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Chakli is a spiral shaped savory snack made from rice flour, besan (gram flour), and spices. These fried and crunchy snacks are usually made for Diwali and pair perfectly with some hot cup of tea (chai). Vegetarian and Gluten-free!
To make the dough
In a large mixing bowl, sift the rice flour and gram flour.
To it, add the spices (red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric, hing (asafoetida), salt), and seeds (carom seeds (ajwain), cumin seeds (zeera), and white sesame seeds (til)). Mix with a spoon (or spatula) to combine.
Heat ghee (or oil) on stovetop or microwave and add to this dry mix.
Incorporate the ghee(oil) into the flour using hands or spoon. It will form a crumbly texture and the color will change to orangish-yellow.
Boil some water and use this hot water, some at a time knead a soft pliable dough. Used approximately half cup hot water. Adjust as needed.
Rest for 5-10 mins by covering with a wet cloth. Don’t rest for too long as it may get dry.
To make chakli
Give the rested dough a quick knead one more time and then divide into 2-3 equal portions (portions can vary depending on the size of your chakli maker)
Take the chakli press and add the star disk to it so it's flat and seals the bottom.
Add one portion of the dough, press so it fits inside the tube. Close and tightly secure the lid/handle of the chakli maker.
Line a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper or cut individual parchment paper squares for each chakali. This makes the transfer to oil easy.
Press the chakli maker to squeeze out the dough and then move in a circular motion to make spirals.
Make about 4-5 spirals, close to each other for each chakli.
Break the dough and seal the outside and inside edge (i.e start and end) to prevent them from opening while frying.
Continue pressing the remaining chaklis in a similar manner. Keep these covered with a wet cloth to prevent drying.Makes 7-8 chaklis of 4-5 round each with one portion.
Heat oil in a frying pan and test the temperature by adding a small piece of the dough. It should rise up gradually in a few seconds. If it rises too fast then the oil is very hot and if it doesn't then the oil needs to heat up more.
Line a baking tray or plate with a paper towel and keep it ready.
Add 1-2 pieces of chakali or as much the pan can hold without overcrowding.
Fry on medium-low heat until golden. Drain and then transfer on an on lined plate to drain excess oil. Keep frying the remaining chaklis in a similar manner.
Crispy and crunchy chaklis are ready!!
Allow the chaklis to cool completely, they will harden further as they cool. Store airtight at room temperature for 3-4 weeks.
Tips to make the perfect Chakli
For the dough:
Shaping or making chaklis
- For those crispy and crunchy chaklis, add hot fats (oil, ghee, or butter) to the dough and incorporate it in the flour before kneading.
- Don't skip the seeds, they had a nice crunch and flavor. In addition, ajwain aids digestion too.
- For spicier chakali, add some more chili powder. Taste a small portion of the dough to check.
- Keep the dough and uncooked chaklis covered at all times with a wet cloth to prevent them from drying.
- Use a chakali maker or chakli press. I got mine from India but there are many varieties available online as well as in local Indian stores.
- Ensure the dough is soft and pliable.
- Less water will cause the chakali to break while piping. If this happens, add some water (a tablespoon at a time) and knead again and try.
- Too much moisture will cause the chakali to lose shape. If this happens, add some more rice flour a tablespoon at a time and try again.
- Making those perfect circles is not difficult at all and can be mastered with some practice.
- If you find it difficult to make spirals, make small 2-3 inch lines instead. These are known as tukda chakali and taste just the same just that these are bite-size and not round.
- Fry on medium to medium-low heat.
- Frying at a high temperature will cause the outside to brown quickly and the inside to remain uncooked resulting in unpleasant results like crunchy on out and soft inside.
- Similarly, frying at low temperatures will turn them hard not crispy.
- Always test the oil temperature before frying the next batch.