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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

UPPU SEEDAI / SALTED CHEEDAI (SAVOURY CRUNCHY RICE BALLS)

UPPU SEEDAI / SALTED CHEEDAI (SAVOURY CRUNCHY RICE BALLS) 
GOKULASHTAMI / KRISHNASHTAMI /JANMASHTAMI /KRISHNA JAYANTI, the Birthday of Lord Krishna is round the corner and one of his favourites is Seedai/Cheedai, a savoury crispy crunchy rice lentil balls.
Every year during Gokulashtami Amma used to make Seedais and we used to absolutely love them. We as kids used to toss Seedais into our mouth or each other’s mouth to see if we can aim right, we used to enjoy this challenge although, we used to get scolded for it.
Making seedais was a family ritual, with all of us involved in the rolling the dough balls. 
Ah!!! Missing those days of family bonding so much, especially in making seedai, the more the people the merrier it would be. 
Appa (the major general of our little army) would trick us into competing on who would roll out more seedai balls quickly, we would immediately take on the challenge, so we can win. We would await this ritual every year eagerly until one year, Amma had kept everything ready but as she popped the seedais into the oil, the seedais burst and the oil splattered and she got burnt badly, she had very bad burn marks on her stomach and hand.
My Appa got so angry that he threw all the dough into the bin and told Amma that henceforth she should not make any Bakshanam(Savouries) that would have the potential to burst and that was that. Appa used to buy all the Bakshanams from our dear Madras Stores(Readymade). 
Amma used to prepare Appam, Vadai etc for neivedyam but no more savouries.
The fear continued and I never attempted making seedai to as the incident had scared me. Anyways, Grand Sweets (Chennai) available in our Abdul Rahim stores, Upper dickson road, Singapore was always there for my rescue, Jai Ho!!!
But looking at so many people attempting this savoury, I got tempted to try too.
Just to be honest with you, I’m a "quick gun Murugan" chef and like quick recipes I don’t like to do too many laborious preparations. So in my recipe I have used the store-bought Rice flour and Udad flour (readymade flours), I have used dessicated coconut as well. 
Here’s my recipe of the Seedai, My recipe can make about ½ a kilo (500 gms) of Seedais



Ingredients (Makes about ½ kg of Seedai)
Rice Flour – ¾ cup
Split white lentil (Udad Dal /Urad dal/ Ulutham parippu) Flour – 1 tbsp
Split Bengal Gram lentil (Chana Dal/Kadalaparuppu) - 1 tbsp
Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida (Hing / Perungayam) - ½ tsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Salt as per Taste
Oil for Deep Frying
A muslin cloth or towel

Method
Soak the Chana dal in water for about 15 minutes.
Dry roast the flours in a non-stick pan for about 2-3 minutes in a low flame, ensuring to stand and monitor the roasting and not letting it change colour or catch the bottom. Let it cool down.
Now, Sieve the Flours, this is very important. Do not use the flour which has not passed through the sieve. This ensures that you get a smooth flour with no lumps.
Now, in a deep Mixing ball, Add the flours as per the measure above, add in the grated coconut, asafoetida, butter, the soaked and drained Chana dal and salt as per taste. Mix well, the butter should get one with the flour, so that when you hold it in your hand, it forms the shape of your hand. Then add water little by little and knead well to make a smooth dough. The best part about rice flour is it’s easily manageable with people who are not much experienced as well.
The dough should be stiff and not sticky to your hands. Add water slowly, sprinkle little by little if not confident.
Now, grease your fingers with some oil, take a small quantity of dough and roll it into a tiny ball.
While rolling, we need to roll it gently into a pliable ball, if too hard the seedai may burst.
Do not make big balls, the smaller the balls, the crunchier they turn out. Continue making the balls.
If you do not have people helping you making the balls while you are frying then you need to wet a muslin cloth, squeeze the excess water, the cloth must be moist and throw the balls onto the moist cloth, this is to ensure that the flour doesn’t get dry. Rice flour gets dry very fast.
As you keep making the balls then just cover it with the cloth gently.
Once finished rolling all the balls check, if you feel the balls are moist, allow them to dry out a bit before you start frying
Now comes the frying part, this by far is the most crucial part of making the Seedai.
Before you start, frying we need to ensure that the oil is nice and hot, but not fuming hot. Put a tiny pinch of dough to check first, if you see that the dough comes rising to the top, means your oil is ready.
I usually out one as a test run to see how it reacts (Because of my fear factor), once done, and all ok I add batches of about 15-20 balls at a time. Once you put in a batch of seedais in oil, keep the strainer ladle on top just in case and do not turn them immediately. Increase the flame a bit as when you drop a batch the temperature goes down, after about a minute, lower the flame and slowly turn the seedais to the other side. Let them fry on one side. If we keep the flame high to speed up the process, the seedai will turn brown and instead of being crunchy will be cooked on the outside and chewy on the inside.
The right temperature and being alert during the frying process is a must to ensure perfect seedais. Deep fry the balls until golden in color and you can feel them sound like little marbles on your ladle. Remove and drain excess oil on a paper towel. Allow it to cool down, then store the seedais in an airtight box.
I made this is as a neivedhyam Bakshanam for Gokulashtami. It gave me immense pleasure to serve my Lord, the Home made seedais made with love.
Enjoy these little crunchy balls on the go or as a snack with your tea/coffee. 

Statutory Warning !!!
Do not pop into your mouth, the hot seedai balls once out of the oil you may burn your tongue. Let it cool down first.  The crunch comes only once cool down.




Tips

· Follow the ratio exactly as given in my website. We need to use the right ratio otherwise the seedai will not turn out good. Adding more udad dal flour, makes the seedai burst open as well and you will see that the color would become dark, similarly adding less udad dal flour makes the color very light.

· You can sieve the flours twice to ensure that the flour is butter smooth, this ensures that the seedais won’t burst when frying. Better to be safe than sorry since we are using the store-bought readymade flours. Anil Rice flour/Kuzhakattai flour/Idiyappam flour are all good to make this recipe.

In my recipe I have used dessicated coconut. Incase, you are using fresh coconut roast them to a pink colour. After roasting, let it cool before adding to your flour mix.

· Adding more butter will make the seedai too brittle.

· To make more just double the measurements given 



Variations

· Vegans can replace butter with 1 tablespoon of Coconut oil, if adding oil, slightly warm up the oil     before adding.

· For those who want to make it the traditional way using the home made rice flour, which is considered by the elders and experienced as the best due to its smooth texture and also because you know what rice goes into the making.

1 comment:

  1. Uppu Seedai looks perfect. Just like the store bought ones. I prefer to see written recipes and follow them rather than videos as I need to rewind and check while making. Thanks for giving it in written and made it easierto follow.

    ReplyDelete

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