My family decided that they would love to have some chekkalu and Mysorepak as this year's Diwali treats and I obliged. Chekkalu is a rice flour based savory, crispy snack and also go by the names nippattu or thattai depending upon where one is geographically located in south India. I have already published two versions that are regular in our family here and here. Recently I watched an interesting version on a cook show using peppercorns and Diwali seemed like the right time to try this delicious treat.
Ingredients: (Yield: 12 -14)
1 cup rice flour
1.5 tsp. coarsely crushed black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. curry leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. cilantro, roughly chopped
1/ 4 cup soaked chana dal / split chickpeas
3 tbsp. hot oil
Oil to fry (I used canola oil.)
* Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl except the oil used for frying and rub with your fingers to mix. Then add lukewarm water as needed to form a firm dough. (I added a little less than 3/4 cup water.)
* Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep frying pan / kadai.* Roll a small lemon sized portion of the dough into a ball and place it on a thick, greased plastic sheet (such as a ziploc bag) or a wax paper. Flatten the ball with your fingers and press it to a thin disc of about 3 inches in diameter.
* Take the plastic sheet with the disc on and reverse it on to your dominant hand. Gently peel away the sheet from the disc so that the disc is in your hand. Gently drop the flattened dough disc into the hot oil.
* Repeat the steps with the remaining dough to make discs. Without overcrowding the pan, fit as many discs as you can to fry. Deep fry on low flame till it turns light golden in color both sides. Remove them with a slotted spoon onto absorbent towels.
* Repeat the procedure until all the dough is finished.
* Cool and store the fried chekkalu in an airtight container. They stay fresh for weeks and are good accompaniment for coffee / tea.
1. Don't rely on the color to check for doneness as the regular nippattu. They turn crispy even when they are not golden brown as the regular nippattu / thattais because chili powder is not added here.
2. Remember to grease the plastic sheet every time with 1- 2 drops of oil, before each usage.
This goes to Blogging marathon #58 under the theme 'Bookmarked Dishes'. Check the link to see what other marathoners are cooking.