Munchies (dabbe khaaN)

Gharyo

gharyo

This traditional dish is almost forgotten. I have not seen anybody preparing it these days. When I was a kid, aayi prepared them occasionally. It requires a lot of patience and time to prepare this dish. If you master it once, this might become easier. But the taste is so unique and tempting that you would feel like making again and again. Back home, we enjoy it the most when eaten with a hot cup of tea on a rainy day in July.

This is a special variety of "Chattambade". Few days back, I had posted about the "Chattambade" that is made of chana dal. But the difference is, the chana dal chattambade, need to be eaten immediately, and they are a bit soft. Gharyo are very crispy and can be stored for around 15 days (like any other munchies). It was an absolute favorite of my Dad and when my parents saw the Diwali spread here, he started asking my Aayi to prepare it :D.

PS: While grinding the daal for this dish, water SHOULD NOT be added. Though I knew this, I added little bit of water because my blender was not grinding it properly. But then, when I tried making these, they just got broken and I had to make them again. So be careful, NO water while grinding.

Ingredients:
Urad dal with skin 2 cups
Coconut 1 tbl spn
Ginger 2" piece
Green chilies 4-5
Curry leaves 6-7
Oil
Salt

Method:
Soak the urad dal(with skin) in water for around 1-2 hours.
Grind it coarsely without adding water.
Add coconut, chopped ginger, chopped chilies, curry leaves pieces and salt.
Apply some oil to a plastic sheet(I used aluminum foil). Take a small ball of the mixture, and spread with hand (spread as thin as possible, take care they should be able to lift easily).

Heat oil. Lift the vadas and deep fry on a very low flame. (If flame is kept on high or the vadas become thick, they remain soft from inside). Take out on a kitchen towel. Cool them to room temperature and store in air tight container.

Preparation time : 1 hr

Updated on 25th Oct 2006: Following is an easy method of making these. Pelicano said,
"I used a small "cookie scoop"(the kind which has a release hoop that ejects the mixture)to scoop up the ground urad daal and place mounds of it on the
board. Then, as the oil was heating(i used 350-360 F),I took a steel "wok spatula"(the Asian groceries have
these)and dipped it into the oil to coat it. This spatula has a curved edge and needs to be kept oiled like cast iron…don’t know if you’ve seen these, but they hold a film of oil on itself very well…I used the underside to press the raw vada as flat as possible…and it did so very neatly…then when, the oil was hot, i used this same spatula to lift it and turn into the hot oil….it became an easy system,just had to dip the spatula into the oil each time i made a new group to fry".

Pictorial:

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Chivda (phova upkari)

WISH YOU ALL A VERY VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS DIWALI.

Finally I managed to cook some goodies for Diwali. To say the truth, this is the first time I cooked so many things for the festival. All these years, my Aayi prepared and I ate. But this time since I am so far from home, I was missing all the fun. When I came to know, my brother and sis-in-law are going to native for the Diwali, I started feeling homesick. Also I needed something to come out of all the tensions that I am going through these days. So here is what I made. All these took me 2 hrs to make(that was pretty slow). I feel very relaxed now :D. Here is what I did(not good pictures, please excuse me).

From the top, ganti(sweet), bottle gourd burfi(gardudde khadi), chivda, ghariyo(savoury). Will post all the recipes soon.

Chivda is a kind of ‘namkeen’. There are many kinds of ‘chivda’ or ‘chivra’ (see here for the Konkani version). Among Marathis and Kannadigas, the no-deep frying version is more popular. My aayi prepares this frequently and we call it “Phova upkari”. The thin variety of poha(also called as ‘paper avalakki’) is used for this. Everybody has their own versions of it, I have tasted many varieties during my college days, but I always loved my Aayi’s version as it is more flavorful. She serves this poha topped with some fresh grated coconut.

Ingredients:
Thin poha 3 cups
Coriander powder 1 tea spn
Cumin powder 1 tea spn
Chili powder 3/4 tea spn
Oil 2 tbl spn
Turmeric a pinch
Sugar 1 tea spn
Curry leaves 1 strand
Mustard seeds 1/2 tea spn
Pea nuts 1 tbl spn
Split dalia (hurigadale/putani) 1 tbl spn
Salt

Chili powder and sugar can be increased or decreased to suit the taste.

