Thursday, May 29

Koozhu Time...!!!

“Kozhande….. Inge vandu enaku help panuda (Kiddo..Come help me dear)”, screamed my mom. I was in my usual deep slumber and mumbled back a no to her. “Di..unga amma koopdra..po! Somberi kada!(Oye! Your mother is calling…run)”..that was my granny expecting me to go help. Ha! Sleep is more important.“Vethhal podrendi…seekram vaa(Am making Vethhal..come fast!)”. Magical words that woke me up!

Vethhals are actually papads in Tambram version; made out of this gooey stuff called Koozhu and is a basically a composition of mashed rice and something that makes it heavenly. Now, I would’ve given you the recipe, but am totally clueless about what happens in a kitchen and hence, I wouldn’t be helping you.

This is one of the many compulsory phases that would happen in most of the tambram families during summer. During the month of mar-apr, it would be MaavuDu/ MaagaLi mania. My granny would start being more active in the house, waiting for the sound of the hawker on the road to scream MaavuDu. There used to be a pressure between my granny and her sisters as to who would make MaavuDu pickle first. The first one who to do so, makes it a point to distribute one jaaDi to all the relatives just to show off her maavuDu making prowess. After the maavuDu saga gets over, it would be time for MaagaLi(Sarsaparilla Root). Another variety of pickle, it’s actually a plants root and has a very disgusting stench. I made a mistake of once offering to help my granny to cut those roots, only to end up with an unbearable stench around myself. Even after that pickle is made, it doesn’t drop its scent. I still remember my classmates running away from me whenever I used to bring it for lunch.

Coming back to koozhu, the whole process of it getting transformed into vethal itself is an art. I just love it when my granny takes it out when it is hot from the cooker, and gives it to me in a kiNNi. Yumm. The men of the house have just one task- to transport the koozhu utensils to the moTTa maaDi. The kids of the house have to keep the leering crows away from the koozhu; also at times, would be armed with a hand fan to drive away possible terrors like “e’s”. But, mostly they would end up sharing their loot with the crows, which would be followed with a “Endi en pranana vaangara??!!” session with the moms. The transformation in itself normally takes up to a week until it dries to becomes a vethhal. Again, this also has a good time frame competition between maamis; but, this would be based on how many actually survived from our lootings!

Just the one thought of having a meal with all the three sends me to bliss. Maybe I should try learning the recipes. Paati…Here I Come!!


Idling in Top Gear said...

No idea what maagaLi is. Maavadu - once my family lived in Cuddalore, and we had over 20 mango trees on our property. Needless to say, there was no relative/ family friend that did not get a jaadi of my mom's mavadu that year!

I used to hang out with my paati during the summer hols when I was like 8/9 and watch her make vadaam and vatthal. She'd pat them on the back of a polythene sheet and let them dry out in the sun, with someone watching over them to keep the birds away. I always wondered what would happen if, like in the fables, a bunch of birds got smart and decided to attack at the same time, knowing that there was only one person on watch.

kavitha said...

awwwww....yes,thachi mammu+maavadu+vathal/or vadam is heaven! :)

lol@somberi kada! :D

Poojitha said...

@ idling and kavitha: and tats how summers are.. :D..

Anonymous said...

aogdropped in here from i dont know where but enjoyed the archives

paatti ellam vadaam pottuttu , adha paatthukku engala okkara veccha , mottai maadila seeettu carrom velayadindu vendiyumbodhu paadhi koozha irukkura vadaama saaapttu, kadisi la missing vetthals ku blame kaakkai mela pottu..idhellam oru kaalatthalu summer aa irundhudhu.

your post made me reminisce a lot of old stuff. thanks.

Pettai Maami said...

@curdriceaurora: :)..welcome...n thnx fr dropping by....glad you enjoyed the post...