Daily Archives: October 17, 2011

Omapodi/Ajwain Sev

Now, to one of Deepavali savouries – Omapodi or Sev in hindi. Before coming to omapodi, about the savoury maker – achu kuzhal. The traditional achu kuzhal or the mould for making different kinds of deep-fried snacks used to be a wooden one or a metal one. I am yet to find mine as I kept it safely in the shaft but couldn’t locate the safe place. It has thin round plates/discs with different shapes and holes to make different kinds of savouries. In the picture is a modern murukku/sev maker – but the different discs and tubular press do the same as the traditional achu kuzhal. The tight dough of the savoury is put in the tubular container and the lid is fit with the required disc and closed. Then the dough is pressed out into hot oil and fried.

the murukku maker with discs


tubular container with small-holed disc


Omapodi or Sev

Omam is tamil means Carom seeds or ajwain in hindi. This sev is made with ajwain or carom seeds which helps in digestion and also relieves cold and chest congestion. Among the moulds, the thinnest is used to make omapodi. If preferred the next size mould can also be used. Rice flour is added to gram flour to make this savoury crispy.


  • kadalai maavu/gram flour – 3 cups
  • arisi maavu/rice flour – 1/4 cup
  • omam/carom seeds – 3 tsp
  • salt – 2 tsp
  • hot oil/ghee – 2 tsp
  • oil – for frying

Method of Preparation

Making dough

  1. Sieve kadalai maavu and arisi maavu (both flours)
  2. Soak omam in water for 2 hours and grind to a smooth paste with salt
  3. Strain the omam paste and add this syrup to the sieved flour
  4. Add hot oil or ghee too to the sieved flour
  5. Make a stiff dough by sprinkling water little by little

ready to store omapodi 


Making Omapodi

  1. Heat oil in a kadai
  2. Apply oil inside the tubular container so that the dough does not stick to it
  3. Keep one portion of dough and close the lid with the very small holed disc
  4. Squeeze omapodi/sev into hot oil
  5. Turn it gently and cook
  6. When the spluttering ends, omapodi is ready
  7. Remove and place on tissue to absorb excess oil
  8. After it cools, crumble and store in an air-tight container.

Note: (I read from Mrs. Mallika Badrinath’s cook book)

  1. Red chillies can be added to omam while grinding for extra flavour.
  2. After adding omam syrup, the coarse flour can be divided into three portions. Sprinkle water to each portion just before frying.
  3. This keeps the total dough fresh from becoming dry and each portion of dough is freshly made for more perfect omapodi.

Quick and Easy Thaalicha Paruppu/Seasoned Lentil!

The first of the main courses is the paruppu sadham. Sadham is cooked rice and paruppu means lentils. This is especially Thuvaram Paruppu – Arhar dal in hindi. The red gram/pigeon pea is cooked well and seasoned with mustards, urad dal and green chillies. This is a light meal in itself. A lazy day’s meal can always be rice and thaalicha paruppu with a kootu (stew of vegetables) or poriyal (dry vegetable curry). Lazy to make vegetables…  then just paruppu sadham and appalam/pappad and curd rice to finish the day’s meal would do!

But, in the vaazhai ilai sappadu – banana leaf meal, be prepared for sambar, rasam and curds to follow. For an infant or a toddler or a growing child, paruppu sadham and nei/ghee is the one of the preferred preparations for lunch followed by curds and rice – not to mention the compulsory vegetables.


Thaalicha Paruppu

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • thuvaram paruppu/red lentils – 1/2 cup
  • turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • salt – as needed
  • asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Thaalippu – Thadka – Seasoning

  • oil – 2 tsp
  • mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • green chillies – 2 nos
  • curry leaves

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and cook dal with turmeric powder and salt
  2. Mash it a bit and make it slightly pourable consistency
  3. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds
  4. After the mustard seeds splutter, add urad dal
  5. When dal is golden brown, add green chillies and curry leaves
  6. Pour the mashed paruppu and bring it to boil
  7. Sprinkle asafoetida and serve hot with rice with a tsp of ghee.


  1. This is the plain simple paruppu of the vaazhai ilai sappadu/banana leaf meal.
  2. For more flavour, chopped onions and tomatoes can be added after curry leaves, cooked for a while and then dal can be added and mixed well.
  3. Red chillies can be substituted or added along with green chillies.
  4. The consistency of paruppu can be altered according individual preference.