Thattai (meaning flat disc) are inexorably delicious crackers prepared in our family for Deepavali. It is so astonishing to find numerous varieties of thattai made all over India using various lentils, grains & spices, and hence it has varied flavour, texture or colour in every state, every district and also in every family. These crispy savory discs have been given different names in different regions viz., thattu vadai in Salem, thattai murukku in Tamilnadu, nippattu in Karnataka, chekkalu in Andhra Pradesh, papdi in North India.
Now the recipe for thattai prepared in our family for generations, and you can also check out other Deepavalai recipes here.
Yields: 31 thattai
- Idli rice – 1 cup (200 g)
- Black gram flour (ulundhu maavu) – 1 tbsp
- Roasted gram (pottu kadalai) flour – 1 tbsp
- Ghee/ butter/ hot oil – 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1½ tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Asafoetida powder (hing) – ¼ tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Soaked Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu/ split chickpeas) – 1 tbsp
- Soaked black gram (ulundhu) – 1 tsp
- Chopped coconut meat – 1 tbsp
- Fresh curry leaves – 2 sprigs
- Peanut oil/ coconut oil for deep frying – about 500 ml
Time taken – 10 min (excluding the time for soaking & flour making)
- Wash & soak rice (for 3 hours) and Bengal gram & blackgram separately.
- Grind rice into a fine paste after adding enough water required for smooth grinding.
- Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl.
- Add black gram flour, roasted gram flour, red chilli powder, turmeric powder & asafoetida powder into the dough and mix well.
- Then add salt & ghee and knead until incorporated.
- Add soaked lentils, coconut pieces & curry leaves and mix well.
- Now divide dough into goose berry sized balls and cover them with dry cloth.
Time taken: 50 minutes to form thattai discs & fry them all
- Place a ball of dough on a clean dry cloth, press & spread it with the tip of your fingers into a thin disc.
- Press 15 more balls in the same way while leaving enough space between each disc.
- Now heat oil (1 inch depth) in a frying pan over medium flame.
- When you notice the oil beginning to smoke, reduce the flame to low.
- Remove a disc by slightly lifting the cloth & placing the disc onto your fingers (except thumb) and drop it carefully into oil (at about 170 deg C).
- Repeat step#5 to drop 3 more discs into oil and fry them in medium flame.
- When the sizzling sound settles, remove them using frying spoon.
- Place fried thattai on paper towels to drain excessive oil.
- Repeat steps 5 to 8 to fry the next batch.
- Now turn off the stove.
- Repeat steps 1 to 10 to press another set of discs until all the dough is used up.
- When fried thattai reach room temperature, store them in an air-tight container.
- Serve crispy savory thattai with tea or coffee in the evening.
- We can either use store-bought black gram flour or prepare it at home by dry roasting lentils in medium flame, grind them at room temperature & sieve through a fine mesh. Else we can grind & sieve the roasted gram as below.
- If the dough becomes sticky, wrap it in a dry cotton cloth for some time; it helps to absorb the excessive moisture.
- I fried 4 thattai in a batch & hence pressed 16 at a time; you may change the batch size according to the size of pan.
- We can make perfect crispy thattai only when we fry them constantly in medium flame. I used cold-pressed peanut oil and heated upto 170 deg C, but the heat & time may slightly vary depending on the oil used.
- If you find it laborious to press the dough, place it between 2 greased polythene sheets (or baking sheets) and press with roti/ tortilla press or you can press it as shown below. At the end you may need to press with your fingers to flatten them as thin as possible. But I prefer to press them on a piece of cloth rather than plastic sheet as it absorbs the moisture (unlike polythene sheets) & in turn helps to make thattai thinner & faster.
We can also prepare thattai in a jiffy by tweaking this recipe a little as below:
- Replace rice batter with store-bought raw rice flour.
- Replace soaked lentils with roasted gram or roasted peanuts.
- Add crushed peppercorns & cumin seeds by replacing curry leaves, coconut pieces, chilli, turmeric & asafoetida powder.