Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Ribbon Pakoda – Any time snack.

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Ahhh…the most loved anytime snack  – the ribbon pakoda is a family favourite. Ribbon Pakodas are an inclusion to all festivals and occasions  Those days Madurai amma would make a whole large aluminum tin, full of this delicious crunchy snack. Somehow, all of us cousins would invent reasons to visit the kitchen frequently and be extremely accommodating to the elders if they wanted us to get pickle or salt from the kitchen as it pronounced a chance to snack on the pakodas with a rock solid alibi!!!

These days, as is the family tradition, I also include it as a part of the “Bakshanam” for any festival, specially Deepavali. It`s a great snack to have on long drives or simply when the family gets together for a movie or a chat…My daughter loves it a lot, and I am sure you would too…

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups Store Bought Rice Flour, seived.

3/4 Cup Besan, seived.

1/4 Cup Urad Flour.

1 and 3/4 Cups (approx) Water.

1 Heaped Tsp Chilli Powder.

2 Tsp Salt.

1/4 Tsp Hing .

2 Tbsp Butter.

PREPARATION:

  • Take a heavy flat bottomed vessel and pour in canola or refined oil and switch on the stove on medium low.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the butter, hing, red chilli powder and  salt and cream/mix  it together with your hands. This is the base of this snack so make sure that its creamed and mixed well.
  • If you overdo the butter, it gets too greasy that it does not get pressed out as ribbons. They would all fall out in little pieces…So more is not always good!
  • Measure out the flours and add them to the bowl of creamed spices. Mix it in dry for a couple seconds.
  • Add the water little by little and knead the dough in to a firm homogenous ball.
  • The ball should slightly soft and  moist.
  • Dole out a big piece on to the hand press and when the oil is hot enough, slowly press out the dough on to the oil in to a circle.
  • Try to press them in to a flattened circle taking care not to clump them up at any time.
  • When one side is a done to a golden yellowish brown,  turn over to fry the other side and place on a soft tissue to allow the excess oil to drain.
  • Store in an air tight container and enjoy lazy afternoons with hot coffee or chai!!!

HINTS:

  • The main hint for this snack is that it should be crisp but melt in the mouth.
  • One the oil needs to be hot when you put in the item to be fried. Keep your flame on medium high and put in the Ribbon Pakoda. When one side is well done, turn it over and fry on the other side too. Between putting the next bunch of ribbon pakoda to be fried, allow the oil to get heated again.
  • When you finish one bunch, drain it on a collander, allow it to come to room temperature, taste it, adjust salt, spice levels  etc and then proceed to store it in an air tight container.
  • In case the  “Acchu” has a thicker hole,  allow it to cook well. but not brown. It is preferable to have thin crisp Ribbon Pakodas.

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Snacks & Tiffin Items

Quick Besan Dhoklas.

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The best ever dhoklas that I remember having eaten are at The Saravana Bhavan – Gujrati Restaurant in T.Nagar, Chennai. They have the most amazingly soft dhoklas that can melt and come together in your mouth, along with the sweet chutney agog with tamarind and tang, and the green pudina chutney. Ever since, I ve always been on the lookout for recipes on how to make this easy snack. What I like about it, is the fac that it could be whipped up in a few minutes, with no need for prior planning. This is my version of this dish and I hope you will like it too. Posting for the Sweet Tamarind Chutney follows at a later post.

INGREDIENTS:

Besan                        – 1 1/4 cups

Buttermilk/Curd – 1 cup.

Ginger Paste          – 1 tsp

Green Chilli Paste- 1 tsp

Eno Fruit Salt         – 1 tsp.

Lemon Juice          – 1 tsp

Salt                              – 1 tsp.

Turmeric Powder – A pinch

Seasoning:

Oil, Mustard Seeds, Slit Green Chillis (2), Curry Leaves, Hing.

Garnish:

Dry Coconut Powder, Chopped Corriander.

PREPARATION:

  • In a bowl, take the besan and use your hands to remove all the clumps. Add the buttermilk and gently whisk to mix. Now also add turmeric, salt, ginger paste, green chilli paste and mix them all together.
  • Mix a spoon of Eno Fruit salt with 1 spoon of lemon juice and mix it in to the besan batter.
  • Let is stand for 20 mins.
  • Take a low flat bottomed cooker vessel, resembling a 9 inch round cake pan and grease the insides with cooking spray or oil.
  • Pour the besan batter in to the cooking pan.
  • Fill the cooker with 1 cup of water and gently place the vessel in to the cooker.
  • Allow it to steam on high for 12-14 mins.
  • Switch off and wait for 5 mins and cool it for 20 mins or so.
  • Cut it in to diamond shape and season with mustard , chilli, hing  and curry leaves.
  • Garnish with coconut and corriander.
  • Serve with chatpata-sweet  tamarind chutney.
....Served with Tamarind Chutney.
....Served with Tamarind Chutney.