Chakli is a fine, delicate, spicy, crunchy mouthwatering, irresistible, snack of Maharashtra. Chakli is usually made during the festival of Diwali, the holiday season in India. But with this easy recipe, you can make it any time of the year. 'Bhajani' or the flour needed to make chaklis is available ready-made in the market or can be prepared in advance at home. The 'bhajani' has to be really fine so mostly it is ground in a mill rather than a mixer or grinder. But if you have a professional grinder that can make fine flours, you can use it too. (I used a professional grinder at home.) This recipe can actually go wrong at many different steps like making the 'bhajani', preparing the dough, frying it at the right temperature and so on. That's why I have added a few tips and tricks that would be very helpful when making it just right.
- For 'bhajani' (or the special flour used to make chakli
- Rice - 1 cup
- Split chick pea lentil (Chana Dal) - 1/2 cup
- Black lentil (Urad dal) - 1/4 cup
- Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
- For making chaklis
- Oil - 2 & 1/2 tsp for dough and more for frying
- Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
- Red chili powder - To taste (about 1 & 1/2 tsp)
- Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
- Salt - To taste (about 1 & 1/2 tsp)
- Chakli bhajani - 2 cups
For 'bhajani': (This will make about 3 cups 'bhajani')
- Roast the rice on medium heat, only for two minutes, till they become warm to hot when you touch with your hands.
- Similarly roast all the other ingredients individually, for 2 minutes each.
- Allow everything to cool and then grind to a very fine powder (with absolutely no grains) using a professional grinder or a mill.
- The 'bhajani' or the chakli flour is now ready.
For making chakli:
- Keep 2 cups of water in a pan, and turn on the heat.
- Add 2 & 1/2 tsp oil, 1 tsp sesame seeds, red chili powder to taste (about 1 & 1/2 tsp), 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, salt to taste (about 1 & 1/2 tsp).
- Once the water starts boiling, turn off the heat and add 2 cups of bhajani and mix well.
- Keep covered for 15-20 minutes. Then knead the dough, nicely.
- Use a chakli dispenser (The pictures below show an old style dispenser and the new style dispenser too. You can choose any one.), to make spiral shape chaklis on a parchment paper or a plastic bag, or just on a rolling board.
- Heat oil in a frying pan, and check the temperature of oil by dropping a small portion of the dough. It should sizzle and rise to the surface.
- Fry all chaklis, on low-medium heat, in batches of 5-6, till you get a nice golden color.
- Remove on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
Tips and Tricks:
- When making the bhajani, roast all the ingredients just for 2 minutes. Do not over-roast.
- All the ingredients for the 'bhajani' must be very finely ground to a powder.
- Make sure that the last step in making the 'bhajani' is that you run everything together through the grinder at least once, to blend perfectly.
- The 'bhajani' can be prepared well in advance, and can stay good in a refrigerator for up to an year.
- Kneading the dough firmly is a crucial step before dispensing the chakli. Apply little water when kneading, if you think the dough is dry.
- When frying, the temperature of the oil should be such that each batch gets done in about 4-5 minutes.
- If the chakli breaks or disperses when released into oil, add 2-3 tbsp more 'bhajani to the dough and knead once more, before repeating. Use the same trick (of adding more 'bhajani' to the dough) if the chaklis are very delicate and break even when lifting them.
- If after cooling, the chakli is soft on the inside instead of crunchy, add 1-2 tsp of hot oil from the frying pan, to the dough, knead again and then repeat.
- Always store in an air-tight container.