Sunday, October 11, 2009


I set out to make chekkalu (nippattu/thattai, depends on which part of the south you are from) deep fried, crunchy, small, flat and round snacks for Diwali. As I put the first batch into the oil for frying, I experienced a major setback! The fried gram dal in the chekkalu started to separate from the dough and started to float around in the oil. Not a good thing.So now, I had to immediately change plans and with a little added effort, there emerged cheedai. I had to painfully pick out each one of the ¾ cup of friend gram dal from the dough before I proceeded to do anything else. The change of plans turned out to be better in another way too as they were quicker to make and a lot more could be fried at a time, which helped me finish up way before I would have been done frying all the thattais. So here is my improvised version of cheedai.


2 cups of rice flour

4 tbsp butter, softened

½ an onion finely chopped

½ tsp chilli powder

¼ tsp cumin powder

Salt to taste

Hing (asafoetida), a pinch

Oil for deep frying

Mix all of the above ingredients well till the mixture looks like wet sand. Add warm water and make into a dough, Cover with a wet cloth and set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat oil for deep frying. Divide the dough into 8 portions. Roll each into a log, 2 cms in diameter. Cut the log into 1 cm pieces.

Roll each of these into little balls. Deep fry on medium low heat for 8-10 minutes turning them over occasionally. When they turn light brown in color, remove and drain on paper towels. Store in an air tight container when completely cooled.

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