This is the third in my series of posts this week on Diwali sweets and savouries. The first post was on Thenkuzhal and Mullu Murukku. Ribbon Pakoda is another universal favourite and I love this slightly spicy, crunchy snack. The main difference from the first two savouries is that we use Chickpea flour (besan) and rice flour instead of rice flour and split green gram flour. The murukku press uses the flat line shaped discs and there is also a bit of chilli powder added to the flour. So this snack is a lovely golden brown in colour.
2 cups - besan (chickpea flour)
1 cup - rice flour
Melted Butter - 5 tbsp (I used unsalted butter, if you use salted butter, adjust the quantity of salt)
Sesame seeds - 1.5 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 level tsp (approximately)
Water - I ended up using about 250ml of water totally, but added it very gradually so as to not end up with a sticky mass.
1. Mix the rice flour, chickpea flour, sesame seeds and asafoetida in a large bowl. Melt the butter till just liquid and then mix into the flour gradually. Add the salt - its always better to add a little less and then increase it after tasting the dough. Mix till all the ingredients come together.
3. The dough may just about be able to come together but not able to hold shape. Start adding the water a little at a time and knead into a soft, pliable dough. At this stage, you can leave it a little bit firmer than what is actually needed and then add some more water to each batch just before being pressed out.
4. Divide the dough into 4-5 portions, each just enough amount to fit into the murukku press. Keep the rest aside covered by a damp cloth so that it doesn't dry out and work with one portion at a time.
5. Grease the insides of the murukku press. Take one portion of the dough and add about a tbsp of water (if needed), put into the murukku press. Use the plate which has a star shaped hole in it.
6. Press down on a oiled quarter plate or even a greased plastic sheet - it should be easy to press out and the shapes should form easily. If you are finding it difficult to press out the dough, then remove the portion and add one or two tbsp of water to it and try again till you come to a stage where it becomes easy to press out the ribbon shapes. It doesn't matter if the shapes don't come out into an exact round shape - as you keep pressing it will become easier to control. Don't press out too much at one time since it will take time to cook.
7. Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadhai/wok - test the temperature by putting a small bit of pressed dough into the oil, it should rise to the top. If not wait for some more time. Keep the flame on medium low at all times.
8. When the oil is hot enough, slide the pressed out shapes from the plate/plastic sheet onto your hand and then slide it slowly into the hot oil, taking care not to drop it from a height,else the oil might splash on to your hands. Put in a few more or as much as the pan can accomodate without overcrowding.
9. When it rises to the top, flip over and fry for a few more minutes - till the bubbling of the oil stops and the ribbon pakoda is cooked through and a golden brown in colour. Wait for the first batch to cool and eat one to check the salt and consistency. Accordingly adjust the seasoning if needed and correct the frying time for the next batch.
10. Press out the remaining portions as well in the same manner.