Munchies (dabbe khaaN)

Chiroti/Phenori


Revisiting the recipe

Chiroti is made in special occasions at our native, but we prepared it whenever we wanted. These are liked by people who are not very fond of sweets and also by sweet lovers. These days people have stopped making them at home because of the work involved. These are readily available in shops at our place. But I prefer home made chirotis.

We call this dish Chiroti, it is also called Phenori. I usually prefer frying it in Vanaspati ghee(hydrgenated vegetable oil) which makes them very crispy and also gives a nice aroma. If it is not available, ghee can be used. These can also be deep fried in oil, but we feel ghee/vanaspati ghee gives a better taste. You can also use Crisco Shortening (in US) which makes them very crispy.

Ingredients:
1 cup maida or all purpose flour
2 tea spns rice flour
2 tea spns vanaspati(Dalda)
A pinch salt
3/4 cup sugar powder
1/2 tea spn cardamom powder
Vanaspati(dalda) for deep frying
1 tea spn ghee

Method:
Mix flours, salt and vanaspathi. Add sufficient water to make a dough like puri dough. Keep aside the dough for about 1 hr.
Mix sugar and cardamom in another dish. Keep it aside.
Make 7 small balls (chapati ball size) from the dough. Roll out into very thin chapathis.
Keep one chapati on a flat board. Apply a bit of ghee on the chapati, sprinkle 1/4 tea spn of maida(or all purpose flour) on it. Keep the next chapati on the first one, keep the second chapati slightly down, it should not cover the full chapati. Repeat the procedure to stack up all 7.
Roll the chapathis into a tight roll(do not apply pressure).
Cut the roll into around 2 and 1/2 inches pieces.
Take one piece, with the help of rolling pin, roll it into small circles. Take extra care at this stage. It should NOT be rolled like normal puri. Roll from center to the side, from all sides. All the layers should be clearly visible.
Heat vanaspathi in a pan. Deep fry the chirotis on a medium flame. While frying, slightly press the chirotis on the layers so as to make the layers separate a bit (do not apply pressure). Take out on a clean kitchen towel.
Spread sugar mixture on the fried chiroti while they are still hot.
Store it in a dry, airtight container. This remains good atleast for 15days(if stored in a dry place).

Makes 10-11 chirotis
Preparation time : 45mins

Pictorial:

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Sweet potato shankarpali


After making so many sweets, I thought it is time for some deep frying. I had bought some sweet potatoes last week, as I like to eat boiled sweet potatoes. But they sat on the counter without being touched. Then I saw this shankarpali recipe in a book. So I thought of giving it a try.

Shankarpalis are small parallelogram shaped deep fried spicy or sweet treats. Many people make these for Diwali. I thought of making these special kind this time.

First batch was not as crispy as I expected. I was pretty much upset as I had made a pretty big dough – below recipe makes a huge batch. I thought the whole thing was a big flop. Then I remembered aayi’s tip, she always says we have to fry them on a medium flame till they are dark brown. I followed that and they came out very crispy. They were simply delicious.

Ingredients:
200gms(2 in number) sweet potato (approx 1 and 1/4 cups after cooking and mashing)
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour(maida)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tea spn baking powder
2 tbl spns ghee
1/4 tea spn salt

Oil + 2 tbl spns ghee for deep frying

Method:

Cook and mash sweet potatoes. Mix all other ingredients (except oil-ghee mixture used for deep frying) to make a dough.
Take a big ball of the dough and roll into a circle of about 1/4 to 1/2 cm thickness. Cut them into parallelograms(I used pizza cutter to cut).

Deep fry them in oil-ghee mixture on a medium flame. Remember to fry them till they are dark brown. If they are fried less than that, they don’t get crispy.
Cool to room temperature and then store in air tight container.

Sweet potato shankarpali Read More »

Chivda

I was waiting to post this recipe here for last couple of days. Today while typing it, I wasn’t sure if I had to translate the name of the dish to English. Many times when I translate it, I feel I am beating the name to death, it just takes away the unique mouth watering feeling that we get when hearing the name of dish that we grew up eating. So I am leaving it alone for now.

For those who do not know about it – Chivda is usually a spicy mixture, made of beaten rice(poha) or puffed rice(murmura/chirmure), having lots of peanuts, dalia etc. It is a dry mixture, so usually people make it in large quantities and store for later use. Chivda at my home always meant either this Konkani version or poha upkari. But I had tasted this another version which had less spices which my friends used to carry when we were in hostel.