Method:
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves. Fry on a very low flame. Add pea nuts, dalia and fry for sometime. Add chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder and cumin powder. Add the poha and mix well. Now add sugar and salt (do not add sugar and salt before). Mix well(if needed, add extra oil). Keep on a very low flame for sometime, till the poha becomes crispy. Cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container.

While serving add some fresh/frozen coconut on the top.

Preparation time : 10mins

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Chudvo/chooda/chivda (Konkani style)

This is one of the most popular Konkani chivda/chooda (In Konkani we call it ‘chudvo’). There is a very popular(but very old) restaurant called ‘Alka’ in Kumta(they also sell munchies and sweets). Their ‘chudvo’ is one of the best and loved by all. During the wedding functions, people make this at home. This is served at the wedding and also served to the guests/relatives before and after wedding. One of the perfect accompaniment with a simple upma. Other times we buy it from ‘alka’. Aayi has stopped preparing it these days, but she would prepare this frequently when we were kids.

I had missed Dasara celebrations as I am very busy these days. But Diwali being one of the biggest festival for us, I don’t want to miss it. So I prepared this ‘chudvo’ yesterday. It requires a lot of patience as the thick poha and other things needs to be deep fried in very hot oil on a very low flame. Though this is not very healthy due to the deep frying, I prefer this once in a while. (Non deep frying version is here).

The most important thing I miss here is diwali celebrations with lighting of lamps and the crackers. My dad would decorate the house with colored lights, we would light lamps(or candles) in front of the house. We don’t make any specific food on this day, only normal food with some sweets. But the pooja and rituals performed on the 4 days of diwali were so much fun. Here is how we celebrate the 4 days.

– On previous evening of diwali (Thrayodashi) we decorate the water well as well as the vessels (‘kolse’-Konkani or ‘koda’-Kannada or ‘matka’-Hindi) with a creeper called “Karita vali”. “Karit” is a small ping pong ball sized special cucumber with bitter taste. The bathrooms as well as the place were water is filled and heated for bath called as ‘bhan’ are decorated. In the evening, a pooja is done to the water well and then water is taken out and filled in ‘bhan’. This water is called ‘bhangra(golden) udak(water)’

– Next day, I mean the first day of Diwali, is celebrated as “Naraka Chaturdashi”- Ashweja Vadhya Chaturdashi according to Hindu calender. According to Hindu Puranas, Lord Krishna killed evil Narakasura on this day and returned home. In order to overcome his fatigue, his mother Dewaki gave oil bath to him. To celebrate this event, all members of the house getup early this day, apply oil to body and take bath (from the ‘bhangra udak’). Food is taken only after the bath. According to traditions, a small piece of ‘Karit’ is eaten and then sweet poha is served. Some people also have a tradition of ‘aarti’ this day. Elders of the house make all the youngsters to stand in front of a diya(lamp) and make aarti to them (here also the youngsters first break a ‘Karit’ with their legs and then taste it). I don’t know the significance of ‘Karit’ in this. If anyone of you know, please leave a comment.
In the evening, aarti is done to daughter and new son-in-laws and then gifts are given to them. (After the wedding, the first Diwali has more significance. The couple has to go to the girl’s place and there aarti is done).

– Next day, Amavasye, is celebrated as “Dhana lakshmi pooja”. Dhana meaning money. This is the pooja of ‘goddess of wealth’ – Lakshmi. On this day, pooja is performed to all the vehicles in the house(“Vahan pooja”). The shopkeepers decorate their shops and a Lakshmi photo. Lots of coins are kept in front of the photo and pooja is performed. Some sweets are distributed after the pooja.

– Next day, Padya, is celebrated as “Dhanya lakshmi pooja”. Dhanya meaning grain, in other words it is a pooja of ‘Goddess of food’ – Lakshmi. This day is also celebrated as “Gopooje” – pooja of holy cow. A sweet dosa called Gandarli/surnali is offered to the cows. They are decorated well and the pooja is done.
In the evening, the books are kept in front of the god and pooja is performed. Same time ‘aarti’ is done to small children in the house.
All the 4 days, crackers are burnt and lamps are lighted in the night.

