First take the rice flour and gram flour in a bowl.
Add the carom seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida and salt.
Mix everything with a spoon.
Heat butter or oil in a bowl or small pan to a slight simmer but donot boil or burn.
Add the hot butter or oil to flour mixture.
Mix the butter or oil with a spoon first. Then use your fingertips to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
In a sauce pan heat water until it starts boiling.
Add this hot water in parts to the flour mixture. Mix with a spoon.
Add more hot water as required. Mix with a spoon first and then using slightly damp hands knead to a firm yet pliable dough.
Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Apply some water in the chakli/murukku maker and place a portion of the dough inside it.
Tighten the lid and press the chakli maker to prepare the chakli. Move in rounds to get a spiral shape. Make the chakli on butter paper or aluminium foil, so thats it is easy to remove them.
TIP - If the chakli breaks while forming them, this means that the dough does not have enough moisture. Add 1 or 2 tbsp of water and knead the dough again.
TIP - If you are not getting proper shape, this mean that the dough is too moist. Add some flour and knead again.
Break the dough towards the end and press it to the last concentric circle of the spiral.
Heat oil for deep frying in a pan. Take a small piece of the dough and check the temperature of the oil.
If the dough comes up gradually, then the oil is ready. If the dough sits at the bottom, the oil is still cold. If the piece of dough comes up briskly and quickly, the oil is too hot.
TIP - Have a bite into the fried piece of dough and if it tastes hard, add ½ or 1 tablespoon of hot oil or butter to the dough and knead again.
Lift the chakli gently and slid into the hot oil.
Fry 3 to 4 chakli at a time. Do not over crowd the kadai or pan while frying.
TIP - Check the first batch of chakli. If it looks like the chakli has absorbed oil or breaks in oil, then add some rice flour, about 1 to 2 tablespoons and knead again. This happens if too much fat has gone in the dough.
Fry them until crisp and golden.
Drain them on paper towels to remove extra oil.
Make chakli with the remaining dough on the parchment paper. Cover them with a dry kitchen napkin, so that they don't dry out.
Fry the remaining batches in the same way. Once they come at room temperature, then store them in an airtight box or jar.
Serve chakli plain as a snack with some masala chai.
To make the chakli spicy, you add more red chili powder or even garlic-green chili paste.
The dough should be firm but not crumbly, floury, hard or sticky. Add water in parts while kneading.
If dough has become sticky, then add a few tablespoons of rice flour and knead.
If the dough looks floury or dense, then sprinkle a few teaspoons of water at a time and gently mix it with the dough till you get the correct consistency.
When making the chakli spirals, use a butter paper or parchment paper or aluminum foil, so that it's easy to remove them. You could also use small parchment paper squares and with its support, gently slid the chakli in oil.
If the dough strands break while forming chakli, then the moisture is less in the dough. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of water and knead again.
A moist dough won't give a neat and proper spiral shape. To rectify, add a few teaspoons of rice flour. Knead again to a firm but pliable dough.
After frying, if the chakli tastes hard, this means the fat has become less in the dough. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons hot oil or butter to the dough and knead again.
If the chakli has absorbed much oil or breaks in the oil, then there is more fat the dough. Try adding some rice flour to the dough, about 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and knead again.
Fry chakli on medium to medium-high flame. Add a tiny piece of the dough in the hot oil. If it rises to the surface in 3 to 4 seconds and begins to sizzle, the oil is ready.
Do not fry chakli at a low heat. This will make them soggy with oil and they will become soft instead of crispy and crunchy.
Avoid frying chakli on high heat as this will brown them too fast and can burn them.