Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cheedais and Murukkus for Janmaashtami

We are done with the Janmaashtami festival weeks ago. Than why am I still savouring the dishes made for Sri Krishna days on end? Purva and Priti are hosting the Festive Food season with dishes for Janmaashtami and Ganesh Chathurthi until we do the Visarjan for Ganapathy Bappa. So I would love to join them in the celebrations too. These dishes are being posted to go to the Janmaashtami - Ganesh Chathurthi special event.

Here are the dishes those feature every year as neivedhyams for Nanda Lala. The basic Rice flour and Roasted Black lentil ( Roasted Urad dhal) are the same, only the propotions vary.
Wash well and soak raw rice for a few hours.
Drain and dry until moist on a cloth.
Take small portions in the jar of the mixie and powder until very fine.
Remove and seive. Run the coarse powder again to obtain fine flour.
Spread a clean cloth in two or three folds and spread the flour over it.
Dry roast black gram in a kadai.
Cool and powder to a fine powder in the mixie.
Seive and repeat to obtain fine powder.
The basic powdered ingredients are ready.

The above flours, salt, butter and oil for deep frying are the main ingredients for all the savoury bakshanams. The vella cheedai is a sweet version that uses jaggery.
Thaen kuzhal:

The proportion of raw rice to urad dhal is 5 parts to 1.
If you are unable to pound the rice and intend to use store bought flour, use 2 cups of rice flour and 1/4 cup of urad dhal flour.
Other ingredients for the above
3 table spoons of butter at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
Oil for deep frying.
Mix the rice flour, roasted urad flour, all the dry ingredients and salt well. Rub the butter in and mix thoroughly.
Make a smooth but stiff dough using enough water.
Heat oil in a kadai and press the thaenkuzhal in the murukku press fitted with the 3 round hole plate into the oil.
Press small murukkus in the oil just as many, not crowding them in the oil.
Fry them in warm oil until crisp and golden. Remove from oil and place on absorbent tissue.
When cool, store the thaenkuzhal in airtight containers.
Kai Murukku:

The kai murukkus are made using 12 parts of rice flour to 1 part urad dhal flour. It is okay if the proportion varies a bit but not much. If the urad dhal flour gets excess, the murukku will be hard, so caution should be exercised.
Again white sesame seeds and cumin seeds are added to flavour the murukku.
3 cups rice flour
1/4 cups urad dhal flour
3 tablespoons butter
White sesame seeds and cumin seeds as required
Salt to taste
Asafoetida powder as per taste
Few spoons of coconut oil to oil your fingers
Oil for deep frying.
Mix all the ingredients but the oils, to a smooth dough adding enough water. The dough should turn between your fingers.
Spread a clean white cloth, crease-free. Dip tips of your thumb, index finger and middle finger in the coconut oil. Pick up a small portion of the dough and holding the major portion in your palm, press between the oiled fingertips on the spread cloth pinching and forming a twisted rope pattern, turning in a round.
This comes well with practice. Repeat with the mixed dough.
While half way at making the patterns, keep oil in a kadai on the stove.
When oil is hot, lift the murukkus gently using the dosa spatula and drop in the oil as many will fit without crowding.
Fry until crisp, drain and place on absorbent tissues before storing in airtight containers.

Thattais are made with the same proportion of both flours as for the Kai murukkus.
Yummy additions are channa dhal and moong dhal soaked and drained as well as curry leaves and chilli powder or coarsely powdered black peppercorns.
3 cups rice flour
1/4 cup roasted urad dhal flour
Chilli powder or black pepper powder as per taste
Salt to taste
Washed, soaked and drained channa dhal and moong dhal few teaspoons
Butter 2 tablespoons
Curry leaves, cumin seeds and white sesame seeds as desired
Mix all ingredients well and adding water gradually make a smooth but stiff dough that can be flattened in small circular discs without breaking.
Spread a clean white cloth crease free. Take small portions and flatten them in discs over the cloth.
Prick small perforations with a fork or tooth-picks. This will ensure that the thattais don't puff up like pooris once dropped in oil.
Some people find it easier to flatten these on oiled polythene sheets too.
Once the discs are done, deep fry them in hot oil until crisp and golden. Drain, remove and place them on absorbent tissues.
Store in airtight containers.
Uppu Cheedai:

