If you are still thinking , what would be the menu for the spring break of kids , then …. keep on thinking with these savory snacks. 😀 And thinking would be light as fun. These “Namkeen Champakali” or namkeen karela or Elo-Jhelo as they are called, are another version of “Namak Pare“. So making them would delve you into another artistic world. If you have grown up kids and they love to help you in kitchen, you could start a new art class with them. 🙂
The most basic question that everyone asks me is that why they are called Champakali, so the answer would be that they resemble an Indian flower called Champakali , but wait. They do resemble a flower but not Champakali; neither in color , nor in taste. 😛 . No , I haven’t eaten any flowers in my childhood. 😀
So lets begin with this beautiful recipe which is not only appealing to the eyes ,but also to our tongues.
Warning : Never search the word “Champakali” on you tube . 😛
- All purpose flour (Maida) – 2 cups
- Cooking oil (Peanut / Moin/ ghee) – 1/4 cup
- Dried Beets ( chukundar) – 2 slices or 2 tsp powder
- Water – 3/4 cup
- Carom seeds (ajwain) – 1 tsp
- Table salt (regular) – 1 tsp or to taste
- Red pepper powder (Lal mirch) – 1/2 tsp
- Chaat masala – 1/2 tsp (optional)
- Dry fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) – 2 tsp (crushed)
- Oil for deep frying – 2 cups
| Preparation time : 10 mins | Frying time : 40-45 mins | Rest time :15 mins | Makes almost 27 champakalis |
- Take a tureen (a paraat) or a mixing bowl. Add flour to it. Make a well in it with hands.
- Take a saucepan and add water to it. Bring it to a boil. Add dried beets to it and let it sizzle till the beets leave out a dark maroon color in the water. You may use fresh beets also. If you are using beet powder add a tsp at a time and adjust the color you want .
- Add oil, salt, carom seeds,red chilli powder and chaat masala in the well and mix them well with hands. It is always good to knead the flour with dry and clean hands. Since you will be able to adjust the quantity of oil ,water by feeling the texture. Roast kasoori methi in microwave for 15 seconds or on flame for 2 mins. Crush it and add it to your dough for added flavor.
- Now add the warm filtered water in the flour little by little. Knead it into a soft and stiff dough. Adding too much water has a pay-off while frying. So add as little water as needed for binding.
- Let the dough rest for 15 to 20 mins by covering it with a wet cloth.
- Heat some oil in a wok(kadhai). Keep the heat in the medium-high range.
- In the meanwhile, pinch small size portions from dough and roll them into small balls or pedha(pedhiyan). Keep them covered under wet cloth ,lest they might dry.
- Roll each pedha on a rolling board(chakla) or cutting board with a rolling pin (belan). I preferred rolling them on my cutting board, to save my chakla from cutter or knife scratches.
- When it has rolled sufficiently thin (not too thin or too thick), mark parallel lines with a knife starting from one edge of the rolled puri. Make cuts such that they are not through to the edges ,but just scale across the puri as shown in the pic below.
- From one edge pick it up and start rolling it with fingers, such that it looks like a spiralled toffee. Seal the ends of this toffee -shape neatly so that they don’t open while frying.
- In this way, prepare all the champakalis and keep them ready for frying.
- Once oil is hot, lower the heat and add these beauties one at a time in the oil gently to avoid flipping of oil. Start with a low count, so that you get to know how much heat they need .
- Accomodate as many as could fit in your wok(kadhai) without touching each other. They swell slightly on frying, so keep this in mind while adding them in oil.
- Similarly roll, cut lines, roll (with hands) and fry each of these in medium to low hot oil.
- They are ready to come out of the oil, once you see the sizzling in oil has dampened and they are crispier to touch. Take them out in a paper-towel lined plate.
Remember it is necessary to lower the heat while they are frying, since they don’t burn or change color and remain crisp for a long time.
Enjoy them with your daily tea or as mid-meal snacks. Also they are anytime better than cookies , biscuits and cakes since they have comparatively less carbs and sugar.
Till then keep cooking and sharing….