THENKUZHAL - Easy Deepavali Snacks.
If I translate Thenkuzhal in English, it would be Reeds of Honey. Sounds good! But wait. Do not conclude that it tastes sweet. On the contrary, it is a savoury. Isn't this an oxymoron? Well it is.
I had always been fond of Thenkuzhal as a kid. It is my dad's favourite too. This snack brings a lot of childhood memories. My grandmother used to prepare and pack a big portion when I returned back home from her place after Deepavali break. Munching on crispy T's with Dad during tea time was so much fun. We could even finish off the whole lot in one go - as if there was no tomorrow.
Here goes the recipe. What you see in the pictures above is my MIL 's version and is a never failing formula. It has a light brown colour due to the addition of chilli powder. Thenkuzhal is actually meant to have an almost beige coloured tint.
It is said that Lord Krishna was very fond of this and hence a 'must' recipe during Krishna Jayanthi/ Janmashtami.
Cooking Time : 30 min
Yields : 20 discs
Recipe Category: Snack / Savoury
Recipe level : Medium
Spice level : Mild
- 5 cups Rice flour
- 1 cup whole Black gram/ Urad dhal
- 1 1/2 tbsp softened unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
- Salt to taste
- Water to mix the dough
- Oil for deep fry
- 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
- Start heating Oil in a Kadai and keep the flame simmered.
- In another pan or kadai, dry roast the urad dhal until a nice aroma wafts. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
- In the same kadai, dry roast the sesame seeds for 2 min to remove any moisture. Set this aside.
- In a vessel, add the rice flour, urad dhal flour. Crush cumin seeds and sesame seeds between your palms (to ensure it is very lightly done) and add it to the flour.
- Rub the softened butter into the flour and mix very well to ensure its well mixed.
- Add salt. Then start adding water little by little to make a smooth yet stiff dough.
- Check if the oil is hot enough. Using a Chakli mould, press it into a disc in circular motion starting from the exterior and finish off in the center .
- You could also press out the dough into small circular shaped discs into the hot oil. Press two or three at a time based on your kadai's diameter.
- You will notice big frothy bubbles in the beginning that dies out as the cooking proceeds. Flip over and cook. When it stops sizzling, drain on to paper towels to cool.
- Transfer it to an airtight container. You can base the container with some tissue papers to absorb the excess oil.
- Once your dough is ready, you should start cooking straight away. If you rest the dough, it will start fermenting and affects the crispness. Hence, you need to start heating the oil first before mixing the dough.
- At any point, do not add more butter than mentioned. If you do so, the oil will start frothing too much and makes your Thenkuzhal soggy.
- Chilli powder is totally optional. I added it just to impart some colour.
- It is best to dry roast sesame seeds to remove any moisture. This is to prevent the sesame seeds from bursting and splashing hot oil while you cook.