Monday, December 6, 2010

Teatime Nibbles

A strong cup of Indian masala chai (or south Indian filter kaapi) is somewhat incomplete without some snacks or nibbles on the side. Typically, it would be biscuits (Marie or Parle G) dunked and unceremoniously popped into the mouth in a hurry, lest the soggy bikkie disintegrates. I've had one too many dunking accidents and the resulting gooey sediment at the bottom of my teacup is not one of the most appealing things. So, bicuits with tea are more like a thing of the past for me. I digress. I was talking about the popular chai accompaniments. Samosas, pakodas or bajjis*, mixture* (what an innovative name, pah!), etc. are all popular teatime snacks. Basically, something deep fried and crisp (and oozing with fat that goes straight to the hips) is very gratifying at teatime.
On the list is a simple fried snack that my family calls 'thukudi'. I don't really know why it is called that! I think it is quite similar to what my north Indian friends call namakpare. Oh well, what's in a name? It's great for teatime, that's what matters, right? It's kind of like crisp, flaky puff pastry. It's a very simple recipe, yields a substantial quantity and keeps for a couple of weeks. Now that's my kind of recipe, a handy jar of crisp thukudi to perk up teatimes.
Here's the recipe -

1.5 cups wheat flour (or wholemeal, whatever you have at hand)
1/4 cup all purpose flour (you could skip this totally if you wish)
2 tbspns besan (chickpea flour)
salt and red chilli powder (or paprika) to taste
oil for deep frying
1 tbspn hot oil

Method -

  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Heat 1tbspn oil in a small skillet ( not to smoking point, just a little bit) and pour into the flour mixture.
  • Rub in the oil using your fingers until the mixture has the texture of breadcrumbs.
  • Using very little water gradually, work the mixture into a stiff dough.
  • Leave to rest for about 15mins.
  • Before you begin with the rested dough, pour oil in a wok or pot and place on medium heat.
  • Knead the dough on a work surface that's slightly dusted with flour and divide the dough into lemon sized balls.
  • Roll each ball of dough into a circle, slightly on the thinner side. But don't worry too much about it, 'cos if you try and roll it out too thin, it might get all clingy and stick to your work surface.The intention is to get crips nibbles and not soft  & soggy  (like mini pooris). So the thinner, the better.
  • Using a pizza cutter (or a knife) cut the rolled out dough into approx half inch strips. Then rotate about 40deg and cut into strips again, to get little diamond shapes.
  • Carefully tip in all the little dough diamonds into the hot oil (steer clear from tiny oil splashes in the process) and fry on both sides until crisp and light brown. Take care not to over fry them.
  • Drain onto a paper towel and store in an airtight jar.
  • You could even sprinkle a wee bit of chat masala powder when they're out of the oil and before they go into the jar.
I hope you enjoy these with your next cup of tea or coffee :)

*pakodas & bajjis: vegetable or onion fritters made with chickpea flour
*mixture: a medley of tiny deep fried (or toasted) nibbles (often sev & boondi, made from chickpea flour) and peanuts.

2 comments:

AshKuku said...

We call it thukudi too... may be because it hails from the same place.... My hubby's place they call it as nimki, if it is just salty.... Thukudi(sweet version) is one thing that mom prepares, which lasts only for a day or two..... That is the intensity, with which it is savored to consumption.... :)

Ash...
(http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/

Divya Rao said...

Nimki sounds so cute :)Yeah, I've eaten the sweet version before...it's called shakarpoli or something...

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