A traditional Konkani deep-fried snack and a side dish to rice. A must for every meal, mouthwatering delight for a gourmet palate.
Passive Time
Passive Time
To cook the rice:
  • 1kg aged, parboiled ponni rice(see note)
  • 5litres water
To grind:
  • 185gm onion(peeled)
  • 15gm dry hot red chilies
  • 45gm salt
  • 1750ml water
To grease the platters:
  • 50ml cooking oil
To deep-fry:
  • 500ml cooking oilto deep-fry
To cook 1 kilo of rice:
  1. The rice has to be cooked the night before you make the odis. This is because the cooked rice has to be kept overnight for cooling.
  2. Use a stainless steel vessel of 7 litres size, or a bit larger, to cook the rice. Pour in 5 litres of water and set on high heat.
  3. Wash and drain the rice.
  4. As soon as the water comes to a boil, tip in the rice.
  5. Once it starts to boil again, turn the heat down to minimum and cover partially with a lid. Stir occasionally.
  6. The rice may take approximately an hour to cook. Please remember that the variety, maturity and age of the rice, together with the quantum of heat decides the cooking time. So, the best thing to do is to lift out a few grains of rice now and then, and squeeze gently between your thumb and forefinger. As soon as the rice is soft and yielding, devoid of any hardness at the center, you can tell that it is cooked perfectly.
  7. Drain off the hot rice broth and keep the rice covered to cool overnight.
To grind:
  1. Start at 8 am to get the full benefit of the rising sun.
  2. Chop the onion roughly to pieces.
  3. Mix the cooked rice, the onion, the red chilies and the salt.
  4. As the food processor is generally too small to accommodate all the ingredients, you will need to grind the mixture in several batches using the stipulated quantity of water (1750 ml of water for the cooked rice derived from cooking 1 kilo of rice the previous night).
  5. Grind the mixture in batches in your food processor by adding no more than the stipulated quantity of water (If you wish, you can divide the mixture into batches and then divide the water too, to have the same quantity to add to each batch as you grind).
  6. Once ground, put all the batches of the paste together in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with your fingers and set aside.
To dry the odis:
  1. Grease five stainless steel platters of 22-inches diameter (56 cm) or more numbers of smaller plates or trays with cooking oil.
  2. Now scoop little portions of paste and place small globules of the size of cherries (roughly 5/8-inch or 1.5 cm) close, but not touching one another on the greased platters.
  3. Set them out to dry in the sun till 4 pm, when the platters can be brought inside.
  4. On the morning of the third day of drying, turn the half-dried odis over carefully with your fingers, without squeezing.
  5. Dry for two more days. If clouds intervene, dry for a day or two more to compensate for the lost sunlight. Usually, four days of strong, uninterrupted sunlight are enough to dry the odis to perfection.
  6. Store in clean dry airtight containers. Odis dried immaculately keep fresh for a year in air-tight containers.
To deep-fry:
  1. Set a wok or frying pan on high heat. Pour in the cooking oil.
  2. As soon as the oil is hot (it should not smoke), gently put in a small fistful of dried odis. Stir them gently.
  3. The odis will bloom to thrice their size in a few seconds. Stir once again and lift out. Drain off the excess oil.
  4. Continue with the next batch until you have deep-fried the desired quantity. Set aside to cool, partially covered, as you want any leftover moisture to escape, but need to retain their crispiness.
  5. Once cool to the touch, your delicious odis can be transferred to an airtight container. Enjoy with rice, with tea, with coffee, with soft drinks or with wine. You will love this gourmet snack!
Recipe Notes
Aged parboiled ponni rice

Aged, parboiled ponni rice.

  1. Though ponni rice gives best results, if not available, you can use any aged rice, including raw rice, so long as the rice does not become gooey when cooked, but expands well and retains a little bit of hardness.
  2. Always do keep in mind that for getting odis of the best quality, make them only on bright sunny days as proper drying is of critical importance.
  3. You can use any chili of your liking in place of hot red chilis. For mild heat, you can use Kashmiri chilies, whereas chili lovers can use birds eye chilies, jalapeño chilies, hot ornamental chilies, or hot green chilies.
  4. Garlic lovers can replace the onions with 50 gm (per kilo of uncooked rice) of peeled garlic cloves to make garlic odis.
  5. Rice, when cooked, quadruples in weight. A kilo of ponni rice will turn to approximately 4.14 kilos of cooked rice. On drying, it will revert back to its original weight plus the weight of the added ingredients.