Arisi Maavu Koozhu | Indian Rice Porridge
Humble foods give immense pleasure. Nothing fits the saying more perfectly than my mum’s Koozh. Arisi Koozh, has been our favorite dish for a very long time now. The only problem is, since it involves a lot of labor, (quite a lot of stirring and then cleaning afterwards!) it got made only once in a blue moon. But I wanted to start my Avant Garde Cookies journey with something special. And since the theme was Breakfast, this was the only dish that came to my mind.
I’m gonna take up some space to talk about this dish… Arisi (read: uh-ree-see) literally translates to Rice. Maavu (means batter) and Koozh (read: koo-la) is the Tamil name for a porridge. (The deep tongue twisting la. I don’t expect many non-South Indians to get the pronunciation right :D) Put it together and you have delicious Rice Porridge!
Although simple, it does involve a lot of planning & organizing to make sure the whole process goes on smoothly. My Gran makes it every time I visit her, for she knows how crazy I am about this thing. Generally, this Koozh is made to make Fryums. That is, they are squeezed out into different shapes, dried in the sun & stored. When needed, they are fried & eaten. But by the time we are done with the dish, there’s nothing left to dry and fry! We love it hot, wet & fresh!
How to eat Koozhu? Mum makes a green chilli chutney (just blend chilies with some salt) to go along with the porridge. Pile a large spoon full of koozh/porridge onto your plate, a little bit of chilli chutney, NO SPOONS, scoop it with a finger and lick away! Keep serving little by little as it tastes best when it is hot.
ARISI MAAVU KOOZH Recipe | Rice Porridge Recipe | Arisi Koolu
(Print this Recipe)
Prep Time: 3 days
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 cup Raw Rice
2 Tbsp Pearl tapioca (sago/sabudana)
4-6 Green Chillies
1/8 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
1 tbsp Salt (adjust later, to taste)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1. Soak Rice in water for 4-5 hours. Drain out the water.
2. Add the rice to a blender along with some water and grind / blend to a smooth paste (water-y batter)
3. Grind green chillies & salt together
4. Add this paste to the batter, mix well.
5. Set it aside for 2-3 days until the batter sours. Everyday, give it a good mix once or twice so that the batter doesn’t become lumpy.
6. On the 3rd or 4th day (when you want to prepare the porridge) soak sabudana / sago for 5-6 hours and grind to a smooth paste. (tip: soak it the night before)
7. In a deep bottomed wok or a cooker, heat 1.5 – 2 cups of water along with the 1 tsp oil.
8. Add the sago paste and mix well.
9. Slowly add the rice batter while simultaneously stirring. (Note: Mum finds the rolling pin easy to stir as the batter starts cooking. You could use just about any long spoon)
10. Keep stirring until it becomes thick. If you stop in between, the koozh becomes lumpy. Mix it from the bottom- up.
11. It may look clumpy at a stage even if you are stirring. But that’s okay. Just keep doing it vigorously and the porridge becomes smooth and glossy (takes around 5 min)
12. Once it looks like the water added initially has been used fully, you can stop stirring. Let it remain on the stove though.
Depending on how thick or loose you want your porridge to be, keep it on the stove for longer or shorter period respectively.
Serve it along with the green chili paste or have it as it is!
- If you’re looking to squeeze the dough into fryums to dry & fry later, you may want to use lesser water and cook for a longer time. But since this was just for breakfast, we preferred to let it cook just until it was glossy and smooth
- You can really have the porridge as it is. But we’ve always had it along with the green chili paste (no matter how spicy the porridge is). You can also squeeze half a lemon if you find the porridge too bland. Since we let the batter ferment, it should be just the right amount of sour
And thus I start my epicurean journey (Avante Garde Cookies)