Posts Tagged ‘making vadams at home’

Summer Special- Vadams!

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Making vadams in the summer is one fun activity that we never missed out growing up in a small town in Tamilnadu. The D-day will be selected carefully so that it is not too hot in April or in May and neither is it windy that all the vadams will get a generous shower of dust and sand from the storms. My mom usually grinds the vadam batter in the grinder as she sends it out to the entire family and it was our duty(sis and I) to arrange the vadams for drying in the sun. Usually the sun drying process runs for a week- we start of with Javvarisi vadam(sago vadam), then comes ommapodi and arisi vadams (crispy rice noodle vadams), then stuff like tomato vadams, yogurt chili(more milagai) and we end it up with an aromatic pickle season starting with mango avakkai and finishing off with vadu mangai or mahali pickle.

Let’s face it, we did not have all these TV channels or Youtube at that time and managing two kids at home along with a generous dose of cousins who arrive for the summer vacations the best activity(which is useful for everyone) was this vadam making.

Looking back I just cannot control my laughter on how many mischiefs we have done with just making vadams- from taste testing the batter to checking if they are done (again eating it while it is baking in the sun calling it as a big help to mom) to chasing away crows and competing with cousins on the many shapes you can make with the already ooey-goeey batter, gosh life is(was!!) beautiful :)

Since we spread it on a sheet, I use the liners from IKEA and I just use it for that purpose. Sometimes I have seen people use a cotton sheet or even rough plastic papers lined up as a sheet- but if you think of the layer that is going to adhere to the vadams, I’d say better get a clean and sturdy plastic sheet.

Ingredients:(This quantity should be enough for 4-6 months I guess)

Sago-(Javvarisi)-1/2 kg (either the pearly white sago or the slightly bigger size sago)
Green chilies- 4-5
Salt- 1/2- 3/4 tsp
Gingerly oil(Nallenai)- 4 tbsp
Water- atleast one liter
Lemon juice- from juice of one lemon


Wash the plastic sheet with water the night before you are going to make vadams, let it air dry. The next morning, wipe it with a clean cloth and apply the gingerly oil all over the sheet. I usually wash the surface that I am going to spread these sheets just so that even if there is any dust it will not fall on the vadams. If you are going to keep in indoors, thats fine too.

Soak the sago in minimum amount of water for 8 hours(overnight). If you are using the smaller size sago, just mash it with a masher, else you can also blend it in the blender without adding water(the water used to soak would do). Blend salt and green chilies to a smooth paste with a little amount of water. Heat the water in a thick bottomed utensil(say pressure cooker) and when it boils, carefully add the sago and the chili-salt paste, mix well and continue cooking on a low flame till the sago reaches a glassy, translucent stage. If you think that the water is not enough, add warm water as required as it thickens. It should not be too runny or too thick. Switch off. Add lemon juice and mix well.

Start scooping about a tbsp of the batter and place it on the sheet. You do not have to spread it as the batter will be quite runny and will take its desired shape.

Let it dry in the sun for atleast a day, if you can turn it without the vadam sticking to the sheet the next day, then turn all the vadams and let it dry in the sun for another day. Once when both sides are thoroughly sun dried, store it in an air tight container. The vadams will shrink in size and will almost crumble when it is totally dry.

When you are ready to serve, heat oil in a kadai and deep fry required number of vadams. Serve it as a snack or as an accompaniment with rasam rice, sambar rice etc.,

Sis and I love gobbling up the vadam batter itself :)

Make sure that you do not add too much of salt as when it is dried in the sun, it will get really salty, so use minimum amount of salt. You can always add more when you taste the batter.

For variations you can boil tomatoes in water, remove skin and blend it, sieve it to remove any seeds and add it to the vadam batter to make tomato vadams too! Very colorful and tasty kind of vegetable vadams are variations of the usual sago vadams.