‘Votthu Shavige’ is home made rice noodles. It is also very common in Kerala (where it is called Idiyappam), and in the neighbouring TamilNadu.
In our family, Votthu Shavige is eaten with a sweet powder called ‘Soosalu’ and ghee. It is also made into tangy Shavige bhath. Votthu Shavige is a great favorite in our family. It was made on very rare occassions, when all my Mom’s 6 sisters and families got together. It was a complicated affair, because it needed a lot of advance planning, like washing the rice, drying it, and then getting it ground in a flour mill. Then organizing a family get together, phew, that was tough. Then on the day everyone got together, making the dough, then boiling it in water, waiting for it to rise to the top, and then putting it in the Shavige press. The most difficult part was that the huge Shavige Press had to be held by 2 people, and one person had to turn it. I don’t know why it had to get so complicated:-) Well it was the most fun!!
So what is so complicated about making shavige ? Nothing absolutely, as I realized after coming to the US. My Hubby being
a the ‘Shavige Monster’ encouraged me to try it here once, and it turned out to be a piece of cake. Well, he does the tough part of using the Shavige press, because the dough is very hot, and it needs physical strength. With this now a regular at home here, we only miss the family gatherings that used to come with the shavige…………..
The recipe for votthu shavige is as follows-
Ingredients( To serve 2)-
Rice Flour- 2 Cups( called Idiyappam podi in Indian grocery stores)
Ghee- 2 Tsp
Salt- 1/2 Tsp
Water- 3 Cups
For the Soosalu-
Khus khus( Gasagase)- 1 Tbsp
Jaggery( Powdered)- 3 Tbsp added according to sweetness required
White Till( Ellu)- 2 Tbsp
Cardamom- seed from 1 pod
Dry/Dessicated coconut- 1 Tbsp
For the Shavige bhath-
Mustard seeds- 1/4 Tsp
Urad Daal- 1/2 Tsp
Channa Daal- 1/2 Tsp
Curry leaves- 4 or 5
Green Chilies- 2 finely chopped
Turmeric Powder- a pinch
Fresh Coriander- 2 sprigs finely chopped
Fresh coconut- small amount for garnish
Lemon Juice- 2 tsp
Salt- to taste
For the Shavige-
As I mentioned earlier, the rice flour used, should be washed, dried and then powdered. This processing can be avoided by buying ready made rice flour. This is easily available in all Indian grocery stores as Idiyappam Podi.
Boil 3 cups of water in a thick bottomed pan with 1 tsp of ghee and 1/2 tsp of salt. To the boiling water add the rice flour in small quantities, and stir continuously till it forms a stiff dough, with minimal lumps( gantu). Turn off the heat. Divide the dough into 4 parts
Take some cold water in a bowl. Take one part of the dough on a plate, smeared with ghee, knead the dough well to break any lumps which may be present. Use the cold water to dip your hands if its too hot. Follow the same procedure for all the dough.
Actually, as per the idiyappam Podi makers, the dough is ready to go. It can be pressed to make the Shavige. Me, being a little more conservative do it Mom’s way, and steam the dough like idlies for 10 minutes on an idli plate. This process cooks the dough completely, and makes it lighter.
Then take the dough in a Chakkali press, internally smeared with ghee and make the shavige. The plate with the smallest holes for making sev, can be used. This process is easier when the dough is hot. You will need a lot more physical strength to press the chakkli maker as the dough cools.
For the Soosalu-
Heat a kadai, and just heat the khus khus, till, and coconut for a minute or two.Powder all the ingredients together and mix with the jaggery powder. Enjoy the hot Shavige with Ghee and Soosalu.
For making Shavige bhath-
Make a tempering of Mustard seeds, urad daal, channa daal, asafetida, in hot oil. Add the curry leaves , green chilies, turmeric and salt. Toss in the shavige very carefully to make sure it does not completely disintegrate, and mix well. Turn off the heat and garnish with the fresh coconut and coriander. Add the lemon juice. Enjoy…………….