Maharashtrian Bhajani Chakli
What is chakli?
Chakli is a snack that is generally spicy and has a spiral shape. It is super crunchy and comes in different flavors; not all of them are spicy. Deep- frying makes it crunchier and gives Chakli its well-known taste. It is enjoyed in different states of India.
Different names in different states refer to it. It is known as Chakli in Maharashtra, Dantakali in Odisha, Murukku in Tamil-speaking states, Chakkuli in Karnataka, Chakralu in Telugu speaking states, and Chakri in Konkani speaking states. It has received love even in Indonesia, and there it is popular by the name Akar Kelapa.
An amalgam of rice flour along with Bengal gram flour that is chickpea flour and black gram flour that is locally referred to as urad dal is utilized to make regular Chakli. It is seasoned with different condiments.
What is chakli press?
Chakli press is kitchen equipment helpful in forming the well-known spiral shape that gives Chakli its identity. It is also recognized as murukku maker. Traditionally made with brass now it is available in different types of materials.
Consisting of two cylinders, one at the top having handle on either sides and one at the bottom, it also has some plates with design. The bottom cylinder is hollow, and the top one is solid, which can easily slide into the bottom one. Both the cylinders have handles. Base of the bottom cylinder has a mechanism that holds the designed plates.
Chakli dough is added into the hollow cylinder, and pressure is applied with the help of a solid cylinder. Do not forget to oil the equipment.
What is Bhajani chakli?
Bhajani Chakli is a Maharashtrian dish that the elders of the family pass down the generations. Every household has its special recipe and procedure for making Chakli. Rice, along with other lentils like chickpea (Bengal gram), black gram (urad dal), and moong dal, are cleaned, dried, and roasted with cumin seeds and coriander seeds to utilize them as dough for making Chakli after grinding them. The flour obtained is called bhajani which is later seasoned with carom seeds (ajwain), sesame seeds (til), and other spices.
There are two ways to make bhajani chakli flour. One is intricate, and the other is instant. You can even purchase bhajani flour from the market. No matter however you manage to get the flour, the procedure to make Chakli is the same.
Homemade Bhajani flour
- After rice and other lentils are cleaned and dried, roast them in a cauldron until they are covered in a brown hue. Do not mix them all; it is recommended to roast them individually.
- In the same cauldron roast cumin and coriander seeds.
- If you possess a powerful grinder, then grind it at home; otherwise, give it to a professional mill as most Indians give. Do not forget to sift the flour after grinding.
- Grinding ingredients at home makes the flour more coarse as compared to grinding it at a professional mill. The coarse flour will require more water to form the dough. Make sure that the dough is neither stiff nor too soft. Consistency of the dough will affect the texture and crunchiness of the Chakli.
Instant Bhajani flour
- To a cauldron, add rice flour, chickpea flour that is besan, and black gram flour, roast them well. Keep stirring while you roast them.
- Later add ground and roasted cumin and coriander seeds to the blend.
Remember to sift the flour before making the dough. The amount of spice can be altered according to your spice tolerance. Add water slowly as per requirement. The ends of Chakli need to be secured to prevent it from breaking.
Make medium-sized spirals, neither too large nor too small. Oil needs to be hot before adding Chakli in it, this will avert the Chakli from breaking, but it will also take care that less oil is absorbed by them.
- To bhajani flour, add red chili powder, sesame seeds, salt, turmeric, and carom seeds. Knead the dough with the help of hot oil and hot water.
- Taste the dough to check the level of spice and salt. Leave the dough covered in a moist towel to prevent it from drying.
- In a cauldron, add oil and keep it on moderate heat.
- Add star shape plate in the bottom cylinder of the chakli maker followed by chakli dough. Slide in the top cylinder and start applying pressure while rotating your hand in a spiral motion, don't forget to secure the ends.
- After reassuring that the oil is hot, start adding Chakli into the oil. Once they have become crisp and have changed their color to golden brown on both sides, take them out and line them on a paper towel to do away with excess oil.
Before storing them, make sure that they have cooled down.
Festival and Chakli
Faral is a combination of different savory snacks that are made especially during Diwali. Diwali is incomplete without faral. Chakli is the central part of faral. Chakli is loved by everyone, and often siblings get into a fight over the last piece of Chakli. Chakli is made few days prior to Diwali. It is a time when the older generation meets the younger generation.
Along with the recipe, many beautiful memories are created. Many of us will have some stories that are associated with chakli making. Hence, we can say that Chakli not only satisfies our hunger and our taste buds but it also fills our heart with love and our mind with sweet memories.
Storage and Shelf Life
Chakli needs to be kept away from moisture and air as it loses its crunchiness when it comes in contact with either one of them. So it is ideal to be stored in a container that is air-tight. Traditionally, it is stored in large brass or steel container, and newspaper is added before putting on the lid. It can last up to few months, but it is often observed that it gets finished within weeks as it is super tasty.