Thattai are deep-fried crispy rice crackers served as a snack and made during festivals like krishna jayanthi (gokulashtmi) or Diwali. Thattai are made with rice flour, spices and herbs having a spiced, crunchy and crisp taste.
1tablespoonchopped curry leavesor 10 to 12 curry leaves chopped
1tablespoonchana dal- soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
½teaspoonsalt or add as required
1teaspoonwhite sesame seeds
½teaspoonred chilli powderor add as required
2tablespoonsfresh grated coconut - optional
9 to 10tablespoonswateror add as required
oil as required - for deep frying
preparation for thattai recipe
Firstly rinse and then soak chana dal in hot water for 30 minutes.
Heat a heavy kadai or pan. Keep the flame to low or medium-low. Add urad dal (husked and whole or split black gram).
Lightly roast urad dal for 1 to 2 minutes. Urad dal need not be browned. Remove and keep aside.
In the same kadai or pan, add rice flour.
On a low to medium-low flame stirring often, roast the rice flour till it becomes warm to touch.
Remove and keep aside in a mixing bowl.
In a small grinder, take the roasted urad dal. Also add roasted chana dal. Roasted chana dal can be skipped also.
Grind to a fine powder.
making thattai dough
To the bowl containing the rice flour add the ground lentil flours.
Add chopped curry leaves, asafoetida powder, red chilli powder, white sesame seeds and salt. You can even add freshly grated coconut or thinly sliced fresh coconut(optional).
Mix the salt, spices and herbs with the flours.
Now sprinkle 2 tablespoons water and add 1 tablespoon butter or ghee in the flour mixture. You can add ghee instead of butter.
With your fingertips mix the butter with the flour. Mix very well.
Add 3 tablespoons water.
Gently mix and start bringing the mixture together.
Drain all the water and then add the soaked chana dal.
Mix and then knead to a semi-soft dough. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons more water or as required while kneading the dough. I added about a total of 9.5 tablespoons of water. Addition of water will depend on the texture and quality of rice flour. So add in parts.
Tip - avoid making a soft dough as then it becomes difficult to shape and lift the thattai rounds. Do not make the dough too hard as then thattai will not be crisp. It will have a hard and dense texture. Also check the taste of dough and add more salt if required. Cover and keep aside.
Take a butter paper or parchment paper or a ziplock bag or a clean cotton napkin. Grease the butter paper or parchment paper with some oil. Keep oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. Keep the flame to medium or medium-high.
Make small balls from the dough.
Place a dough ball on the greased parchment paper.
Press and flatten thattai with your fingertips to a thin round. Spread some oil on your fingers while flattening them. Do not make them too thin and flat as then you cannot lift them.
Make 5 to 6 thattai on the parchment paper.
Check the temperature of oil by adding a tiny piece of the thattai dough. If it comes up swiftly on top, the oil is hot enough.
Lift the thattai gently from the paper.
Gently place in the hot oil.
Begin to fry thattai on a medium or medium-high flame.
When one side is crisp, then flip over each thattai.
Fry the second side till crisp. You can flip a couple of times for that even golden color and crispness.
Fry thattai till crispy and crunchy. When the oil stops bubbling and sizzling, this means the thattai is fried well.
Remove fried thattai with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper towels.
When frying the first batch of thattai, shape the second batch and keep them ready. However do keep an eye on the batch of the thattai that is being fried. This way make all thattai.
As soon as the thattai cools at room temperature, place them in a steel box or jar.
Serve thattai to the deities. If making as an evening snack, then serve with masala chai or filter coffee.
Amount of asafoetida (hing) can be reduced if you want.
Check taste of dough and add more salt if required.
Roasted chana dal can be skipped. Though it helps in making the thattai lighter and crispy.
Homemade rice flour can be used. Parboiled rice flour can also be used.
Amount of water to be added will depend on the texture of flour. So add in parts and knead.
You need to get a semi-soft dough. Do not make dough soft as then difficult to shape and lift. Do not make dough too hard as then thattai will not be crisp. It will become hard and dense.
Fry thattai in oil till it stops bubbling. Fry on medium flame till crisp and crunchy.
Use parchment or butter paper or a ziplock bag. Spread some oil on the parchment paper. Press thattai dough balls with your fingertips. Do not make very thin as then you cannot lift it up.
For a gluten free thattai, skip asafoetida.
To make a vegan thattai, add oil instead of butter or ghee. You can use vegan butter too.