Chakli/chaakli or Murukku is my first entry in ‘dabbe khaaN’ category (dabbe khaaN means the food that can be prepared and saved for many days in a dabba or jar).
Chakli is the most famous crunchy snack or ‘dabbe khaaN’ of India. I think every household has their own way of making this dish. When I was in college, mom would make this in bulk and give us. In our hostel, all the friends would attack it as soon as we reached hostel from home. She always used the fresh coconut oil for deep frying. Her chaklis remain good for months. This was my first attempt at chaklis, since in India, I never had to make them on my own. My mom would make them whenever I asked. I always preferred her chaklis over the ones available in stores.
I used the sunflower oil for deep frying, I had little hopes that they would turn out well. But before I finished making them, I had finished eating half the bunch and within two days I finished all (well…two days because my husband had to literally pull the container from my hand and keep it, repeatedly saying don’t eat too much. Save a bit for tomorrow).
Mom uses homemade butter (called as ‘loNi’ in Konkani or ‘makkhan’ in Hindi) for them, I used this shortening. I think shortening makes the dishes crispier.
Rice flour 5 cups
Butter (loni) or shortening ¾ cup
Urad daal 4-5 tea spns
Cumin seeds (jeera) 1 tea spn
Sesame seeds (Til) 1 tea spn
Roast urad daal (without oil) till they turn slightly brownish and powder them.
Add the powder, butter, cumin seeds, sesame seeds and salt to rice flour and mix well. Now add milk/water to it slowly mixing it to remove any lumps (Milk makes the chaklis crispier and tastier). Make it into dough (like chapathi dough).
Knead the dough well on a flat board, pressing the dough to the board.
Fill the chakli press with the dough and press into chakli shape on a flat board (use a plastic paper on the board to make it easier to lift the chaklis).
(Use the following ‘shape’)
If the chaklis tend to break while making, try kneading the dough for some more time, if still it doesn’t come out well, add some more milk/water and knead again.
Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry the chaklis. Take out on a kitchen towel.
When they are cooled to room temperature, store them in an airtight container.
Preparation time : 90mins