There used to be a time when vadams and pickles were never store bought. Chennai has only summer and summer always, a slightly cool weather in December and January. All the vadams would be prepared periodically and stored. Ours was a bungalow type house but the neighbour's terrace would be visible. At any point we can see someone or the other preparing vadams in their terrace. I recall my mother making these and my sisters and me would be too willing to help her mainly to nibble at the vadams at different stages of drying. It would begin with the dough tasting and slowly extend to the vadams itself. Now, I see my cousins do not take the trouble of making it, instead readymades are available at reasonable cost. But, I still enjoy preparing these. Here,goes the recipe.
Jawwarisi or Sabudana - 2 cups
Green chillies - 10
Lime - 4 or 5
Soak Sabudana overnight. Dissolve asoefoetida in three tablespoon of water. Grind the green chillies to a fine paste.
In a thick bottom vessel, cook the soaked sabudana with enough water. Keep stirring till the pearls become transparent. Allow it to cool completely and at this point the consistency should be taken note of. If the mixture is quite thick, it would thicken further while cooling and this would be a difficult venture later on. Add just enough water so that the mixture is in semi-solid consistency. Once it is cooled, add salt, asoefoetida, chilly paste and the lemon juice. Check for taste and add the necessary ingredients accordingly. Now, the mixture should be in a semi- solid consistency and not a pouring one. Fill a ladle of mixture and place it in the plastic sheet directly under the sun. It may take a couple of days before the vadam is dried completely.
Vadams can be deep fried or can be toasted in the microwave. Enjoy with piping hot rice and sambar. I like it that way.