedai - something for the road ...
Have been writing about very serious things the last week. Time to write something on the lighter side.
Happened to see "paravai Muniamma"'s Village Feast cooking show on Sunday. She made Rava Seedai (crunchy deep fried rice+ cream of wheat snack). She also claimed that there is always something different about making it fresh at home as opposed to current city dwellers buying it off the stores.
She also sang a song about how kids in the villages may not be going to school (instead they become goat herders), but they get to enjoy fresh made Rava Seedai.
My daughter is going to school and she doesnt get to see a goat unless she goes to a petting zoo, but I didnt want her to miss out on Rava Seedai.
So, put on the apron (my dirty oily towel rather) and made Rava Seedai. Came out well.
The recipe (deceptively simple thanks to paravai muniamma) :
Mix 1/2 cup rice flour + 1/2 cup rava (cream of wheat)+ 2 spoons of butter + 1/2 spoon cumin seeds with minimal water.
Let the dough sit for 30 mins, then roll it into little balls (1cm diameter), WAIT for another 20 Minutes before you deep fry them in oil.
WARNING : Do not try this at home unless you are experienced or have a spatter guard at home!!!
Now, let us look at some of the reasons why city dwellers just buy Seedai from stores instead of making it at home.
a. Making seedai must be the number one cause of death/disability among the untrained novice cook. If the little balls of dough are not dry enough, they explode three four seconds after you drop them in the hot oil. My scientific explanation for this is that the surface hardens first but then the core if still moist must be generating super heated steam which cracks the shell, exploding into a hundred or so bits, propelling the broken shell and hot oil around the room. This I pieced together (CSI style) when my wife tried to make Seedai, when she was a newly married bride !! I am pretty sure most of those unsolved Dowry deaths in India where the women die in the kitchen accidents must have "Seedai Explosion" as the suspected cause.
b. Apartments, houses in City's are not easily cleaned after a Seedai explosion. We have to worry about paying a few hundred bucks to the steam carpet cleaning dude or losing our security deposit on our rental. The village mom on the other hand can take a broom and brush a few layers of dirt (sand) off the floor of her hut and everything is back to normal !!
c. Last but not the least, took me over an hour to make 100 of these little guys and our entire house had to be aired out for another hour to get rid of the oil smell. If this was winter, the Seedai would have cost me an additional $50 in heating bills after the airing out session. I could always pay the $5 at the local Indian grocery store (they would have probably spent 50 cents to make it) and still save myself the heating bill.
It was still nice to taste fresh made Seedai !!
Thanks to Paravai Muniamma for the inspiration , and the insinuation !!!