Janthikalu – Andhra Savory Snack


The queen of Andhra pindivantalu (festival foods prepared with flours) would undoubtedly be Janthikalu, a classic traditional savory snack. No auspicious occasion, picnic or a family get together is ever complete without these crunchy treats. Many a student will recall how their mothers or grandmothers lovingly packed their suitcases with a dabba of these favorite home made janthikalu among other goodies like Kissan mixed fruit jam and Bournvita. Any hostelites or ex-hostelites, remember those days? ๐Ÿ™‚

Jantikalu

To savor these irresistable munchies, bribe your Andhra friends or colleagues into giving you a dabba of janthikalu or prepare them at home following this recipe. Just do it and you’ll understand why these munchies are adored by Andhras. ๐Ÿ™‚ In recent past, almost every town and city in Andhra have their friendly neighbourhood home food stores, Swagruha or Abhiruchi, selling traditional sweets and snacks like chegodi, janthikalu, murukkulu and chekalu to name a few.

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A favorite recipe among many a home cook of Andhra. It was a delight watching Ammamma press concentric layers of janthikulu onto a heavy bottomed vessel of hot oil and deep fry to a vibrant golden shade with effortless ease – food art at its best. The main actors are rice flour and besan with salt, chilli powder, ajwain, sesame seeds and ghee or butter providing the supporting roles. The deep frying needs to be done on medium flame to ensure eveness in cooking, crispness and to achieve that golden.

Janthikalu – Andhra Savory Snack

  Prepare time:
 Cook:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  rice flour

 Ingredients

  •   2 cups rice flour
  •   1 cup chick pea flour/besan/senaga pindi
  •   1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  •   1 tbsp ajwain/vaamu
  •   1 tsp red chilli pwd
  •   salt to taste
  •   2 tbsps hot ghee
  •   oil for deep frying

Method for making Janthikalu – Andhra Savory Snack

Put together rice flour, gram flour, salt, hot ghee, chilli pwd, ajwain and sesame seeds, and combine them well. Slowly add water little by little to make a soft dough, just soft enough that it is pressed through easily with the janthikalu press. Test the dough for salt and chilli pwd before deep-frying.
Heat a wide heavy bottomed vessel with enough oil for deep frying. Take the janthikalu gottam aka murukku press and use the disc with small holes. Fill half of the press with the dough and once the oil is hot, reduce to medium flame and using circular motion, press the jantikalu gottam to make concentric layers of the janthikalu dough. As you press the dough into the hot oil, you will find the oil froth up in bubbles which will eventually subside as the janthikalu turn to a golden shade. Remember the frying has to be done on medium flame to achieve that golden color and crispness.
When the janthikalu turn a golden color, turn over to the other side and let it also cook to a golden brown. Use a slotted ladle to remove onto an absorbent paper and cool. Repeat the same process till the rest of the dough is done. Cool completely before storing in an air tight metallic container.

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37 thoughts on “Janthikalu – Andhra Savory Snack

  1. ex-hostelite…but i never got these!! must take that up with amma!! i love the murukku mould in brass…..i have something that looks like a gun!! the best memories of festivals somehow is about the wonderful stuff that was made days in advance….and the bustle around the house that it triggered off…..happy dasara to you and the family

  2. Lovely….yeah i remember as kids we use to have loads of fun in summer vacation,when mom used to make some similar stuff like that..we make these with cooked rice flour,sundried and then fried as and when needed.Some Kheecha or urad dal papad,some sabudana kheecha(sago wafers sundried),potato wafers(potato chips cooked and sundried to be fried and consumed during coming monsoon days….summer vacations were so much fun then….and yeah the utensil used to make these, was experimented like hell…to make chaklis,or NOODLES of different shapes and sizes…the only difference was that the one we had has the lid which needed to be rolled in circular motion to squeeze out the flour

  3. i sure remember those good ol hostel days!!my friends would wait anxiously for me to get back with goodies,specially jantakilu amongst other andhra delicacies…

    now that i have some spare time off me and a guinea pig (hubby dear!) to taste my culinary wonders (sometimes blunders!!),i shall try this to get some brownie points..;);)
    thank you for the recipe…

  4. Have bookmarked this. When my sister came to visit me, one of the things she brought from India was a murukku presser, which i have not used it yet.
    I would love to have few of them now.

  5. Wawwiiii…Wonderful recipe…For weather like this..we can have it with a cup of hot tea or coffee.Great eve time snack…Great work there Sailu

  6. hey sailu as u said the other variation of janthikalu with roasted urad dal powder..wats the ratio ??
    2:1 (rice flour:urad dal powder)??
    pls let me know i want to try out with urad dal powder this time..

    I keep trying out variations, recently I tried 3:1 ratio and they came out well. Rice flour (3), roasted urad dal pwd (1).

  7. Dear Sailu garu,
    I never had the opportunity to bring the jantikala press from India and now i am lucky someone is getting it for me. My mom says there is something called Gun type jantikala press (which the current generation says is easier to use) but she never tried it. could you suggest if that works better than this or should I be going with something as u showed here?
    Thanks.
    JOSH

  8. Hi Sailaja, What a lovely post…brings back the nostalgia of childhood…it has been so long since I have seen anyone use these hand pressed utensils. The pic looks so good. Cheers & Keep in touch.

  9. Hi,
    I saw the same picture in eenadu vasundhara section (june 16th 2009) online, I hope they had permission from you, just wanted to let you know.

    Thanks for informing me, Srilatha. They have not taken my permission.

  10. Hi Sailu,
    Tried out the recipe and it was really really tasty! But, when I was pressing the dough through the murukku presser they were just beaking off into small pieces!What do you think would have gone wrong? Please reply, I want to try it once again.

  11. i made these today…superb they turned out..my kiddo loved them very much….so even with urad dal same measurements?plz let me know i wanna prepare thesee muruku with urad dal for new yr.thanks in advance Sailu..

  12. hey Sailu,

    im glad i found this recipe..mom vache tappudu janthekalu gottam thechaaru..ee weekend experiment chesthaanu:)

  13. Hi! As far as I know and from my experience of living in Vijayawada for 5 decades, I realise we do not use chickpea flour / besan / senagapindi in Jantikalu. Instead, for authentic Andhra jantikalu, we use Minapapappu / urad dhal in the ratio of 2 or 3 rise to one urad dhal. I do not deny that your combination is not followed, but if it is authentic Andhra / Krishna District Jantikalu, it is urad dhal which is used. This dhal (whether it is urda dhal or chickpea flour) is used only as a binder, but each has a distinct flavour).

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