Couple of months ago, our dear friend Sunil got married and now I have a very dear friend here. His wife P and I are parteners in crime now :). There are times when we go on and on and on talking for a long time. We get together quite often either at their home or our home. Though she claims she does not know much cooking, she dishes out these mouth watering items very often. A couple of days ago she sent me this chivda. I simply loved it. I have tasted it innumerable times before during my hostel days and had never liked it, because the poha always was too chewy or the spice was not right or salt was not distributed properly. But P’s version was perfectly done. It was very crispy and what I liked most about it was, she had used a combination of poha and chirmure.

Then I asked her for the recipe and I have made it atleast 3-4 times in last 2 weeks now. I can say I am addicted to it because first of all, this is very simple to make and hardly takes any time (I take enough shortcuts while making this) and it is quite filling.

Ingredients:
2 cups thin poha
2 cups chirmure/murmura
2 tbl spns peanuts
2 tbl spns dalia
1 tbl spn dry coconut pieces
1 tea spn mustard seeds
4 green chillies 
7-8 curry leaves
2 red chillies
Oil
A pinch turmeric
Amchoor powder(optional)
A pinch asafoetida(optional)
Salt

Method:
Roast poha and chirmure in a big pan till they crisp up. I preheated the oven to 200F for 5mins. I lined both poha and chirmure on a cookie sheet and kept it in the oven and baked it at 200F, which is the lowest heat on my oven, for 5-10mins till they crisped up. They can also be left under hot sun for couple of hours till they crisp up.
Heat oil in a big pan, keep the heat to medium. Add peanuts, dalia, coconut pieces. When they are fried, add mustard seeds. Once they start popping, add curry leaves, green chillies chopped into rounds, red chillies broken into pieces, turmeric, asafoetida. (Ideally these all should be fried one after the other. But I normally do it at once).
Now add amchoor powder(which gives little tangy flavor) and salt. Add poha, chirmure and mix well. Take off the heat.
Cool to room temperature and then store in an air tight container.

Preparation time: 30mins (including the initial roasting/baking time)

PS:
– Salt can be added to the seasoning or after adding the poha/chirmure. My cousin Usha gave me a tip to add it in seasoning so that it gets evenly distributed.
– Be very careful whie adding salt. Sometimes, the salt stays at the botton even after mixing and it becomes very salty. So I mix it well by shaking the container before serving. 
– Do not store it while it is still hot. It should come to room temparature and then it can be stored. Otherwise it gets chewy.

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Spicy rice-peanut discs(Nippattu)

Nippattu is a disc shaped crunchy deep fried item, that is very popular in some parts of Karnataka. There are many different ways of making this dish. The basic ingredient being rice flour. Other ingredients vary according to taste. I picked the easiest one with least number of ingredients.

This one has a very strong peanutty taste to it. The other thing I liked about this dish is, it does not soak much oil. I used a combination of peanut oil and olive oil for deep frying. What can be better suited for a freezing weather other than few of these spicy nippattus along with a cup of tea? I love them when they are still hot. These can be saved for few days in air tight containers, so you can prepare them when you have time for later consumption.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup peanuts coarsely powdered
4 cloves powdered
3-4 strands coriander leaves finely chopped
1 cup rice flour
1 tea spn sesame seeds
1 tea spn red chili powder
Salt
Oil

Method:
Mix all the ingredients (except oil). Add enough water to make it into a dough.
Apply some oil to a plastic sheet (or use a wax paper). Make small balls of the dough and flatten them into small discs on the paper.

Heat oil. Deep fry the discs till they are crispy. Cool to room temperature and then store in air tight container.

Makes about 25-30 nippattus
Preparation time : 45mins

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Masala peanuts (TaLile shenga)

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Deepavali and very happy new year.

And let’s get to the recipe now….

Its been a kind of tradition at my home that whenever any deep fried item like chakli or shankarpali is prepared, these are preceded by few taLile(deep fried) shenga(peanuts). I think this was mainly because people wanted to make use of the little oil remaining after all the deep frying. This recipe must be the most easiest and no-brainer one among all the hi-fi munchies that we prepare.

Even though these are very simple to make, they are one of the tastiest little treats. Eat one and you gobble up 2-3 handful without even realizing. I love them when they are made spicy. I love to eat them in between bites of sweets – yeah, I can’t eat any sweet all by itself. I need something spicy to “wash it down” ;).

Ingredients:
2 cups peanuts
A pinch asafoetida
1-2 tbl spn gram flour(besan)
1 tea spn chili powder
Salt
Oil

Method:
Mix all ingredients, except oil. Sprinkle 1-2 tbl spn of water and make sure the paste sticks to the peanuts uniformly.

