My 225th recipe, “Thattai”, a delicious South Indian festival snack. Thattai is my most favorite snack my mom used to make at home. I have been enjoying a crispy bite of thattai all along my life, especially during Krishna Jeyanthi and Diwali. I wanted to post this recipe when I made during Krishna Jeyanthi. However, due to other personal commitments, I just had 1 day to prepare all the Krishna Jeyanthi sweets and snacks and I was unable to click stepwise photos. So I decided that I would try making thattai ahead of time for Diwali, so that I will have time to click the snaps for the blog.
Thattai recipe in itself is a very easy recipe to make. It is as simple as throwing everything together in a bowl, making the dough, shaping and frying. While it is simple and sounds so, it is essential to follow the few basic steps which will ensure that you get the perfectly crispy thattai each time.
The first time I made this recipe, I was lazy to melt the butter and instead added softened butter which was at room temperature. I did not find any different until I started frying the first thattai. The butter in the dough started melting as soon as the thattai hit the hot oil and it totally dissolved into the oil. Since that attempt, I always try to play by the rule books, just like how my mom used to make it 🙂 For folks who are hearing it newly, thattai is a crispy fried Indian snack made from rice and dal flour. Super crispy and tasty 😉
Thattai is a South Indian snack traditionally made during Krishna Jeyanthi and Diwali. Thattai is made with rice and dal flours and fried until golden.
- Chana dal - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Urad dal - 1 Tbsp
- Rice flour - 2 Cups (I used idiyappam flour from packet)
- Urad dal flour - 2 Tbsp (*Refer notes)
- Pottu Kadalai | Roasted Gram flour - 2 Tbsp (*Refer notes)
- White seesame seeds - 1 Tbsp
- Salt - 1 1/4 tsp (adjust per taste)
- Red chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig (chopped)
- Unsalted Butter - 2 Tbsp (measure and melt)
- Oil - For deep frying
- First wash and soak the chana dal and urad dal together in water for about 1 hour. Then drain the water and keep aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients listed (including the soaked dal) except for Oil. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. Now start adding water little by little and mix to get a smooth non-sticky dough. I used close to a 1 1/2 Cup of water. Keep the dough covered with a wet towel until use.
- Now heat a pan with the oil for frying. Take two pieces of banana leaf or thick plastic sheets (I used zip lock covers). Grease them with oil. Now take a medium gooseberry size of prepared dough and make it into a ball. Keep the remaining dough covered to avoid drying of dough. Place the dough ball on the greased plastic sheet.
- Now, place the other greased sheet over the ball, press it into a thin flat disc. I used a flat base vessel. Now remove the top sheet and use your fingers to even out the thattai. Prick the thattai using a fork to avoid puffing up of thattai while frying.
- Remove the thattai from the sheet gently and slide it into the hot oil. Cook in medium-low flame by flipping the thattai at regular intervals. Fry until the bubbles totally subsides / stops and the thattai becomes golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil and drain excess oil on a paper napkin. Repeat the same with the remaining dough.
- Store in a air tight container once completely cooled down. Enjoy as an anytime snack.
- For preparing urad dal flour, dry roast the urad dal until golden brown and nice aroma arises. Make sure not to burnt them. Transfer to a plate and let them cool down to room temperature. Use a blender/mixie and grind them into a fine powder. Sieve it once to remove coarse pieces. Transfer the flour to an air tight container and use whenever needed.
- For Pottu Kadalai / Roasted Gram flour, just grind the Pottu Kadalai / Roasted Gram in blender/mixie into fine powder. Sieve it once to remove coarse pieces. Transfer to an air tight container and use whenever needed.
- The water quantity will vary according to the variety of rice flour used. So add much as needed to get a smooth dough.
- The dough should not be too dry or too sticky. Too dry will lead to cracking of thattai and will not be able to shape it into a disc. Sticky dough will lead to more oil absorption while frying.
- Keep the prepared dough covered with a wet kitchen towel during the entire process, to avoid drying.
- In case the dough dries out by the time you prepare all the thattai, sprinkle some additional water and just knead again.
- Maintaining oil temperature is a must while frying. Too hot will lead to uncooked thattai and low temperature leads to oil absorption and sogginess. Try to maintain the temperature in medium flame.
- Storing in an airtight container in room temperature, is essential to making the thattai stay crispy for long.