Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin

Killu Kondattam (Rice Crisp Fries)

Coming up with good translations of traditional South Indian dishes is a huge challenge for me. The closest I can think of is Sun Dried Rice Crisp Fries. But that’s such a long name!

Killu vadaam served with curd rice

Kondattams (or Vadaam as some call it – the Va is pronounced briefly and the daaam is slightly longer) are made from gooey mixtures prepared by grinding rice (or some other grains) along with spices and passing the dough through a seva nazhi (a kind of press or extruder). These are then sun dried and fried before use. Some of them are made from cut vegetables boiled in salt water and then sun dried. Both versions taste very good and have long shelf life.

The other day the rice I made got overcooked and had too much kanji which refused to budge even after several attempts at draining it out. Newly harvested rice most often pose this problem. So I decided to make killu kondattam out of this rice. Add some chilly powder, salt, and asafetida to the overcooked rice and grind into a smooth paste in the mixer and that’s your dough for the killu kondattams. I am unable to come up with a proportion for this. It’s really is a matter of your taste.

Killu kondattam, as the name suggests, are made by scooping up a small portion of the dough in your hand and letting small round dollops of dough fall through on to a cotton cloth or a thick and clean plastic sheet.

Dollops left to dry in the sun

This is then sun dried until it hardens and there is no moisture left. These stay good for years and can be fried as and when required. Excellent accompaniment for rice, especially flavored rices such as tomato rice, lemon rice, or curd rice. Kondattam comes handy when you are too lazy to make a side dish (subzi accompaniment for rice). They are crispy and yummy. Try it out. You just cant stop at one.