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Chakli
Chakli (with Bhajani)

Ingredients

For the 'bhajani'

  • 4 cups rice,
  • 2 cups bengal gram, split (Chana dal),
  • 1 cup black gram, split (Udad dal),
  • 1/2 cup coriander seeds,
  • 1/4 cup cumin seeds,

For the dough,

(yields approx 40 chaklis)

  • 2 cups bhajani flour,
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds,
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain,
  • red chili powder (as per the taste),
  • a pinch of turmeric powder(optional),
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida,
  • salt to taste,
  • 1/4 cup oil (called 'mohan' in marathi)

Method for 'bhajani' flour

  1. Roast rice, bengal gram and black gram (each item separately) till the grains turn crisp. Do not use oil for roasting.
  2. Also roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
  3. Grind together all these items into a very fine powder.
    This is 'bhajani' flour for chakli. This can last upto a year if store in an airtight container.

How to make chaklis

  1. Heat some oil/ghee in a pan until it reaches the smoking stage. Pour it over the bhajani and mix.
  2. Add sesame seeds, ajwain, salt, turmeric powder, chili powder, and approx. 1 cup boiling water into the bhajani.
  3. Knead the flour to make a soft pliable dough. Put it in the chakli mold or kitchen press.
  4. Press out in circular motion to make chaklis of desired size (generally of 3 rotations).
  5. Heat enough oil in the pan. When oil is heated enough, turn the heat to medium to low and put chaklis in the pan. Avoid overfrying.
    Fry chaklis in small batches of 2 to 3. A well done chakli stops bubbling and starts going down in the oil.
    Once cool, store Chaklis in an airtight container.

Tips: 1) Chaklis break at the time of frying if abundant oil is used in the flour.

2) On the other hand, they turn hard if the amount of oil is not sufficient.

3) Bhajani should be ground to a very fine powder.

4) Fry chakalis in small batches or 2 to 3 at a time to achieve crispness, else they become soggy. Replace the oil periodically (when you see the oil becoming frothy) or they break at the time of frying.

5) The oil should be sufficiently hot (but not at the smoking point), else chaklis soak up lots of oil and may not become crisp. Also once oil is heated enough, turn the heat to lowest setting. High heat causes them to cook on the outside, while staying uncooked from the inside, or sometimes they even burn and taste bitter.

6) If for some reason, chaklis loose their crispness after some time, reheat them in microwave (adjust the timing) and they become crisp once again.