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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A - Z Andhra Recipes ~ J for Janthikulu

I am on alphabet 'J' today, in my journey of A - Z Andhra cuisine. My initial idea was to check whether I could prepare at home 'Jeedi / Jeellu", supposedly one of the older kind street foods from the state that I had heard about. I have never seen or tasted it but it seems that both my parents and my husband have fond memories attached to this old world treat. Going on by my husband's and my mother's descriptions, I realized that it is made with jaggery and is really gummy. My enthusiasm however plummeted after seeing a couple of videos like this & this and on how it is prepared. I though got to understand how and why the consistency of the treat is so. 

Next I hopped onto the savory land to prepare this deep fried snack, janthikalu which would be a good accompaniment to evening coffee or tea. Besides, a savory in my home means that I could happily pass on the extra calories to the other adult, without me taking the guilt trip. These kind of crispy rice and bean flour based savory spirals are popular through out India and go by the common name 'chakli'. However the word 'chakli' is just an umbrella term considering the various regional names and the different methods of preparation, through out the nation. 

In Andhra, a chakli would be generally called chakralu, chakkilalu, kaaralu or murukulu. And of course there are specific names for some specific preparations as I have mentioned below. Rice flour is the common factor among all varieties and a bean flour is added in a particular ratio to it. Usually the ratio of rice flour would be more compared to the bean flour. The kind of bean flour added and the ratio of flours in the recipe decide the variety of chakli we are going to end up with. A few examples are given below.

* Manugu poolu, which is famous in some of the Andhra coastal areas are made using rice flour and powdered roasted split chickpeas. (Pappulu used to make chutney for south indian breakfast.) 
* Senagapindi kaaralu and Vampoosa / Vampodi kaaralu are chickpea flour based ones and these recipes are an exception where chickpea flour ratio is more to the rice flour used.
* Janthikalu and thentharlu are both made using rice flour and split black gram flour, the latter being milder compared to the janthikalu.
(I have recipes for most of them on my blog and have provided the links. Just click on the words.)
The recipe I provided here is a standard one for janthikalu though I have seen other versions online, a common anomaly owing to the regional variations. This is what we make at home and I still had to confirm with my mom to make sure that the recipe being provided here is the correct one for janthijkalu. It yields crispy, crunchy janthikalu that one would enjoy munching anytime of the day. One can make these janthikalu as big as the pan size in which they are fried or smaller ones. And don't bother if you don't get perfect circles. I certainly don't since I start to feel like I am succumbing to arthritis whenever I press down the chakli flour through the gadget. The perfect circled chaklisu you see on my blog are courtesy of my husband.

'J' ingredients in Andhra Kitchen:
Jaajikaaya - Nutmeg
Jaama pandu / Jaama kaaya / Jaampandu- Guava 
Jeedipappu - Cashew nut
Jeedimamidi - Cashew fruit
Jeelakarra - Cumin seeds
Jonnalu / Jonna Pindi - Jowar / Sorghum grain and flour
Junnu paalu - Colostrum milk of a cow / buffalo

'J' dishes:
Jaava - Porridge
Jeedipappu pakodi - Cashew - Chickpea flour fritters
Jeedipappu patti - Cashew burfi
Jeedipappu upma 
Jeedi / Jeellu - A gummy street snack made with jaggery, a treat for kids in the bygone days.
Jonna rotte - Jowar / Sorghum flour rotis
Jonna sangati - Balls made with jowar flour and rice
Jilledukaayalu - Surprisingly kudumulu / steamed modak are called so in northern coastal areas. (For us, it is the fruit of a widely grown weed. When the plant leaves are plucked, a milk like liquid oozes out which is said to be harmful if it comes into contact with eyes.)
Junnu - Dessert made using junnu paalu

3 cups rice flour 
3/4 cup urad flour / black gram flour
1 to 1.5 tbsp. chili powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp.white sesame seeds
2 tbsp. cumin seeds 
2 tbsp. softened butter 
Water (I had to add about 1 & 1/4 cups + 2 tbsp. water.)
Oil to fry (I used canola oil.)

* Store bought rice and urad flours will perfectly work.
* The quantity of chili powder can be reduced if mild janthikalu are preferred.
* Piping hot oil can be substituted for butter.
* Carom seeds can be used instead of cumin seeds.