Deep fry them in hot oil. While adding in hot oil, lightly loosen them with your fingers to make sure they are separate and don’t form lumps. Do not keep mixing, otherwise the masala drops off in the oil. Take out on a paper towel.

Preparation time : 15mins

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Spicy shankarpal(Khara/Theek shankarpal)

This year I had decided to make all the important dishes that can be associated with Diwali. Many of my readers had asked for this recipe and also, once I prepared the sweet version, I had to make the spicy or khara(Kannada) or theek(Konkani) version. These were a favorite of my family.

This shankarpal was a regular at my home when we were kids. We had a special kind of cutter – like in this picture from Vaishali, which was used to cut these. Aayi’s shankarpal were very spicy and all cut in the same shape and size. As a kid, I used to love using this cutter, it was loads of fun. So one of the reasons I love to try these is – they remind me of my blessed childhood.

I have seen some people cut these into long strips instead of these little parallelograms, which is more easier and less time consuming. But I like these small shapes because I feel it is fun. I made these yesterday after returning from my office, I was hoping to do one post a day till Diwali. But by the time I finished this, I felt like I would fall off – 8hrs of work at office + all the work at home does not leave much energy. So I let it go.

This is my spicy entry to Vee’s Diwali special JFI. Till she is fed up of my entries and asks me to stop, I will keep sending her my Diwali entrees, after all I get into this kind of cooking mood very rarely ;).

There are many ways of making this dish. This is aayi’s version.

Ingredients:
1 cup maida or all purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
2 tea spns rice flour
2 tea spns(approx) chili powder
A pinch asafoetida
2 tea spns hot oil + oil for deep frying
A tea spn slightly crushed cumin seeds(optional) – I didn’t add this
Salt

Adjust chili powder according to your taste.

Method:
Mix flours with chili powder, asafoetida, salt and 2 tea spns hot oil. Add enough water to make a dough. Leave the dough for about 30mins.

Take a big ball of the dough and roll into a thin circle. Cut into small parallelograms. Do not stack the pieces one above other.

Heat oil for deep frying. Deep fry the pieces.
When they are cooled to room temperature, store in air tight container.

Preparation time : 1 and 1/2 hrs

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Jackfruit chips (Pansa baLka)

Jackfruit is one of the most loved fruits at my place, ranking second after mango. During season, both ripe and unripe fruit is used in many different dishes. The edible part of the fruit is called ghare(Konkani) or soLe(Kannada), there must be some English name for it, which I don’t know.

Making these chips is one of the sweet memories of my childhood. Raw, but firm and fresh jackfruits, just out of the tree, are used for this. The fruit needs to be completely grown and have firm and thick flesh.

First of all, coconut oil is applied to hands and all the knifes which are used to cut these, since they have a lot of gum. To stop the gum falling on floor, newspapers are spread on ground. It was a painstaking process to take out the pieces off the skin- The innermost white portion (mav in Konkani) and the outermost thick, rough skin(sali in Konkani) with some white portion is removed and discarded. This helps in easy removal of the edible pieces. Now the big firm pieces are removed carefully. The pieces are cut in long pieces and the seeds are discarded. These long pieces are the ones used for chips.

I am not sure how much the last paragraph will help anyone visualize the whole process. I could not find jackfruit suitable for this anywhere here. So I am not able to upload any pictures. When I go to India next time during jackfruit season, I will surely click pictures of it.

My grandfather would search such jackfruits from our yard and aayi would prepare these amazingly tasty chips. These were prepared in large batches. My brother and I would finish almost half the batch when aayi used to make this. We loved the taste of hot chips. She used coconut oil, so the shelf life of these chips was quite high.

Ingredients:
Jackfruit cut into long pieces (pieces should be very firm)
Oil
Turmeric powder
Salt

Method:
Mix 3 tea spns salt, 1/2 tea spn turmeric with about 1 cup water and keep aside.
Heat oil and deep fry the jackfruit in it. When it is almost done(you can say this by the sound. Initially when the pieces are not fried, you won’t get any sound, as they get fried, you can clearly hear the sound when you mix the pieces with a spoon), pour 1-2 tea spns of the salt-turmeric water in it. Fry till completely done.

PS: – The amount of salt water to be added can be adjusted only after tasting the first batch. As time passes, the oil retains some salt and becomes really salty. So keep tasting it to check correct taste.
– When the salted water is added to hot oil, oil splashes out and makes a huge sound. So make sure to stand away from the stove.
– After taking out, when the pieces are still hot, a tea spn of chili powder can be sprinkled on it, for extra taste.

