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For the Love of Rice – FMR

Soaked rice mixed with curds, pearl onions and curd chillies

The ruthlessly hot summer days of Agni nakshatram (The 14 day period in May which is the hottest days of summer) is the time the kids are at home for summer vacation – Like animals fred from the cages, we used to be roaming outside the house, Sun ??? Heat ???? What is that ??? I used to “visit” my home every now and then, as I would be extreeemely busy playing out in the hot sun.

To keep the bodies cool during these hot months, my father used to make Palaya saadam. Literally translated, the word means “old rice”, I think the word is no justice for the taste. I dont know what its called in other languages. If so do share it would love to hear about it.

It is so very simple, actually no recipe to this dish, but yet very healthy for its cooling properties. Cooked rice, (usually its left overs, but my amma used to make extra for this) would be soaked in plain water over-night preferably in a clay vessel, then mixed nicely next day morning mix with a dash of buttermilk or curd and salt. Eat(rather drink) it with mor molaga/sundakai vathal/siru vangayam…. The salty and hot crispiness of the “mor molaga” with the cool porridge-like creamy rice – There are no words to decribe the taste of this. The clay vessel imparts a cooling property on this dish. Siruvangayam ( pearl onions ), buttermilk also have the same effect on the body.

Mor molaga is chillies dried in curd, Siru vangayam is pearl onions, Sundakai vathal – I need help!!!. Anyone has pictures or any information about sundakai ?? Its little green colour fruits size of mini marbles that are also dried in curds. I googled and no english equivalent came up, I dont have stock at home too 😦

To remember all those fun times and to tackle the heat here in California ( Yes it is hot but I am loving it !!!) , I made this dish this weekend.

A couple of updates: Archana did the research for me and found out about Sundakai. It has good info and details and the medicinal value of sundakai which is essentially a berry. Thanks Archana !!

Vineela has already blogged about this berry. She also has a foto of the sundakai in curd. This is what she has written about the berry :

“Sundakkai”s botanical name is “Solanum torvum” and “Turkey Berry” in English,”Bhankatiya, katai in “Hindi”,”Usthikaya” in Telugu and “Sundakkai” in Tamil.

Thank you Vineela for the recipe & the info !!

This dish is called pazhankanji / kulutha choru ( Thanks LG & Indianadoc ) and called Paaniwala chawal in hindi.
The dish for my ultimate love of rice – Another entry for FMR


June 26, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Revathi, you could be talking about my daughter here! She ‘visits’ us periodically through the day to assure us that she has not abandoned us.

    A couple of questions: where do you get clay vessels that can be used for cooking/storing food? Also, do you soak the pearl onions with the rice overnight? Or are these added the next morning and eaten raw?

    Comment by Manisha | June 27, 2006 | Reply

  2. hi Revathi, ungalode ulagam azhakayirikku…Palaya sadam engalode malayalathil ‘kulutha choru’ ennu solluvar…Enakku romba pudicha sadam…My mom used to give it with curds and the previous day’s fish curry mixed…God! classy it is!!

    Comment by indianadoc | June 27, 2006 | Reply

  3. Oh! Such a beautiful dish! We call it pazhankanji! If you ask me, the best entry for FMR!

    Comment by Inji Pennu | June 27, 2006 | Reply

  4. That sounds really “cool”. You reminded me of my summer vacation. We used to wander everywhere playing outside in the sun until the sun sets. We would only go inside the house for drinks and food!

    Comment by RP | June 27, 2006 | Reply

  5. Hi,
    People from orissa also make the same dish for summers. I have tasted it at my friends house and I loved it. They call it in hindi as “paaniwala chawal”. I had it alongwith lots of side dishes like fried fish, chutney, etc.
    And for everyone’s information, it is said that old rice (i.e. previous days rice) is very healthy.

    Comment by Anonymous | June 27, 2006 | Reply

  6. revathi, roomba nalla irruku, kanji is always an soughted dish illaya? amma ennum seivanga..thanks for sharing.

    Comment by sudhav | June 28, 2006 | Reply

  7. Hi Revathi,
    My grandmom used to us give same but with curd rice with onions .
    Nice entry with filled with lot of cool memeories.

    Comment by Vineela | June 28, 2006 | Reply

  8. Manisha :

    Clay vessels we can get here in Newark, CA. (Coconut Hill). Let me know if you direly need one.
    Yes, I do soak the pearl onions overnite. Its is to be eaten raw. But it does leave onion smell. Which I like – so if you dont like it, you may use it as a side dish.

    Indianadoc :
    Thank you very much. You tamil is very cute. Talk to me about previous day fish curry for this recipe.. Yummmmmmmieeee

    Thanks LG for the kind words 🙂

    Thanks RP. Yes I remember that advt for plastic “If she makes it to 10 its a miracle” – soooo apt for us.

    Anonymous, thank you very much

    Aama sudha… btw do u know whats in english for sundakkai ??

    Thanks vineela for the comments

    Comment by Revathi | June 28, 2006 | Reply

  9. Hi Revathi,
    Here is the information about sundakkai
    Hope it helps you.

    Comment by Vineela | June 28, 2006 | Reply

  10. Hi, this also has high nutritious value as per my mother because the fermentation overnight increases the vitamin B-complex of the rice.
    I love this dish too and have occasionally been reminded of it, but never got around to making it. Thanks for the post – it serves me as a reminder.
    -anon in bay area

    Comment by Anonymous | June 28, 2006 | Reply

  11. Hi Revathi,
    I truly appreciate you for writing about this, we call it pazhamkanji or pazham choru in Kerala. I know how “agninakshatram” feels like , lived in Madurai for a little while. We used to drink gallons of water and all kinds of yogurt based drinks. I just found this page, while googling for sundakai.
    Thank you…..

    Comment by archana | June 28, 2006 | Reply

  12. Revathi, you are very sweet to offer your help. As luck has it, I will be in the Bay Area next month. So I’ll look around and see what I can find. Thanks again!

    Comment by Manisha | June 29, 2006 | Reply

  13. Chinna vengayam, mor milagai, palaya sadam, killer combination Revathi 🙂

    Comment by Nila | June 29, 2006 | Reply

  14. Revathi,im so sorry that i couldnt answer the english name of sundakai.I just found out and thought of telling you..and i see archana and vineela has alreday told the name..I’m extremly sorry..Taniya keeps me really busy..

    Comment by sudhav | July 1, 2006 | Reply

  15. This brings me nostalgia. The path tat I went thru during the worst time of my life, after my father past away. We had only this to fill our tummies. 😦

    Comment by Puspha | July 1, 2006 | Reply

  16. It was like as if you were describing my childhood, it flodded me with memories. All the time I would be out on the street or at a friends home, playing with 10 other kids and would come home in between for food. My mom too used to insist us to have this everyday in the morning becos of its cooling effect. And we also ate it always with chinna vengaiyam or mor milaga. If we did not want to take the rice, then my mom would pour the water alone in a tumbler, add salt and would ask to drink that.

    What beautiful times those were with no TV!! So simple and so carefree… a very nostalgic post.

    Comment by Meena | April 27, 2007 | Reply

  17. Hi revathy,
    My father was explaining a few days back how they were given Vellakennai with pazhaya saadam! Nice to see this in your site. We also mix rasam made on the previous night. This can also be stored in kal chatti or eeyya sambu.

    Comment by Latha Narasimhan | August 22, 2007 | Reply

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