Ottu shavige (rice noodles)
No introduction needed here if you are from Karnataka.. a dish native to Malnad and Karavali, this is very close to my heart. If you are hearing this name for the first time, Ottu shavige is rice noodles, that follows a special traditional cooking method. Ottu shavige looks exactly like its Tamil and Malayali cousins - Idiyappam and Nool puttu respectively, but the method of preparation is very different.
I have fond memories attached with ottu shavige. Me and my sister would wait for Amma to finish all the prep work and would eagerly wait to extrude the noodles from the noodle maker. This is a special type of extruder very commonly available in Malnad and Karavali regions of Karnataka. It might be available in other places as well, I'm not sure.. though the process was a little tedious for us as kids, we loved it! And we still do.. But if you do not have the ottu shavige machine, you can very well recreate the dish with normal chakli press. It does the job just fine, but the extruder is preferred if you are cooking in large quantities.. Ottu shavige tastes best when served with kai haalu (coconut milk sweetened with jaggery) and kai chutney (coconut chutney).
So read on to find out how exactly these beauties are made!!
Measuring cup used - standard 1 cup = 240 ml
Yields 10 large shavige
For ottu shavige
Dosa rice 3 cups
Salt to taste
For kai haalu (sweetened coconut milk)
Freshly grated coconut 1/2 cup
Almonds 1/4th cup
Jaggery 1/3rd cup
Cardamom pods 4
Water 4 cups
Soak rice in sufficient water for at least 4 hours. Grind it to a very fine paste with sufficient water. The batter when rubbed between thumb and forefinger must feel silky, as in you should not be able to feel any coarse rice particles. Now add around 4-6 cups of water to this batter and bring it to a thin consistency (See video below).
Transfer this batter to a thick bottomed saucepan or wok and turn on the heat at medium high. Start stirring the mixture continuously till a dough is formed. Refer to pictures below.
Close the wok and let it rest for 10 minutes till you are just able to handle it. Do not let it cool down. Once you are able to handle to dough, shape them into logs and place it in a steamer or pressure cooker (without the weight) and let it steam for good 30-35 minutes.
Turn off the heat and check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or blunt knife. The toothpick/knife should come out clean. In the meantime, keep the chakli press or the shavige press oiled from inside and ready. Now, without letting the dough logs to cool down, transfer one into the press and extrude the noodles, moving it in concentric circular motion.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough logs. Make sure that the logs do not cool off at any point of time (after taking out one log, close the steamer/cooker to retain the heat).
Serve it hot/warm with kai haalu and chutney and devour it ❤❤
Soak almonds in hot water for 15 minutes. Grind it along with grated coconut and cardamom pods with a few spoons of water into a very fine paste. In a saucepan, boil 4 cups of water with jaggery and once the mixture boils, add the coconut and almond paste and let it simmer for good 15 minutes. You may add up to 1/2 cup of jaggery depending on the type of jaggery you are using and your personal sweetness preference. We at home love it mildly sweet and hence 1/3 cup works just fine.
Notes for ottu shavige:
Using good quality dosa rice ensures soft shavige.
The batter is thinned down to help ease the stirring process. Do not stop stirring the batter till the dough is formed, otherwise you will find clumps in the dough.
Special mention to my sister who got this for me from Mangalore and my parents who sent it to me neatly packed all the way from Bangalore to Noida ❤