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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Chakli / Crispy Savory Spirals / Diwali Snacks


Hindus across the world celebrate Diwali festival with full zeal and enthusiasm. Diwali falls on the no moon day of Hindu month of Kartika, on this day goddess Lakshmi ( the goddess of good luck, fertility and prosperity) is worshipped. Houses and work places are thoroughly cleaned, renovated and decorated prior to the festival and lit with oil lamps and lanterns in the evening to welcome goddess Lakshmi. Apart from shopping and cleaning, decorating of houses and workplaces, one bigger affair is preparing a scrumptious feast comprising of many sweet and savory snacks for the occasion. These snacks are munched on during the festivity and are distributed to family and friends. Nowadays due to busy schedule, people often end up buying ready-made sweets and savouries from market.


But even today, some Maharashtrians like me cannot compromise on home-made Diwali Faral ( Diwali Faral is the term used for the long list of sweet and savory snacks prepared specially for Diwali festival). We Maharashtrian ladies feel proud to flaunt our faral thali which broadly comprise of traditional sweets like Anarsa(Pastry like sweet made from rice and jaggery ), Pudachya Karanjya (Layered Gujiya), Naralipakatle ladoo( Suji and Coconut ladoo , (Shakkarpare), Kharat Shankarpale( Namakpare), Naralachi barfi(fresh Coconut Fudge), Chiwda , Bhakarwadi ( deep fried spicy spring rolls), Besan Sev, Khavyache Gulab jamun , kalakand and Bhajanichi Chakli.( Click on the highlighted words for the recipe links.)


Chakli is a deep fried savoury snacks which is spiral in shape with a spiked surface. In south India it is called Murukku.  Maharashtrian prepare this chakali with a special flour called as Bhajani which is made by roasting Rice with various lentils like Bengal Gram , Skinned and split black gram ,Split and skinned green gram, coriander and cumin seeds and then grinding it to a powder. This bhajani (flour) is added to spiced boiling water with sesame seeds and some butter. The mixture so obtained is kneaded to a dough, shaped into circular forms using a snacks maker and deep fried.

Though we get ready made chakli bhajni in grocery shops nowadays, i adhere to the traditional method of making this bhajni fresh at home. For me, the chakli made by my mom is the best in the world. I have very fond memories of my childhood when we three siblings used to sit around mumma, wait and watch each step eagerly, as  our all-time favourite Diwali snacks was getting prepared. Can recall my mom moving her wrist so effortlessly while she pressed the chakli batter from the snacks maker to get those perfect round shaped chaklis. Here I am sharing her recipe of chakli from scratch as it is my turn now to recreate such memories for my little one. Dedicating this post to you mumma, tried to replicate your recipe but cannot ever get the taste of your hands..i guess the secret ingredient is your love J


Making perfect chakli needs lots of patience and practise. The temperature of oil needs to be monitored at every stage during a batch while deep frying chakli . If the temperature of oil is low the chakli will start breaking and lose their shape and absorb more oil, if the temperature is high you end up in a non-cooked burnt chakli. I admit that my first attempt of chakli last year was a disaster. But with practise and patience, you get those perfectly shaped and perfectly cooked crispy Chaklis.

Preparation Time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Serves: Makes around 30 chaklis

Ingredients for Chakli Bhajani( flour)
·         6 cups Rice
·         3 cups split and skinned Bengal gram ( chana dal)
·         1 ½ cups split and skinned Black gram ( dhuli urad dal)
·         ¾ cups split and skinned green gram ( dhuli moong dal)
·         1 cup Coriander seeds( sabut dhaniya)
·         ½ cup Cumin seeds ( Jeera)

For the Chakli dough
·         2 cups Chakli Bhajani (flour)
·         2 cups water
·         2 tbsp. Sesame seeds(Til)
·         1 1/2 tbsp. melted Butter (makhan)
·         1 tbsp. Carom seeds ( ajwain)
·         1 1/2 tbsp. Red chili powder (lal mirch)
·         ½ tsp. Turmeric powder (Haldi)
·         ¼ tsp Asafoetida ( hing)
·         Salt to taste
·         Oil for frying

Method:
1.    Roast all the ingredients for Chakli bhajni individually on a low flame until fragrant. Allow them to cool down and grind to a powder( flour) in a grind mill.
2.    Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add Sesame seeds, melted butter , salt and spices (carom seeds , red chili powder , turmeric powder, Asafoetida). Stir and lower the flame. Add the chakli bhajni . Mix well with a wooden spoon and put off the flame. Cover and leave it aside for at least 30 minutes.






 3.   After 30 minutes, add little water and knead the mixture into a soft dough.


  4.    Fill the dough into a chakli mould or a snacks maker fitted with a disc which has a single star shaped cutout.


   5. Line the working platform or cutting board with a parchment paper and press the snacks maker so that the dough comes out through the star shaped cutout on to the parchment paper.

  6.  Moving the wrist into circular motion, shape the pressed dough into spirals as it comes out. Small spirals with 3 round are easy to handle. Break off the end and press it lightly into the last coil to ensure it does not come apart later. Make 4-5 such spirals, one batch at a time. If you make too many ahead of time they will dry up and the spirals may not hold shape.
 

  7.   Heat sufficient oil in a frying pan till moderately hot. To check the readiness of oil, drop  a small ball of dough into it. If it sizzles and comes up to the surface with tiny bubbles around it, within 2-3 seconds then the oil is just right. If it takes more time, let the oil heat up a little more.

  8.   When the oil is ready, pick up the spirals using a flat spatula, one at a time and slide into the hot oil carefully. Slip in as many spirals as the frying pan can accommodate comfortably without overcrowding.



  9. Once in the oil leave them untouched for 1 minute or so. Then touch the spirals with a slotted ladle, if the spiral has turned hard and the colored changed to golden brown, then flip. Fry on the other side for another 1 minute or so and then remove them using slotted ladle, shake off excess oil and then place them onto a plate lined with an absorbent paper.


  10.    Repeat the process till all the dough has been used up.

  11.    Let the chaklis cool down completely. Store them in an airtight container. Enjoy the crunchy tasty Chaklis with hot cup of tea or coffee.


 I hope you would love to give this recipe a try. Do not forget to give your valuable feed back through likes and comments. 


5 comments :

  1. Wow...simple and easy to make perfect Chakli with step by step pictures. A must try for this festive season.
    Please check http://rarelicious.wordpress.com for more South Indian, millets, kids friendly recipes!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Abi for the positive feed back. Do try out and let me know how it turned for you. Sure will check your site as well.

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  3. i followed your redipe but chakli are falling apart when i m frying them...plz help me

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late reply Anamika Agarwal. The chakli fall apart while frying for 2 main reasons, either the temperature of oil while frying is very low , you have to maintain a proper temperature as i have mentioned in the post. Another reason is the amount of butter may be more. figure out the exact reason , if the temperature is fine then you may add little chakli bhajni(flour) to the dough to adjust the extra butter. Hope this works out.

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