* Combine the flours, chili powder, salt, sesame seeds and cumin seeds in a mixing bowl. Next add the butter and rub it into the mixture. Add about a cup of water to the flour mixture and mix well with hand. Then work the dough adding water in small increments as needed to form a soft dough. The final dough should not be watery or very hard, somewhere in between. 
* Heat oil in a small wok / deep frying pan. When the oil is hot enough to fry, turn down the heat to medium flame. The oil doesn't need to smoke. To know whether the oil is hot enough, do this little test. Put a pinch of the dough in the hot oil. If it sizzles and come to the surface of the oil immediately, then it is ready. If the dough stays at the bottom, then the oil is not hot enough. During chakli making process, when the heat appears to have reduced, increase the heat setting. (You may need to adjust the heat setting through out the chakli making process as needed since frying them faster would not toast them properly and may also burn. Maintaining the same temperature through the process ensures uniformly colored janthikalu.)
* Usually the chakli press is sold along with several plates which are interchangeable. For janthikalu, use the plate with bigger perforations than a sev one or simply, the one with plain, big holes than the pin-prick sized ones. After fixing the plate, take a small portion of the dough and fill it into the chakli press and in a circular motion, press out the dough into the oil. The coils of dough would form a concentric circle. This dough is easy to work with and you can make two to three separate circles at a time or a single big one that fits your pan size. Don't worry even if you don't get perfect circles. (The dough can be pressed directly into the kadai or if not comfortable, shapes can be made on the back of a ladle and dropped slowly into the hot oil.)
* Fry on low flame until they attain a dark tan color on both sides, flipping them intermittently. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towel covered plates.
* Repeat the same process with the remaining dough and fry them in batches. Cool and store in an airtight container. They stay fresh for weeks.

So far on A - Z Andhra Cuisine,
A for Alasanda Vada
B for Bellam Garelu
C for Chiyali
D for Dondakaaya Kaarapu Kaaya
E for Endu Kobbari Podi
F for Fine Biscuits 
G for Gongura - Mamidikaya Pappu
H for Halwa Holigalu
I for Idli Karam Podi

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63.


Amara’s cooking said...

Jantikalu look delicious Suma, I love this snack:)

cookingwithsapana said...

I guess the shape is more important for this snack.It looks really tempting and a wonderful treat with tea.

Suma Gandlur said...

Sapna, it is not important to get those swirls. It is not like you have to get a perfect circle as you do when you are using the single holed plate. Overall you press down the batter into the oil in concentric circles and overlaping happens. You may just try to get a circular shape if you could. That's it.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

I love how perfectly you have shaped the murukku! Looks amazing and I can snack on this all day.

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Crispy and quite addictive snack.it has come out so well and gotva nice golden color..

Srividhya said...

Love the crispy murukku. Yummm

Kalyani said...

almost like Thenghul (aka thenkuzhal).. .lovely golden hue and crispy snack !!

Srivalli said...

I have never heard of Jeedi Suma, saw the video, it looks so complicated. Not sure how it is eaten, though..:)..I love this Janthikulus and yes confirming to no shape is the beauty of these.

Suma Gandlur said...

Yes, Kalyani. We call thenkuzhal, thentharlu in Telugu and as I mentioned in my post both use almost the same ingredients except that janthikalu are on the spicier side.

vaishali sabnani said...

What a crunchy snack. I feel like grabbing it from the screen..absolutely stunning.

Gayathri Kumar said...

My mom always made murukku with urad dhal flour and it was my favourite. Seeing your recipe, I am feeling nostalgic...

Usha said...

Janthikalu are crisp and crunchy. I can munch on these all day.

Priya Suresh said...

Wish i get those pretty dangerously addictive crunchy munchies rite from my lappy screen, ultimate janthikulus.

Pavani said...

Janthikalu are one of the family favorite snacks. Yours turned out just perfect -- so crispy and crunchy.

Smruti Ashar said...

Your Jantikalu looks so good and crispy. They have come out so perfect and golden!!

Harini R said...

I rarely get to making these kind of murukku varieties, as I seem to have a problem with the murukku press every time I try :) These look so tempting.

Unknown said...

Jantikalu looks so crisp I can keep on munching them..

Chef Mireille said...

perfectly crispy and crunchy snack

veena said...

Perfectly done!!1Crispy and delicious!!

Unknown said...

nice accompaniment with tea. Perfectly done!!