This savory recipe is a popular South Indian snack and is made during festivals like Janmashtami and Deepawali. In South India festivals are incomplete without making rice-flour based snacks and homemade sweets.
Usually, the rice is soaked, the water drained, dried on a cloth, and then ground to a flour. Nowadays since most of us are busy both at home and work, I have used store-bought rice flour for this recipe, as it saves time. The most important step in this recipe is the proportion of rice flour and Urad dal flour, which I have shared below in the recipe. Regarding the use of Butter and its substitutes please refer to the notes.
In this recipe, Rice flour, Urad dal flour, butter, and spices are combined to form a dough, which is flattened and deep-fried in oil.
To give this recipe my twist I have added another ingredient- a little Pottukadalai/Chutney chana(fried gram)flour. This makes the Thattai crunchy. Grated or sliced coconut can be added, but in this recipe, I have not used them.
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For Urad dal flour–Take a handful of urad dal and dry roast them in a Kadai until light brown and you get a nice aroma. Cool them and grind them to a fine powder and also pass it through a sieve, discard the residue.
For fried Gram flour/Pottukadalai flour- Put a handful in a blender and grind them to a fine powder. Pass it through a sieve and discard residue if any.
Now in a dish take the rice flour and add the urad dal flour and fried gram flour. Add the butter, salt, chilli powder, asafoetida, coarsely broken peanuts, fried gram, curry leaves, white Sesame, and mix nicely. The flours, spice powders, and butter should combine well. Now add water little by little to make a stiff dough.
Now in a Karahi take oil for deep frying and heat. While the oil heats up start shaping the Thattai. Take a plastic sheet or Aluminium foil and grease it with oil well. Grease your palms also with oil. Now pinch a small amount of dough(little bigger than lemon) and place it on the plastic/aluminum sheet and using your fingers flatten the ball to a thin circle. Take a fork or toothpick and prick holes all over the dough. Check if the oil is hot enough. To test take a small piece of dough and put it in the oil. If it sizzles and rises immediately then the oil is ready for frying. Now gently lift the foil in your left hand and ease the flattened dough into your right hand by reversing the foil and gently peeling it away. Now gently drop the flattened dough into the oil and fry flipping both sides. Keep flipping and frying until all bubbles in the oil subside and the Thattai is golden in colour. The Spicy and crunchy Thattai is ready to munch as it is or serve as a tea time snack or to offer guests during festivals. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Follow the method given above for Urad dal flour and fried gram/Porikadalai flour. Coarsely pulse the peanuts too.
2. In a dish take the rice flour, Urad dal flour, fried gram flour, butter, and all other ingredients excluding water and combine nicely.
3. Now add water little by little and form a stiff dough. Take oil ina Karahi to deep fry and heat. heat should be medium-high.
4. To form the Thattai, take a plastic sheet or aluminium foil and grease it with oil. Grease your palms also with oil. Pinch a small portion of dough, form a ball, and place it on the sheet. Flatten it with your fingers to form a thin circle. Take a fork and prick all over the Thattai.
5. To check if the oil is hot enough drop a small bit of dough in the oil if it rises immediately then the oil is ready for frying. Using your left hand lift the foil and reverse it on your right palm and gently peel away the foil in a backward motion.
Now gently release the flattened dough into the oil and fry flipping both sides, until all the bubbles in the oil subside and the Thattai is a golden colour. Repeat this process for all the dough and store the Thattai/ Nippatu/Chekkalu in an airtight container.
1. Butter is one ingredient that gives the Thattai its crunch and also it’s colour. So do not exclude it. Some recipes suggest using Ghee or hot oil in the dough. I recommend sticking to butter as ghee and hot oil turn the Thattai hard and also the colour turns too brown.
2. Any butter unsalted or salted is fine.
3. Using Pottukadalai/ fried gram powder gives a nice taste and crunch. If you don’t have it handy, carryon with other ingredients. The Thattai will still turn out fine.
4. Using white sesame also gives a nice taste to the recipe. If you have it handy add some for sure
5. Coconut gratings or small bits of coconut are also added, but this time I have not added them.
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