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Monday, May 19, 2014


Event: Blogging marathon #40
Theme: Evening snacks

Somehow I could connect and remember more of my maternal grandmother's food than my paternal mother's even though we use to visit them both during our summer trips and in between. Both my grandmothers were excellent cooks but it was probably because of the delicacies my maternal grandmother used to whip up for us during those memorable trips, I guess I remember hers' better. Among the several traditional sweets and savories she used to prepare, this version of spicy boondi is one everyone used to enjoy. 

I wanted to try her laddu and karappooosa in my kitchen and during one of my trips to India, I had made it a point to buy a couple of boondi ladles to my mother's surprise. Later when my mother had inquired whether I got  a chance to try those ladles, I had to ask her the recipe. As a kid, I had never paid attention to what goes in the background of boondi making and so naturally I was at a loss, when I thought of trying this for the first time. My mother who eyeballs measurements for everything she cooks, had hard time explaining me the correct consistency for the boondi batter. All I could get was that it's somewhere near bajji batter consistency. And of course a little google search led to this vahchef's video that proved to be a great help. I have tried boondi making a few times after that and have got satisfactory results.

Karappoosa literally means spicy beads in Telugu, referring to the shape and taste of the boondis. This is a great snack on it's own or to clean your palate after enjoying a sweet. A sweet and karappoosa combo used to be an a accompaniment to evening coffee in my ammamma's kitchen. Generally several variations of kara boondi can be seen all over India and this was her version. It never came to my notice until my mother mentioned that the salt and chili powder are sprinkled over the freshly fried boondi instead of adding them directly to the batter. And I thought it would be not messy if we add them directly to the batter and when I checked it with my mom, she was like "You asked for ammamma's recipe and here it is. If you want to make alterations, it is upto you". And since I was looking for my granny's recipe, I tried it as it is as my mother suggested. Peanuts can replace cashews in this recipe.

1 cup besan / chickpea flour
Salt and chili powder to taste
2 tbsp Cashews
A handful of curry leaves 
Oil to fry

* Wash and wipe the curry leaves dry.
* Sift the besan and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Gradually add water and make a batter of about bajji consistency, without any lumps. Add a tsp of oil and mix well. Do not add water all at once. 
To test the correct consistency of the batter, gently dip the handle of the spoon into the batter and drop it into the hot oil from above. If the drop floats to the surface immediately and is round in shape, the consistency is right. Otherwise add water in increments of a tsp to test, until you reach the correct consistency. If the batter is too watery, besan can be added to fix it.
* Heat oil in a kadai / small wok on medium heat. Add cashews and fry them until light golden brown and remove them with a slotted spoon and keep them aside. Add curry leaves and remove them when they turn crisp.
* Pour a ladleful of batter into the boondi ladle. Hold it directly on the kadai and gently rub with the back of  a ladle. The batter drops into the hot oil as tiny droplets and immediately float to the surface forming rounds.
* When they appear cooked and attain a golden hue, remove them using a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent towels and repeat the process with the remaining batter.
* Transfer the fried boondi, cashews, curry leaves to a bowl and sprinkle salt and chili powder. Toss the bowl to combine. When cool, transfer the contents to an airtight container and store. This stays fresh for weeks.



Hamaree Rasoi said...

Delicious and mouthwatering karapoosa. Best part is that it can stay fresh in an airtight container.

Priya Suresh said...

Would love to munch some, very addictive snacks.

prachi agarwal said...

very helpful post

Usha said...

This is my husband's few favorite traditional Indian snacks. Yes, this can be customized to one's palate. Nice traditional snack.

Pavani N said...

What a spicy, crunchy & addictive evening snack. Thanks for sharing your family recipe. I've never made boondi myself, but when my mom was here I bought a ladle with holes here and she used it to make laddoos and boondhi. They came out pretty good.

Varadas Kitchen said...

Recipes with memories attached are the best. Nice and crunchy snack.

Suja Ram said...

Yummy snack to go with tea. Lovely clicks too.

Archana Potdar said...

Wow! I love this but I guess its easier for me to buy the boondi. but will love to try this out.

Srivalli said...

So lovely reading about your thoughts on this boondis..Somehow all these traditional snacks I remember from my mom's kitchen....your bowl of boondis have turned out so well..hoping to see the laddu sometime..I have that on my to do list for a while now..

Harini-Jaya R said...

Love it. Even my great aunt used to add salt and chilli powder after the boondi is done. I somehow fail to understand the funda :)

Harini-Jaya R said...

Okay, on second thoughts the boondi probably was prepared when laddus were also planned and so for easy reusability this method was followed.

Sapana Behl said...

Very tasty evening snack , lovely clicks....

Chef Mireille said...

love the shape - what a tasty snack