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Rice munchies (VaDe/Ode)

I wish a very happy mother’s day to all of you. I was thinking of today’s post from many days. I thought of baking a beautiful cake for my Aayi, or cook something that Aayi loves or some of Aayi’s dishes, but then realized she is not a cake fan, I didn’t know what she likes and I have already posted all of her easy dishes and I could not cook something difficult. Then I remembered these pictures which my brother(he took them when aayi was making these at native) had sent me sometime ago and I had kept them for some special occasion. What can be better than this occasion?. These are one of her all time favorite munchies and she gets extremely happy when I post her dishes(the ones she has cooked). So I thought of posting this for my sweet and cute aayi :).

Ode or Vode are rice flour munchies usually made for dev karya(a religious function). On these days, these munchies are dipped in a special kind of paays(sweet dish) made of chana daal, rice rava, jaggery and coconut. People soak these in sweet dish and eat. So they are made little soft, soggy and little bigger in size. During these functions, many ladies get together and make these in big quantities, because many people are invited for this. These are offered to god during pooja and then served to all the attendees.

But when these are prepared on normal days, they are made small and very crunchy. They can be saved for many days(sometimes for around a month) in airtight containers. They taste simply awesome.

Ingredients:
1 tea spn urad daal
1/4 tea spn methi seeds
3 cups rice flour
A pinch sugar
1/2 tea spn butter (loni)
Coconut water or normal water
Oil
Salt

When these are made during functions, urad daal and methi seeds are not used.

Method:
Dry roast urad daal and methi seeds. Make a powder and add the powder to rice flour. Mix butter, salt, sugar and coconut water and mix into a hard dough. (Usually tender coconut water is added for extra taste. If it cannot be found, use normal water).
Knead very well by rubbing on rolling board. Make a rope of the dough. Cut into small pieces with hand and make balls.
vade1

Apply some oil to a plastic sheet or banana leaf, and keep the ball on it. Press with the palm to spread it.
vade2

Heat oil in a wok and deep fry these. If the odes don’t puff up, the dough might have become not enough hard or the kneading might not be enough.
When they are cooled to room temperature, store them in airtight container.

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Spiced puffed rice(Miryakana chirmuro)

Chirmuro(Konkani) meaning puffed rice. This is a versatile item which can be eaten as it is or made into many tasty dishes. I like any dish with puffed rice. When I was thinking of posting something simple today, I saw the picture of this dish in my picture “library”.

Aayi makes two types of spiced puffed rice. The one is most common and prepared in most of the houses. But this version is very different and I haven’t seen this prepared anywhere else. Even the puffed rice which has lost it’s crispiness. It is served topped with or without fresh coconut.

Ingredients:
4-5 cups puffed rice(chirmuro)
A generous pinch of turmeric
1/2 tea spn pepper powder
1 tea spn ghee
Salt

Increase or decrease pepper to suit your taste.

Method:
On a low flame, heat ghee. Add turmeric, pepper powder, salt(take care not to burn anything). Fry for sometime and then add puffed rice. On a very low flame, keep stirring it one in a while till the rice has become very crispy and the ghee mixture is coated on rice.
Let it cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container.
Serve as it is or topped with little fresh coconut.

Preparation time : 8-10mins

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Ragi chakli

Many of my readers asked me for recipes with ragi(Finger milet). I have many recipes with this healthy flour. Whatever you do, the color of the ragi dishes is so bad that you don’t feel like making them again. So I avoid ragi most of the time. But I always have a pack of ragi at home.

I was going thorugh the ragi special in my Kannada recipe collection and I saw this recipe. It was so tempting that I tried it immediately. It came out very well. This is a very crispy, melt-in-the-mouth kind of dish. Both the spicy and non-spicy versions were mentioned in the article, I tried the spicy version.

See recipes of normal chakli and moong daal chakli.

Ingredients:
2 cups ragi flour
1 and 1/2 cups water
A pinch cooking soda(optional)
1 tea spn chili powder
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
A pinch asafoetida
Oil
Salt

Method:
Mix all the ingredients, except oil. Take this paste in a cooker vessel and steam without weight for 10mins.
Add 1 tbl spn of warm oil to the steamed dough and knead well. When it is still hot, take the dough in chakli press and press directly into hot oil(they break very easily, so it is very difficult to give them spiral shape like any other chaklis). Fry till they are crisp.
Store in airtight container.

Preparation time : 25mins

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