Snacks are important to us Indians. It says a lot about what we're like, what flavour profile suits us the best and what we're noshing on, when nobody's around. One of the most widely-regarded and regional snacks in the country is chakli. It originated in Tamil Nadu where it is known as Murukku, which means to twist. This rings particularly true, because the snack can be boiled down to, a rice or wheat flour dough mixed in with spices, seasonings and besan or lentil flour and then, deep fried in coiled concentric circles. It is a crunchy, spicy, and savoury deep-fried dough that is passed through moulds that give it a ridged outer surface, making it crunchier. 

In South Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka the dough is made from fine rice flour and ground urad dal or gram flour. The reason behind using fine rice over coarse rice is because the fine rice flour is capable of soaking up more oil than its counterpart. This along with the ground urad allows this fried treat to have a crunch like no other! In Karnataka, there's a variation on the recipe for murukku where instead of using ground urad, they use besan four. It attributes a buttery mouthfeel to the fried snack and makes it light and crispy as opposed to the everyday hard and crunchy chaklis, which we've become familiar with in namkeen shops. 

In the western parts of India, Maharashtra and Gujarat make a ton of chaklis too. Their method involves the use of wholewheat flour and urad dal in the dough which gives a deep brown hue to the snack. Chaklis or Murukkus are largely made on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, or Navaratri or any other special events or occasions at your home. They are deep-fried so there's a possibility that it is going to stay edible in a month's time if stored in a glass container. The binge-eatability quotient in this snack is high and they are a perfect accompaniment to your tea-time. So what are you waiting for, make chaklis or murukkus at home with this recipe. 

Image Credit: myvegetarianroots.com

 

Ingredients: 

  • 250 gm fine rice flour/ atta 
  • 1 cup fresh curd 
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • ½ tsp chat masala 
  • ¼ tsp hing 
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds 
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder 
  • ⅛ tsp ajwain 
  • 3 tsp ghee 
  • ¾ cup water, or as required 
  • 2 cups neutral oil, for frying 

Method: 

-Roast the urad dal for a couple of minutesand transfer it to a mixing bowl. 

-Add the dry ingredients namely ground urad dal to the rice flour, or atta. Followed by salt, chaat masala, black sesame seeds, red chilli powder, hing, and ajwain seeds. 

-Mix well & add the melted ghee. Incorporate the ghee in the flour evenly. The mixture should resemble wet sand. 

-Add water in bit by bit and begin to mix and knead to a soft, malleable, dough. If the dough is too stiff then chaklis will break and if it's too soft then chaklis will absorb oil. 

-If you could get your hands on a murukku mould, grease the mould and add the dough to it. 

-In a deep-frying vat, add the oil for frying and drop a shaped dough when the temperature of the oil is right. 

-Cook the chakli or murukku till it turns golden brown. 

-Remove it over a wire rack or a paper towel and let it drain off the excess oil. 

And there you have it. Your easy, homemade chaklis are ready. Let the chaklis come down to room temperature and crispen up. The structural integrity of the chaklis gets better as time passes, becoming so crunchy that it takes some effort biting into one of these. But they're so good that you can't help but mess up the roof of your mouth while they're at your disposal.