Monthly Archives: October 2009

Chakli/Chakri/Murukku – A Favorite Diwali Snack

chakli

Chakli, a favorite snack from Maharashtra and Southern India is enjoyed by everyone across India. Each and everybody has their own method of preparing this crunchy snack and the end result is a delicious product. I remember the days when I was in India and we would prepare chaklis every Diwali. Being surrounded by neighbors that were Maharashtrians and South Indians, we tried a different recipe every time expecting to have the best chaklis to eat and distribute. So each year we used a borrowed recipe and made this snack. Sometimes they turned out good and other times they were crispy on the outside and kind of soggy on the inside.

I have been in the United States for a very long time and I had a hard time finding good Chaklis here in Ohio. The craving was so much that I had to work on a recipe that would be easy for me. It took me quite some time to make up this recipe. Each year I added and omitted ingredients to make changes. I finally came up with a recipe for Chakli that was easy and the ingredients were readily available. All the ingredients that I have used in this recipe are regular kitchen pantry ingredients.

I make this snack for my son every year. Chaklis are his favorite snack and he says they are Chakris. The word Chakri actually comes from the word chakra (a Sanskrit word) which means a circle that turns around (like a wheel). My son is such a picky eater and it is hard for me to think of something for his evening snack and often I ask him should I make some Chakris. His reply is Chakris should be made only during Diwali time that’s when they taste like Chakris. 

Even though it is not a Sindhi recipe it is a favorite snack of my family. Often when I take this snack for a Diwali party, I notice people eating the crumbs too. Diwali is being celebrated this week and so here is a my version, recipe of Chakli, a snack that  not only my son likes very much but pretty much loved by others too…

Ingredients:

 

·         2½ cups Rice Flour

·         1 ½ cups Besan (Gram Flour)

·         1 stick unsalted butter

·         ½ Tsp Red Chili Powder

·         ½ Tsp Jeera(Cumin Seeds)

·         1Heaped Tbsp White Til (Sesame Seeds)

·         2 cups Boiling Water

·         Oil for frying

·         Chakli Press/Maker

·         Salt to Taste

 

Note: 1) If unsalted butter is not available please use salt accordingly.

2) If you are going to use Indian butter then use quarter of the 500gm package and go easy on the salt.

 

Method:

 

·         Mix rice flour and besan. Sift and keep aside.

·         In a pan heat 2½ cups of water. Bring to boil and reduce to 2 cups.

·         Then add salt according to your taste into this pot of boiling water.

·         Turn heat off and add butter, red chili powder, til, Jeera and the sifted flours.

·         Cover pot and let it stand for about 10-12 mins. Do not stir or do anything.

·         Open the covered pot and mix all the ingredients and form soft dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes.

·         Rub some oil on the inside of the chakli press. Take a ball about the size of a large orange and fill into the chakli press.

chakli-dough

·         On a wax paper make round chaklis by pressing out the dough. Form it into round swirls starting from inside going out giving it the chakli shape.(This step requires some practice to get the perfect shape)

making-chakli

·         Heat the oil in a kadai/frying pan. Gently slide the chaklis in hot oil and deep fry until golden brown in color. Drain and let cool.

·         When cooled to room temperature, store in airtight containers.

·         Enjoy Chaklis during Diwali or anytime.

 

 

Keep it simple, keep it Sindhi.

 

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY DIWALI AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR  

Varo – Sindhi Sweet Treat (Diwali Special)

varo

OMG, summer is over and the temperature has gone down to the 40’s, just how time has passed, I hate to think of it. But the cheerful part is, the season of festivals is here and it’s time for some of our Sindhi specialties. Often as kids we watched our Mom prepare some wonderful treats during Diwali. We would distribute them to our relatives and friends and still have a good amount of leftovers, which we would then enjoy for ourselves. Diwali being only few weeks away I thought I should put up some of these recipes for the special, festive season.

 Mohanthal, Pakwan, Chiwro (Chiwda), Balu Shahi, Mathris, Chikki, Laaee and Varo are some of our authentic Sindhi sweets that would be and are still prepared in most Sindhi homes. Of course we would sometime prepare Singhar Ji Mithai(Sev Burfi), Halwa(Karachi Style), Petho(White Pumpkin) Kaju Ji Mithai which are time consuming and a bit tedious to make. But most of the time these (tedious ones) we bought from our nearby Sindhi Mithai shops as they were/are readily available. The aroma would always tempt us to eat them while the sweets and savories were being prepared. I remember we used to eat while they were warm and I was the one who got into trouble most of the time, being the youngest.

Chikki is a sweet not only popular among Sindhis but all across India. When we say chikki, peanuts and jaggery, comes to our mind. Then we have our all time favorite laaee which is made of sugar and different nuts. I personally like the one with Kurmura (Mamra – Puffed Rice) and another one that I remember is the one made with Sev. The last one is Varo which is a favorite at my home especially for my hubby. Whether it is Diwali or not he loves to eat a piece every day after dinner.

 Varo is basically a thick chikki made of different nuts, poppy seeds and cardamoms all of which are coated with caramelized sugar and rolled, whilst hot, quickly on the back of a plate. Sounds simple and yes it is… So let us get going to making our famous Sindhi Varo.

 

Ingredients:

·         1 Cup Mixed Nuts(Almonds, Pistachios, Cashew nuts)

·         2 Tbsp Sliced Dry Coconut(optional) (I have not used it in this recipe)

·         2 Tbsp Khus Khus (Poppy Seeds)

·         15 Seeds of Cardamoms

·         1 Cup Sugar

·         1Tbsp Ghee

 

Method:

·         Slice all mixed nuts. Powder the Cardamom seeds.

·         In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sugar. On low heat melt the sugar.

·         When the sugar is melted and caramelized to a light brown color add the sliced mixed nuts, Khus Khus, and powdered cardamoms. Mix till nuts are coated well with the caramelized sugar.

varo1

·         Pour this mixture onto the back of a thali or on a rolling board.

·         Using the back end (flat side) of a katori, flatten mixture like a thick chapatti. You can use a rolling pin to roll the mixture. This has to be done very quickly as the mixture begins to harden as soon as it is removed from heat.

·         Leave the rolled Varo to set for some time.

·         Break into pieces and store in air tight containers.

·         Enjoy this crunchy Varo any time any season.

varo2

 

Keep it simple, keep it Sindhi.