These are tiny savoury balls deep fried. The one addition to the thattai dough makes the uppu cheedai even more delectable is dessicated coconut.
Caution is that the rice flour has to be dry roasted until warm before adding all the ingredients.
Otherwise mishaps like cheedais erupting in hot oil may occur.
Also do not roll the balls very smooth. The stiffer the dough the crisper and oil-free the cheedais.
The ingredients are the same as those for thattais given above. Quantity of coconut can be to your liking, but just few spoons will be enough.
Mix the dough adding little water. Roll in uneven small balls on a plate.
Deep fry in hot oil without crowding, and turning them all around. Once the sizzling sound of oil subsides you may remove the cheedais with a slotted ladle and drain on absorbent tissues.
Ideally the cheedais will develop tiny cracks and there may be particles that may form residue in the oil. You can strain the oil between batches.
Vella Cheedai:

These are deep-fried but sweet balls made of rice flour and urad dhal flour mixed in slightly boiled jaggery syrup. The consistency of the jaggery syrup plays a major roll as much as the quantity of jaggery. They may simply break while being deep fried if this caution is not exercised.
4 cups of rice flour
1/4 cup roasted urad dhal flour
2 cups of powdered jaggery (paagu vellam quality is best)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 tablespoon Butter
Sesame seeds 2 teaspoons
Coconut scrappings/Dessicated coconut 2 tablespoons
Oil for deep frying
Roast the rice flour until you can drop-draw it in an even line and even more until roasted red.
Keep reserve some roasted flour.
Add very little warm water to the jaggery, dissolve and strain impurities.
Put in a kadai and allow to come to a boil. Switch fire off and drop the rice flour in it and mix well.
Allow to cool and add the rest of the ingredients and mix very well.
Roll them in gooseberry size balls on a flat plate.
Heat oil and deepfry on low heat turning just once or twice. Fry until they are crimson-red.
Remove using slotted ladle and store them as the rest of the others listed above.
The vella cheedais will most certainly develop cracks. But they shall not dissintegrate in the oil.
If such a situation arises, use some of the roasted flour kept reserve, add to the mixed flour mix and proceed.
All these are prepared and offered to Sri Krishna on Janmaashtami in most Tamil homes alongwith butter, aval, payasam and many fruits.
These are all not very difficult to make. With practice we may master the propotion.
Deep frying in coconut oil ensures longer shelf life. Vella chedais are done best in ghee. However, it is certainly not a compromise to use other cooking oils.


  1. Hey first time here!!!
    You have a cute space here..
    Keep rocking
    Sarah NAveen

  2. It has been a long i had kai murukku, such a lovely array of crispy cheedais and murukkus, U r simply rocking, dunno how u manage to do everything..am hungry now!

  3. WOW!!! so many savouries.... everything looks yumm....

  4. Every thing looks crispy & perfect....save some for me.I love that Tanjore painting.

  5. Wow all my fav...looks awesome...specially long time since had this type of murukku and I just love your blog header..looks very cool

  6. I love thattai a lot lata.. the cheedai also looks yummy

  7. A lot many dishes for Janmaashtami - Ganesh Chathurthi. You will definitely be showered with blessings from both Lord Krishna and Ganesha..

  8. Mouth watering delicacies.
    The murukkus look melt-in-the-mouth.
    I love the Tanjore painting. I have already planned to get a couple of them in my next trip to India.

  9. hi Lata,
    The savouries look yummy :) perfectly done and simple and well explained recipes :)the painting looks amazing. Mouthwatering eats dear:)

  10. So many delicicies,will try few of them :)

  11. Lovely array of dishes, wish i lived some where near you.

  12. Nice entries.. enakku kai murukku panna vera mattenguthu.. naan try pannitten. proper shape varalai..

  13. All the bakshanams look so inviting and tempting....wish I could taste some now :-)

  14. Please collect your award at http://padmasrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/09/neer-dosasweet-filling.html

  15. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your lovely comments dear. U to have a great blog with so many lip-smacking recipes. Will be visiting frequently, keep rocking:)

  16. Oh everything looks so yummmmmmm!!!

  17. Please accept your award from my blog dear

  18. lovely showcase of neivedyams...

  19. this is really a grand and delicious feast for eyes.....
    Thank you for the yummy entries for the event

  20. Delicious and classic recipe.. Gr8 job!!

  21. oh these look delicious, definietly not for the calorie conscious people!

  22. Eevrything looks so yummy dear :)

  23. Lovely entries for the event lata....v well explained:)


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Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.