Now coming back to the ‘chudva’ recipe. This is my entry to Vee’s Diwali treats.

Ingredients:
Thick poha(avalakki or rice flakes) 2 cups
Poha masala 2 tea spns
Pea nuts 1 tbl spn
Split dalia(hurigadale/putani) 1 tbl spn
Curry leaves 1 strand
Red chilies 2-3
Sugar 1 tea spn
Salt 1 tea spn
Dry coconut pieces 1 tbl spn
Sev 1/2 cup

Peanuts, dalia, coconut and the powders can be increased or decreased according to taste.
In India, there are 3 types of poha available. Thin, medium and thick. The thick kind is also called as ‘chooda poha or chudva phovu’. Since I was having only medium thickness poha here, I used the same for this. But the thick poha is best suitable for this.

Method:
Mix poha masala, sugar and salt. Keep it aside.

Heat oil. Deep fry pea nuts. Take in a large bowl.

Deep fry dalia and take out. Just for fun, I added few Chana dal also, but it is NOT required.

Deep fry curry leaves, red chili pieces and coconut. Take out.

Deep fry poha, one table spoon at a time. Fry on a very low flame. They before slightly puffed after frying. (If not fried properly, the entire ‘chudvo’ becomes hard).

Add the masalas to the fried poha, sev(mix besan, a pinch of soda, salt with water and press into hot oil using chakli press. Use the disc with many tiny holes to make the sev) and other things and mix well.

When it is cooled to room temperature, store in an air tight container.

Preparation time : 30-45mins

Updated on 25th Oct 2006: Following are the pictures of “Udak bharche”(thrayodashi celebrations – read above) taken at my native Kodkani.

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Thikshe kare

This is one of the most popular munchies for Indians. We call it tikshe(spicy) kare(sev). The recipe was requested by one of my reader. I have no idea what these are called in any other languages (I think they are called ‘Janthikalu’ in Telgu).
This is usually(but not always) prepared to make use of the oil after preparing chaklis, chips or any other munchies. It gets ready in no time due to very simple method and also very simple ingredients available at home. When we were kids mom would make these often and we would finish most of it before she finished making them :). This would be a great accompaniment with a hot cup of tea or coffee for the cold days.

Ajwain gives a very different taste to these munchies. There are different ways of making this dish, but here I am posting the Konkani recipe. Aayi uses pure coconut oil for deep frying, because they remain fresh for a very long time. I use sunflower oil. Use any oil suitable for your taste.

Ingredients:
Besan(gram flour) 2 cups
Chili powder 2 tea spns
Ajwain(Carom seeds) 3/4 tea spn
Oil
Baking soda(or baking powder) a pinch
Salt

Method:
Mix flour, chili powder, ajwain, soda, salt and 2 tea spns of hot oil. Add water and make a dough(do not make it too watery, make like a chapathi dough).
Apply water to inside of the chakli press (to avoid sticking to the press). Use the disc with many big round holes on it. Insert the dough in the press.
Heat oil and press the dough directly into oil (the chaklis need to be pressed on a flat surface and then deep fried. But for this, directly press into oil). When they are fried, take out on a clean paper.
Cool to room temperature and store in air tight container.

Preparation time : 20-30mins

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Moong daal chakli

Few days back, I prepared our traditional chaklis and it was a big hit. Since that was my first attempt with chaklis, I kept on talking about how good they were. Thanks to Google talk, I can talk with my parents daily now and aayi keeps on giving me new recipes. My parents learnt browsing when they saw my site few months ago in Bangalore (my brother’s house), so they immediately took internet connection at my native (though it is very very slow and unreliable), now I can talk to them daily. So that is the reason for non-stop recipes on my site and since I can talk to them, I feel at home. Now they catch me if I don’t follow the exact recipes, since they read each and every post and all the comments now :D.

