Urad Dal And Rice Chakuli ....... Again made by Mom and Me ...... Perfecting my cooking skills under Mom's watchful Eyes ........ Turned out Simply awesome .....
Chakuli as known in Konkani GSB Saraswat community and murukku / deep fried rice spirals in the other parts of Southern parts of Inida is a crispy deep fried snack enjoyed almost by the young and old alike. Children are very fond of this and they are finished in no time. A little bit tedious on the making side if it has to be done alone. But if you have a helping hand, then it can be finished within a matter of hours. But how much ever the part of work it involves, we simply love this snack and is a must during Diwali in almost every household. In my Mom’s house it was always done many times during the year round, as we were a large family and come holidays, we had guest, cousins, aunts all coming over. We helped both mom in the making of sun dried items and snacks as well as dad in his official work. In return we always enjoyed these delicacies and a movie ticket. Those days we were happy with little things life offered I guess.
Initially I never enjoyed the whole chakuli making process as I had to toil alone. I would prepare these when mom came over to stay. This time too the major credit goes to my dear mother who helped me in making these. She literally pushes me away and wants to do it on her own. Ahha Mother’s they never will believe our ability. Always doubtful we will mess up. Maybe its their love towards children too that simply gives them pleasure in making them for us. At 83 yrs. She manages this with just some help from us. God Bless her. But, then again its always a disappointment when I have to do this alone. So this time my hubby who loves these snacks ventured into the task of helping me and learned the task of pressing the chakuli / murukku. Now both of us can share the burden of preparing these and enjoy and relish them whenever desired.
If the chakulis tend to break while making, it means the kneaded atta is drier and will have to be a little smoother. So sprinkle some more water or coconut milk and try kneading the dough for some more time, knead it well again. And then put them in a chakuli pressing machine and press into making the chakuli again. The chakuli atta should come out of the pressing machine in a nice single thread without breaking and should be able to be shaped. You can check on any You tube for the same to get the exact method of the preparation. Deep fry the pressed chakuli in hot oil and then when they cool to room temperature, store them in an airtight container. You can enjoy them as snacks dipped in a cup of steaming hot rasam during monsoon when its pouring heavily and you simply want to put up your legs and enjoy the rains. I always prepared chakuli rasam / sambar whenever I prepare chakuli as we simple love them this way. You can just enjoy them anyway you wish. A good time pass snack too …. To nibble in between breaks if that tummy growls.
250 gms Urad Dal, 500 gms of Basmati rice flour or any other rice flour, 100 ml of coconut milk, 50-75 gms of white homemade butter, 2-3 tablespoon of white / black til, 2 tablespoon of jeera and Salt to taste.
Roast urad dal dry till light brown / reddish in colour over slow heat. Once a little bit cooled, grind in a mixer jar to a fine powder. Do not add any water. We need dry and fine powder. Sieve through a fine sieve. Put back the rough powder in the mixer grinder again and run the machine again. Sieve the powder again.
Now put the sieved urad dal powder in a large bowl, it should be approximately around 250 gms, add in the rice flour, coconut milk, butter (room temperature), til, jeera and salt to taste. Mix all ingredients with fingers into crumbs. Now add enough of water and bind to a stiff dough. It should come to a ball consistency. If not keep sprinkling some water and continue the procedure till all kneaded atta can be made into a smooth ball.
Now keep plenty of oil in a deep wide kadai and keep on low heat. By the time the chakuli are pressed and ready, the oil will heat up. Take enough dough and smoothen it again and put it in the chakuli pressing machine which has been fitted with the plate mould having one single star shaped hole. Press chakuli / murukku by turning the handle and at the same time turning the machine also in a round movement. Press the chakuli on a news paper spread wide enough and kept ready. Once half the chakuli dough is pressed, increase the heat of the kadai to high so that the oil is hot and ready by the time all the chakuli are pressed.
Continue the chakuli pressing till you finish all the prepared dough. Check to see if the oil is hot. You can add a small piece of the dough into the hot oil, if it sinks down immediately and comes up to surface with bubbles, that means the oil is ready. Tilt and remove gently each pressed chakuli from the paper and slide it smoothly into the oil. Keep adding till there is space in the kadai. See to it that you add the chakuli gently while keeping them whole. It should not break up. Do not overcrowd the kadai, nor make the heat slow. While frying the chakuli the heat should be kept at high constant temperature. Allow the chakuli to cook for some time before you flip them with a slotted / ringed spatula.
Keep stirring in between till the chakuli turns brownish red in colour and are crisp. Remove with the help of the ringed spatula so that the oil drains back into the kadai. Put the chakuli on a holed vessel or large spatula with a plate or tava below it. Let the excess oil drain onto the tava. Meanwhile proceed frying a new batch of chakuli by adding in some more of the prepared one from the paper. Do not at any given time lower the temperature. Keep the heat at the same level. Or else the chakuli will not become evenly crisp.
Now remove the chakuli from the holed plate and put it on an absorbent paper. Prepare all in similar pattern and spread it on the absorbent paper for the excess oil if any to drain. You can see the paper I used in the picture. There is hardly any traces of oil on the absorbent paper. This means that the chakuli has been perfectly made and cooked evenly. Also that they have not absorbed any oil nor become soggy.
Let the chakuli cool to room temperature before you store them away in airtight dabba / tins. Serve chakuli to friends and family during festivals or for get together as a snack. You can enjoy them as snacks dipped in a cup of steaming hot rasam during monsoon when its pouring heavily and you simply want to put up your legs and enjoy the rains. I always prepared chakuli rasam / sambar whenever I prepare chakuli as we simple love them this way. You can just enjoy them anyway you wish. A good time pass snack too …. To nibble in between breaks if that tummy growls. Enjoy .. the chakuli till I come back with some more.