Preparation of Uppu Cheedai, one of the Neivedhyams offered to Lord Krishna has been a real learning experience for me. The thing about Uppu Cheedai is that there was never uniformity or consistency in my preparation. This was because there would no uniformity in the rice that we used, in the way it is ground in the mill, or in the ingredients. Many times, the jeera in the batter has caused it to splutter in the oil and hence result in small accidents in the kitchen. For a couple of years, I had given up on this specialty completely. Curiosity got the better of me as I wanted to know how to turn around the problem. This is my shortcut and I hope this works for you too.
The base rice flour can be made in two ways.
- Option 1: Soak 1 cup of raw rice for 1/2 hour and allow to spread and dry on a soft towel until the water is all drained completely. Then grind the rice in the mixer to a fine powder.
- Option 2 : is to use READY MADE STORE BOUGHT rice flour. ( I use DURBAR/ SWAD/ Nirapara Brand).
- Now take a dry kadai and roast the rice flour on medium low heat stirring ocassionally.
- The white rice flour slowly changes colour to a yellowish light brown and also emits an aroma.
- As soon as you are able to take the roasted rice flour and draw a line like a “kolam” that’s the indication that you have gone as far as you should.
- Immediately transfer the contents to a dry container as keeping it in the same kadai might burn the rice flour.
- Do not close the rice flour until it cools down to room temperature.
- The method of roasting is the same whether the rice flour is made from scratch or it is store bought. Both render excellent results.
- Sieve and keep aside.
- Dry roast 2 Tbsp of whole urad dhal/ Urad Dhal flour in the kadai on medium flame until the urad dhal slowly emits an aroma and it turns to a dull yellowish brown colour.
- Set aside to cool on a plate.
- Grind little by little in a mixer to a fine powder.
- Sieve and keep aside.
- Dry roast 2 Tbsp of grated coconut on a low flame until its a little dry and moisture is gone.
- Set aside.
PROPORTION OF RICE FLOUR TO URAD FLOUR : 1 cup of rice flour : 2 tbsp of Urad Flour.
1 cup Roasted Rice flour as per procedure above.
2 Tbsp of Roasted Urad Flour prepared as per procedure above.
1 Tsp finely ground and sieved Jeera Powder. (Optional).
2 Tbsp Grated and roasted coconut.
1 Tbsp butter at room temperature.
1 Tsp salt.
Almost 3/4 cup of water.
- In a dry vessel add butter, ground jeera, and hing and mix well with your fingers.
- Add the 1 cup of rice flour, the urad flour , salt and grated coconut and mix all the dry ingredients well.
- Add the water slowly and mix it in. If the batter is already mixed in to a firm consistency, do not add all the water. Use your discretion in this regard.
- The dough should be firm and non sticky but moist and creamy.
- Roll out rough balls and keep on a plate. Do not press hard in to balls.
- The secret is to roll them in to really small balls so they crisp quickly when fried.
- I do not recommend sitting under the fan and rolling out balls as I have felt that this robs the balls of moisture and causes cracks and hence splutters in the oil.
- Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and when hot, add 7-8 balls of the cheedai.
- Allow to fry well on medium low heat until crisp and well done and draw out the balls on a paper towel.
- After a couple of minutes, store in an air tight container.
- Enjoy crisp and crunchy Uppu Cheedai after offering to the Lord.
- Fry the cheedai balls on medium low heat like you would do with Gulab Jamuns as they need to get completely fried on the insides. Keeping the flame high would render them overcooked on the outside yet not cooked enough on the inside.
- Right after frying, allow them to cool before closing the container. If the balls are still warm, closing them would make them “sweat” and make them chewy.