Diwali, a time for lights, love, laughter and chakna! ✨

A day to bask in joy that encapsulates an entire city that is filled with lights and laughter, celebrated with your loved ones and some special food.

This Diwali also marks the day that I acquired a new skill- chakna maker!

Mum has been in charge of this activity every single year for Christmas. With me, her little helper(aka taster) eagerly watching by her side.But this year, is going to be the year for me to take over.

Diwali being the best occasion to put the skills to test, I decided to make 2 of my chakna’s:

1. Butter Murukku/Chakli

2. Nippattu

Tip: if you are a pro at kneading dough, making Murukku’s will be a breeze.

Reality: I am NOT a pro at kneading dough because I’m not a fan of the task 😅 but tried and tested(along with following exact measurements), it worked out in the end! Along with having a ton of fun in the process, I must say!

Butter Murukku recipe:

Ingredients:

• 2 cups rice flour

• 2 to 3 tbsp fried gram or pottukadalai or putnalu powder

• ¼ cup besan or gram flour or chickpea flour

• 1 ½ tbsp soft butter at room temperature (unsalted)

• Salt as needed

• Water at room temperature as needed

• 1 pinch hing or asafoetida

• ¾ tsp cumin or sesame seeds or both

• oil for frying

Method:

1. Measure and keep all the ingredients ready in a mixing bowl. Powder 2 to 3 tbsp fried gram in a mixer.

2. Mix together rice flour, fried gram flour, besan, salt, hing , cumin and soft butter. Make sure the butter incorporates well and evenly with the flour. Set this aside.

3. Heat oil on a medium flame for deep frying. While the oil heats up knead the dough.

4. Pour water little by little as needed and mix together to form a smooth crack free dough.

5. Fill the mould with a small section of the dough.  Keep the rest of the dough covered with a moist cloth.

6. Check if the oil is hot by adding a small flat piece of dough to the hot oil. If the dough raises the oil is hot enough to fry.

7. Press murukku maker over the hot oil gently to release the dough. You can also make them to spirals on a moist cloth & drop them slowly into the oil.

8. Do not disturb them for a minute as it might break.

9. After a minute stir them often to fry evenly. When they turn golden, drain them on a kitchen tissue. Repeat to make more until the entire dough finishes.

10. Wait for the murukku to cool down and store in a airtight jar.

Let’s not forget the second dish, Nippattu.

Just remember, the base is the same as the butter Murukku, the only difference is an addition of some raw ingredients and the process of shaping the snack before frying.

Traditionally, Nippattu is round. I decided to just do whatever I wanted and went for diamond cuts. Which eventually turned into any ol’shape 😄 what can I say, I was having fun!

As the base of the snack is the same as the murukku, all I did was add in some raw pottukadalai, 2 stalks worth of chopped curry leaves and 8 dried red chillis(also finely chopped).

Mixed into the dough well and rolled out into a flat dough, to cut the shapes.

Hopefully with more practice and of course, experiments, I am going to be ready for Christmas to come! I can’t wait! ✨🎄❤️

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