Saturday, 26 October 2013

Arisi Vatthal (Rice Fryums)

In any Indian feast the first thing that children start eating is the papad. If there are fryums, the kids love it even better. Infact, it seems like they have an apetite only for the fryums and nothing else in the entire banana leaf.

These fryums and papads are usually grandma's passed on recipes in most families. I am lucky to be one of those. Granny to mom and mom to me. And my little girl shows signs of following in my footsteps too. So this is one yummy snack that we are not going to give up making. Infact, there is no dearth of bright sunny days in our part of the world. Even if it means waking up at 5AM to cook the rice and start making the murukkus by 7AM to take advantage of the sunlight during the day. Ofcourse we come away consuming more than our share of Vitamin D on such days. Still the crisp yummy fryums are worth it. 


Jeera/Cumin - 50 gm
Vella Ellu/White sesame seeds - 50 gm
Perungayam/Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 8 salt - to taste
Rice (Maavu arisi or pacchai arisi) - 8 cups (150 ml rice measuring cup)
Water - 20 cups (1 : 2.5, rice : water ratio)
Juice of 1 Lemon

Hot water - if needed

Large Cooker
Large wooden ladle for mashing
Murukku press
Lots of clean plastic sheets


Wash and clean the rice well. Place the rice and water with salt in the cooker. Grind green chilies with a little water and add the chili paste to the rice in the cooker. Add the asafoetida to the rice too. Close the cooker and boil well giving three whistles.

While the rice is cooking, clean the plastic sheets and spread them on the terrace.

Allow the pressure in the cooker to subside before opening. While the cooked rice is still hot, use a large wooden ladle to mash it well. Add the juice of lemon and keep mixing. The lemon is to make the fryums appear white instead of the pearly dull natural colour of the rice. Add the cumin and sesame seeds and mix well.

Check if the mashed rice mixture consistency is appropriate. Fill the murukku press with the mashed rice and try squeezing it. You should be able to make murukkus without much effort.

If not, add some hot water and mix until you reach the desired consistency.

Fill the murukku press and make long strips of murukku vattal or fryums on the plastic sheets.

The murukku press comes with a few options. The tiny holes are for idiyappam. The two flat rectangular holes are for ribbon pakoda. The star-shaped holes and the plain three holes are for murukku.

In Chennai you can use the star-shaped holes to make the murukku. You can fry them the same evening. But in Bangalore's unpredictable cloud cover, you might have to use the ribbon pakoda to make long strips that will dry quickly.

We generally do not worry about the shape. Since we will break it into 2-3 inch long strips after it has dried up.

As mentioned, make the murkkus on the sheets as early in the morning as possible. Allow them to dry out during the day.

If it is a bright sunny day, it mostly dries up by the end of the day. When you try to take it off the sheet, if it is hard and does not bend, it is almost dry. So take it off the sheet, break it into 3 inch long strips and dry it under the fan overnight. Place the strips back in the sunlight the next day to be extra sure that the fryums are totally dry.

These keep well for as long as a year or two, but mostly they are consumed faster than that ;). Fry them any time in hot oil and have as a snack or serve with rice in place of papad.

Verdict Time consuming, strenuous and ofcourse you end up with a bad tan, but if you take pride in home-made stuff then this is something you should definitely try out. 
priya's signature image at photobucket

1 comment:

Chandrasekaran Swaminathan said...

Hats off to you. First for the recipe and more importantly continuing the family tradition even today.