Now, let me get back to the recipe. I never knew we could make chaklis with cooked daal of any kind. So when I got this recipe from Aayi, I was a bit hesitant to try it. I tried it day before yesterday. They came out so well that we finished more than half of them in two days, I mean one and quarter day 😉 (looking at the speed by which they were getting over, the remaining chaklis were confiscated from me by my home minister :D).

Ingredients:
Moong daal(yellow) ½ cup
Maida(or all purpose flour) 2 cups
Sesame seeds(white til) 1 tea spn
Cumin seeds(jeera) 1 tea spn
Salt

Method:
Cook the moong daal till soft(preferably use pressure cooker). Mash them with a spoon.
Take the maida(or all purpose flour) in a cloth and tie a knot(I used the parchment paper, since I don’t like using old cloths for cooking and I was not having a separate cloth for this purpose).
Keep the flour bundle in a cooker vessel and steam it(without putting the weight) for around 10mins.

Cool the bundle and daal to room temperature. Take out the flour from the bundle, add mashed daal, cumin, sesame seeds and salt.

Mix into a dough(no need to add water, make the dough with the mashed daal).

Fill the dough in a chakli press and press into chakli shape on a flat board (use a plastic paper on the board to make it easier to lift the chaklis). If the chaklis break, knead the dough well before pressing them.

Heat oil. Lift the chaklis carefully from the paper/board(I used the cover of rice flour pack) and leave them in oil. (at any stage, chaklis should not break). Fry them on a medium flame. Take out on a clean kitchen towel.

When the chaklis are cooled to room temperature, store them in an airtight container.

Preparation time: 45-60mins

Note: These chaklis do not remain good for long. So finish them within 4-5 days.

Updated on 16th Oct 2006I recently saw a moong daal chukli with rice flour in it. I have not tried it. But since rice flour is more healthier than maida, you can give it a try. Skip the steaming of flour part (I mean use the flour as it is).

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Kodbale

Kodbale
Kodbale

I always wondered how this name originated? Since ‘kodu’-horn (as in cow’s horn), and ‘bale’-bangle in Kannada, I thought since this dish looks like bangle made of horn, it is called as ‘kodbale’, when I read this same definition in one of yahoo groups, I was really surprised!!!.

My mom’s Kodbale are one of the best I have ever had. They were crunchy, tasty and remained good for months. She would pack a whole bunch of this and chaklis when I stayed in hostel. I actually never got an opportunity to make them myself, when I had the ‘head cook’ (thats how I called my mom) in India. But I would usually help her in making them, so had an idea of them. The latest fan of her kodbales is my sis-in-law and her friends.

I got many requests from different people for this dish. But one small mistake would ruin the kodbales completely and it requires a lot of expereince to make them. So I delayed it for many days. Finally I prepared them for the first time last week. They came out good, but I need a lot of improvement.

Here is the exact measurements I got from my mom. If you are making them for the first time, make in less quantity (say 1/5 of the quantity I have mentioned below).

Chaklis or Kodbales should be fried soon after making the dough, otherwise the chaklis/kodbales become dark after frying. Mom makes all munchies in fresh coconut oil, because they remain good for a long time if fried in coconut oil. I used the sunflower oil.

Pictorial:
Make the dough. Knead it well and shape into spirals. Then deep fry.
kodbale1 kodbale2 kodbale3 kodbale4

Kodbale

One of the most popular munchies (dubbe khaan) made by deep fried rice flour shaped into spirals.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup maida or all purpose flour
  • 1 cup vanaspati ghee dalda/hydrogenated vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 tea spn sesame seeds til
  • Milk
  • Oil
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat butter (or vanaspati ghee) till it melts, add it to flours.
  • Add sesame seeds, salt and milk.
  • Make dough.
  • Knead well using the flat board. The more you knead, the better.
  • Take a ball, make into thin rope. Dont make too thin or too thick.
  • Give desired shape.
  • Heat oil to piping hot.
  • Add the kodbale and fry on a very low flame till they turn dark brown.
  • Take out on a clean kitchen towel.
  • Let them cool to room temperature, store in airtight container.

kodbale5

 

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Chakli (chaakli or chakkuli)

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.

Ingredients:
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
Oil
Milk
Salt

Method:
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

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