Chakli is a delightfully scrumptious snack that is often made in India during Diwali festival. Also known as Chakri, these spiral shaped crunchy snacks are made using the perfect blend of lentils and spices. Deep fried to a golden brown perfection, chaklis are lightly spiced with turmeric and chili packing in an explosion of flavors in every bite.
Different parts of India have variations of this recipe. For example, in South India, Murukku(Chakli) is made using rice flour and a mild seasoning of salt and asafoetida. In Gujarat, Chakri is made with whole wheat flour or rice flour. In Maharashtra it is made with Bhajani, a special homemade flour. Chakli is easily one of the most popular Indian Diwali snack AKA faral and is best enjoyed with a piping hot cup of tea.
What is Bhajani?
Traditional Maharashtrian Chakli is made with a special homemade flour of rice and lentils called Bhajani. Rice and lentils are washed, air dried and then dry roasted over slow heat along with cumin and coriander seeds. They are then cooled down and ground to a fine flour. Everytime I visit India, I make it a point to bring few pounds of homemade bhajani.
This Bhajani flour is seasoned with spices, sesame seeds and carom seeds and kneaded into dough. The dough is then placed in a special press called Chakli Maker and Chakli are made by pressing the dough out into spiral shapes. The pressed spirals are then carefully deep fried in hot oil till they turn golden brown in color adding the perfect crispness. The resulting snack is so full of goodness and flavor, I bet you won’t be able to stop at one!
Ingredients for homemade Bhajani with Rice and Lentils:
1 cup rice
½ cup chana daal
¼ cup urad daal
2 tablespoons moong daal
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
- Rinse the rice and lentils individually and drain well.
- Spread on separate paper towels for about 10 mins to air dry.
- Individually dry roast the rice and lentils for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat until they start to turn light brown, stirring all the time.
- Take the roasted rice or lentil out in a tray and repeat for the remaining.
- Roast cumin and coriander seeds for a minute.
- Allow all the roasted ingredients to completely cool.
- Grind rice and lentils in the flour mill, blender or a small spice grinder to make fine flour.
- Homemade bhajani is ready to be used to make authentic bhajani chakli.
To Make The Chakali:
2 cups Bhajani flour (sifted super fine flour)
1/4 cup oil hot AKA mohan
1/4 cup water hot
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1.5 tsp ajwain/carom seeds
1 tbsp mild Kashmiri red chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
Salt as per taste
½ cup water room temperature
Oil for deep frying
- Add the flour to a mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup of hot oil and 1/4 cup of hot water. Add red chili powder, carom seeds, turmeric, salt and sesame seeds.
- Mix everything with a spatula. Gradually add cold water and knead the flour to make soft dough.
- Cover the dough with a moist paper towel so it does not dry out.
- Start heating the oil in a kadhai on medium heat.
- Insert the chakli disc with a star shape in the middle into the chakli press. Next, take some dough and make it into cylindrical shape to fit in the chakli press. Insert just enough dough to almost fill the tube. Tightly secure the top lid/handle on the tube.
- Start pumping out the chakli in a circular motion on small pieces of parchment paper or paper towels.
- Test the oil for optimum temperature by adding a small piece of dough to the oil, which should rise up gradually in 5 to 10 seconds. If it rises up too fast, lower the heat and if it does not rise up in 10 seconds allow the oil to heat up further.
- Carefully add chakli one at a time into the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the frying pan.
- Fry until golden brown on all sides.
- Take them out in a paper towel-lined tray and allow to cool down in a single layer.
- Allow the chakli’s to completely cool down and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- They stay good for weeks or even months as long as you keep them away from moisture.