Indian cuisine boasts of a wide array of savories ranging from simple plaintain chips to the irresistible samosa. Every region of India be it North or South, East or West, has its own range of traditional savories which can be nibbled on any time of the day and make great accompaniments with coffee, tea or beverages/juices/cocktails. Preparing traditional savories at home has drastically reduced over the past few years with most of them being available at home foods outlets in almost every city. I reminse my childhood days of the wonderful aromas emanating from ammamma’s and amma’s kitchens cooking savories like pakodas (fritters), jantikalu, muruku or chakli etc almost every other day and stored in big dabbas and how we would go scrambling into the pantry, immediately on coming back from school, with pangs of hunger, to devour them.
Home made traditional savories do have their advantages over store bought ones in terms of freshness, price (costs much less), can be prepared suited to our palate and stored for at least 2-3 weeks. We can never be sure of the store bought ones which most of the time lack the flavor and freshness of home made savories. Inspite of it we find that most homes are going in for store bought savories probably out of sheer convenience. I guess,it’s a personal choice. I ,for one, would prefer to prepare our traditional savories like jantikalu and murukku at home and very rarely pick up store bought ones.
Palakayalu are a rice based, dry and crispy snack popular in Andhra. They are a hit with children and sometimes given to teething toddlers who nibble at them to remove the irritation they usually face during teething. They can be made both sweet and spicy.T oday’s recipe is a salted version which is crisp with a slightly sweet flavor. If you want a spicy taste, add a tsp of ground green chilli paste to the dough.
Palakayalu Recipe (Rice Based Snack)
2 cups of plain rice flour
1 ½ tsp sugar
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
2 cups water
1 tbsp vaamu (ajwain,omamu,caram seeds)
oil for deep frying
Add salt, sugar and 1 tbsp of oil to water and bring to a boil. Add the rice flour to it stirring continuously till it forms a thick mixture and turn off heat. Cover and keep aside to cool.
Once cool add the vaamu and mix the dough well kneading for 2-3 minutes to form a smooth dough. Make small balls and roll them into (approx 2” ) longitudinal shape.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan and test the temperature of the oil by dropping a small ball of dough into the oil and if it sinks to the bottom, it means the oil isn’t hot enough. If the ball springs to the top with bubbles all over, it means that the oil is ready to deep fry the palakayalu. Drop the palakayalu (about 20 or so depending on the size of the vessel) gently into the hot oil and keep flipping them over till they are golden brown and crisp.
Drain onto absorbent paper and when cool, store the fried palakayalu in airtight containers.
Note: Before you start deep frying them, ensure that you shape out the entire dough into longitudinal shapes and keep them covered. Deep fry them batch wise depending on the size of the deep frying pan. Don’t add too many at once.
Enjoy a great tea time snack!