Recipe : Chakali (Bhajanichi)
Chakali made from Bhajani flour (made from roasted cereal, lentils and spices) is a big favourite among the Diwali faraal items that are made in Maharashtra. Occasionally when there is no time to make all Faraal items at home, still the home cooks do find to make atleast these at home around Diwali time.
The recipe is actually a little demanding in terms of time and effort if you make it from scratch; i.e., from making the mixed flour yourself. But for most of us living in an urban set-up where access to flour mills and time are both a luxury, this mixed flour is readily available in most grocery stores. I have posted my grandmother’s recipe here, which includes that for making the flour too.
A. For the Bhajani flour:
4 cups of rice;
2 cups of split and shelled bengal gram (chana dal);
1 cup of split and shelled black-gram (urad dal);
½ cup split and shelled green gram (moong dal);
½ cup coriander seeds;
1 cup thick poha (jada poha);
¼ cup cumin seeds.
- Wash the rice and all the lentils separately. Drain them and spread it out on clean pieces of cloth to air dry.
- Roast the rice and lentils (all separately) in a kadhai with constant tossing, until they release aromas and turn slightly pink in colour. (you could do this in the microwave too, with intermitten stirring and standing times, but be careful of burning the grains as there are ‘hot-spots’ that form in the microwave.)
- Spread out the roasted grains and allow them to cool.
- Roast the poha, coriander seeds and cumin seeds separately and allow them to cool too.
- Mix all the ingredients and mill them in a flour-mill to make a fine flour.
B. For the Chakali:
5 cups of bhajani flour,
5 cups of water,
1tbsp sesame seeds,
1 tsp red chilly powder,
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter),
Salt to taste and
Oil for frying.
- Heat the water and bring it to a boil. Add the ghee, sesame seeds, chilly powder and salt to it and boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, add the flour to the boiling water, give it a quick stir and cover the untensil and allow it to cool.
- Knead the dough with very little oil.
- Grease the chakali maker/ kitchen express and a few plates. Fill the chakali maker with a small amount of dough and press out the chakali spirals from it on the greased plates.
- Heat oil until it reaches a boiling temperature. Lower the heat and fry the Chakalis on a low flame till they are golden brown.
- Drain excess oil on a kitchen towel and cool the Chakalis. Store them in an airtight container or eat straight away.