Diwali is one festival when we can have our choice of savories and sweets to be made. Unlike most of the festivals which has a predefined menu like Murukku, Seedai for Krishnajayanthi, Kali for Thiruvathirai, Appam,Pori for Karthigai etc. When it comes to Diwali recipes, DIET comes last for me. The amount of oil, sugar and ghee doesn't affect the choice of sweets or savories. Celebration is the key word and Diwali comes only once in a year. So lets get onto the savories I made for this Diwali. Come what may, Ribbon Pakoda is always there. I made no exception to that rule this year too. There is no fixed recipe for pakoda. I feel each family has a recipe of their own, passed down from generations. Here is mine.
Rice flour - 3 cups
Gram flour/Besan - 1 cup
Butter - 3 tblspn
Salt - 1/2 tspn
Chilli powder - 1 tspn heaped
Water to make the dough
Oil to deep fry
Measure rice flour and besan in a vessel. Add butter and chilli powder. Mix well so that the flour is well coated with butter. Mix in the salt and hing dissolved in water. Add enough water to make a pliable dough. Heat oil in a kadai. Using the pakoda achu/plate, press it into hot oil. Gently flip with a perforated ladle and remove when it is golden brown. Drain and leave it to come to room temperature. Store in air tight container.
My MIL adds a 1/4 cup of roasted and powder tuvar dal. It sure adds to the flavor. But I was lazy to do that. So I skipped it. Nevertheless, mine turned out to be very crispy and melt-in-the-mouth kind.
Note: If store bought rice flour is used, you can measure rice flour :besan in the ratio 2:1 to get crispier pakodas.
The other savory is from the Land of Rajasthan - Mathri/Mathi. The is the first time I am trying at home though I have tasted it. On goggling, I went through several recipes and found that more than the measurement of ingredients, it’s the way of making them that is important to get flaky, crisp biscuits. And I followed the instructions at Tongue Ticklers. Harini has given all the little points to be taken care of. Though she has baked it, I deep fried them. My ingredient list slightly varies from hers, but I followed her method to prepare the dough. It came out excellent. Do drop into her space to have a look at the perfectly baked mathris. I am sure going to bake them soon.
Wheat flour/Atta - 2 cups
All purpose flour/Maida - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tspn
Chilli powder -1/2 tspn
Pepper powder - 1/2 tspn
Kasuri methi - 2 tblspn
Turmeric - a pinch
Hot oil - 3/4 cup
Warm water - 1 cup
Oil to deep fry
Take wheat flour, maida, salt, chilli powder ,pepper powder, ajwain and turmeric in a bowl. Mix the ingredients well. Make a well in the centre. Pour the hot oil. rub the oil into the ingredients using a spatula. The more the oil and less water used in making the dough, gives better biscuits. I felt the amount of oil used was right enough. So used water to prepare the dough. Add kasuri methi to the dough. Don't knead the dough. Just bring together as you do for cookies.
Take marble sized dough and press it down between your palms. Else you can roll it using the rolling pin. I rolled into a big thick chappathi. Cut into small circles with a bottle cap. Make marks on top with a fork or knife so that it doesn't puff up while fried. Deep fry 4 or 5 mathris in a batch till it is golden brown. When cool it is very crisp and flaky. Since I have added chilli and pepper powders, it was spicy too.
My diwali sweets will follow in the next post.
Wishing you all a very happy and safe Diwali/Deepavali.