Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Omapodi / Plain Sev.

Omapodi.

I am guessing the name itself is derived from the main ingredient that differentiates this fried snack from its other variations – Omam/ Ajwain. Omam is an excellent aid in digestion and a cure for low appetite and colic and flatulence. Omapodi is a delicious snack in itself and also aids as a main ingredient in Mixture. Omapodi is also used as a garnish in north indian chats in the form of sev.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tsp Butter at room temperature.

2 1/2 Cups Besan.

3/4 Cup Rice Flour.

1 Tsp Salt.

1/3 Cup Ajwain/ Omam.

Water.

PREPARATION:

  • Keep a kadai of oil on the stove on medium heat and allow it to get hot enough to fry.
  • In a saucepan add the omam and 1 1/2 Cups of water and allow it to boil slowly. This is to enable the water to extract the essence of the ajwain in to it.
  • Give it a few minutes to become lukewarm and strain out the omam to get omam water.
  • In a wide mouthed bowl, add butter, salt, rice flour and besan. Using the omam water mix to a creamy moist dough. It should be in a consistency like Murukku Dough, o ne that allows it to get pressed using a Murukku Press. Adjust the consistency variating the water/besan.
  • Use the Omapodi Press, press it on to the hot oil.
  • Allow it to cook on both sides and drain on to a tissue.
  • Crunchy Omapodi is ready to snack by itself or to use in Madras Mixture.
Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Karaboondhi – Cripsy Fried Spiced Besan Balls.

One of the most easiest snacks to make, yet requires sleight of hand and knowledge of a few tips as its tricky. The only tricky part being the consistency of the batter. Runny batter results in “boondhis” with little tails. A batter which is too thick would not even fall through the holes and not cook enough. Kara Boondhi makes an excellent snack by itslef, but I prefer making delicious Mixture for Deepavali.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 Cups Besan.

1 Cup Rice Flour.

1 Tsp Salt.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

Pinch of Baking Soda.

Pinch of Hing.

1 Tsp Butter.

Pinch of Baking Soda.

1 – 1 1/2 Cups of Water. (Totally depending on the kind of Besan.)

PREPARATION:

  • Set a kadai with oil to medium heat on the stove. Meanwhile mix the batter for the Kara Boondhi.
  • In a bowl add the butter and all the dry ingredients – salt, hing, red chilli powder and  baking soda.
  • Sieve the required quantity of besan as many times the store bought besan has clots which may not yield results needed.
  • Add the rice flour and the besan.
  • Use a whisk to mix as this really helps in binding all the ingredients well.
  • Pour 1 cup of water and whisk to see the consistency. If needed add more water little by little.
  • The consistency should be slightly runny but not too much.
  • Batter for KaraBoondhi.
  • Using the Boondhi Ladle or a simple perforated ladle, take out a ladle of batter and pour over the boondhi ladle and press out the batter through the holes to fall on to the hot oil.
  • The boondhis or drops will sizzle and hiss, when cooking in the oil. Use your ladle and mix it in well to allow uniform cooking.
Boondhi Ladle.
  • When starting to turn a light golden colour, remove from flame and on to a collander lined with tissue.
  • Allow the oil a couple of seconds to heat up before adding the next batch of boondhis.
  • Crisp KaraBoondhis are ready.

HINTS:

  1. Try out the boondhi ladle with the batter to see how the batter falls. You can keep the boondhi ladle on the mixed besan batter itself to see results. Then adjust the consistency of the batter by either adding more water or more besan.
  2. Use KaraBoondhis to make raitas or simply spic it up adding a little red chilli powder and hing for any anytime snack.
  3. Use with other fried snacks to make Mixture.


Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Deepavali Special – Madras Mixture.

Special Madras Mixture.
Special Madras Mixture.

Every year Deepavali has been a special occassion for the entire family to get together and celebrate the festival of lights. These days, there is a lot of TV involved, but when we were little kids, Deepavali was getting up early in the morning and having oil bath and then wearing new clothes and prostrating before the elders of the family. We would always try to compete as to who would get up early and have a bath to get ready to go out and burst crackers with friends in the neighbourhood. The earlier we get up, the more chances to enjoy more firecrackers as many of them are not as pretty when the skies light up. At around 7, breakfast would everytime be steaming hot idlis with Coconut Chutney, accompanied by the sweets and savouries made for the occassion. Then more playing and more playing until we are exhausted. Lunch would be filling and satvik and with all my cousins and family.

Many of the sweets and savouries prepared for Deepavali I would never eat much on that day. It would be fun to eat all of this later on, after a few days. The most special preparation for Deepavali has always been Maduraiamma`s Special Mixture. I dont know how exactly she does it, but every time her proportions of chilli powder, salt and hing have been spot on. When I open the container having the mixture, and I get the familiar aroma inside, it never fails to transport me to those days.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Batch of prepared KaraBoondhis.

1 Batch of prepared Omapodi.

2 cups Maida Biscuits/ Shakkarpare

1 cup Roasted Peanuts.

1/2 Cup Split Chick Peas (Pottu Kadalai.)

1/2 cup Cashewnuts.

1 cup Aval/ Poha.

Curry Leaves.

1 Tbsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Salt.

1/2 Tsp Hing.

PREPARATION:

  • In a large mixing bowl add the prepared KaraBoondhis.
  • Next add the prepared Omapodi and break it in to little pieces.
  • Prepare the Maida Biscuits/ Diamond Biscuits  in the following manner:
Sweet and Crisp Maida Biscuits.
  • MAIDA BISCUITS:
  • Ingredients:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour.

3/4 Cup Sugar.

1/3 Cup Milk + Little water to make a stiff dough.

1/3 Cup Butter.

Pinch of Baking Soda.

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda until its light and fluffy and slowly add the milk a little water with the measured  3 Cups of Maida and knead in to a stiff dough. The consistency should not be sticky and soft, not too hard that its difficult to roll in to balls. Set aside for about ten mins.
  2. Divide the dough in to balls and spread out as you would do a thick chappati.
  3. Using your knife cut vertically and then diagonally to form diamonds.
  4. Fry in oil and set aside.
  5. Maida Biscuits are ready.
  • Add the prepared Maida Biscuits to the mixture bowl.
  • Take some oil used for frying Omapodi  in a small kadai. Slowly add the roasted peanuts and fry them on medium low flame.
  • When done add to the mixing bowl.

  • Now add some more oil and fry the cashews until they are a light golden brown. Add to the mixture.
  • Similarly fry the Aval/poha and Split Chick Peas  and add to the mixture.
  • Finally add about 20-25 fresh curry leaves to the oil. When they are fried crisp add hing to the oil and pour over the mixture.
  • To all the hot fried items add salt and red chilli powder and using your hands/ ladle mix them all in.
  • Fresh homemade Mixture is ready !!!
  • Happy Deepavali Wishes to all my readers.