Although my family hails from the state of Maharashtra, my mother grew up in Bengaluru (aka Bangalore), located in the South Indian state of Karnataka. So I spent many of my childhood summers in this lovely vibrant city, literally my home away from home. Bangalore is fondly nicknamed the “Garden City” and rightfully so – the city is filled with lots of lovely parks and little gardens exploding with local exotic flora & fauna that were just perfect for playing, long walks, hiking & of course, picnics.
THATTAI (Crispy South Indian Savories)
2 cups of rice flour
2 tbsp chana dal (skinned & split Bengal gram dal)
4 tbsp urad dal (split & skinned white urad dal)
2 tbsp melted ghee or butter
¼ cup freshly grated coconut
4-5 fresh curry leaves, finely minced
1 tbsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
4 tbsp toasted unsalted peanuts, lightly crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds (or ajwain)
2 tsp red chili powder, to taste
pinch of asafetida (hing)
salt & pepper, to taste
oil for frying (peanut or vegetable)
First, soak the chana dal in enough water to cover for at least 1 hour. Then drain well & set aside until needed.
Now in a small dry skillet on medium heat, dry roast the urad dal until lightly browned. Let cool slightly and then grind to a fine powder using a spice mill or clean coffee grinder. Set aside until needed.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour with the rest of the ingredients except the oil. Mix well to combine and then slowly add enough water while kneading to form a soft pliable dough.
Then divide the dough into equal size balls, keeping them covered with a damp tea towel so they will not dry out. Now the easiest way to make these is to lightly grease the inside of a large re-sealable plastic bag. Place a dough ball inside, close the bag and then proceed to flatten the ball into a thin rounds (like a chapati or roti but only 2 to 2½ inches in size) from the outside of the bag thus saving your hands from getting sticky. Alternatively, you could also use a rolling pin to make the thattai. You could make the thattai individually or make one larger circle and cut out rounds using a cookie cutter or even an upside down glass works well.
Then heat enough oil in a deep pan on medium high, fry in batches until golden brown on both sides & crispy. Drain well on absorbent paper towels and store in an airtight container when cool.
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