Ganpati goes healthy

Ganesh Chaturti is one festival that is synonymous with feasting. Really! The amount of goodies made in honour of the Elephant God used to make me envious as a child and now, when I make some of these goodies myself I can’t help but bask in the festivities. For me this festival is all about chaklis, nevris (crescent shaped pastry stuffed with a coconut mixture and fried), the famous modaks and a host of other traditional delicacies that you can gorge on just this one time in the year.

This year I wanted to do something different.

When I was pondering over what I could make, keeping in mind the various restrictions that each one of us in the family have, I narrowed my choices down and decided that whatever I made had to be steamed, baked, roasted or grilled. Like the rest of us, even Ganpati gets to diet this year. Actually it isn’t so much a diet but just a matter of eating healthy.

A couple of days ago my mom tried her hand at baking some chaklis. For the uninitiated these are spirals made with rice flour, flavoured with chilli powder and sesame seeds. The mother was thrilled with her version of baked chaklis and I was inspired.

I’ve tasted these Roasted Soya Chaklis that I picked up from a store near my place. They were so delicious that I had to stop myself from finishing the whole packed. My search for an easy recipe of Baked Chaklis led me to Divine Taste’s space. The recipe here seemed simple and I knew that I could pull this off. So I decided to make a trial batch yesterday. These came out so well that I’ve now decided to make a bigger batch later this week for the Lord.

The original recipe uses only rice flour and powdered bengal gram flour but I added a little twist, I’ve used nachni (ragi) and jowar flour.

Baked chaklis
Adapted from Divine Taste

1 cup of rice flour
1/4 cup of ragi (nachni/ finger millet) flour
1/4 cup of jowar (sorghum) flour
1/2 cup of roasted bengal gram dal (phutana), powdered in the mixie
1 tsp of salt
3/4 tsp of red chilli powder
A small pinch of hing/asafoetida
1/4 tsp of baking soda
1 tbsp of oil, I used olive oil
1 tsp of sesame seeds
Water to knead

Sift flours, red chilli powder, salt, hing and baking soda together and place it in a mixing bowl.

Now take the olive oil and heat it, but make sure it doesn’t smoke. Pour this over the flour mixture and mix well.

Gradually add water to this and mix well. You will need to use your hands to knead the dough. After the dough has formed add sesame seeds and mix again.

Allow the dough to rest for about 10 minutes.

Place the dough in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe spirals on a greased baking sheet or parchment paper. I used aluminium foil for this step. Bake the chaklis at 160 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on these because, as you go on the chaklis get done faster. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down completely, at this stage you are allowed to pop in a few just to sample, and store in either ziplock bags or an airtight container.

* You can use 1 1/2 cups of rice flour as given in the original recipe if you don’t want to use the other two flours

* Taste the chakli dough as you go along and season accordingly

* Add some ajwain/carom seeds in place of sesame to give it  a different flavour

I’m sending this recipe to the Festival Cooking event at Savis Passions and also to Bake Fest, started by Vardhini, which is now being hosted at Full Scoops this month



  • Hasna Hamza Layin August 25, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    baked chaklis? wow…thats a lovely and healthy twist Renuka… good attempt

  • Priya Suresh August 25, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Wow baked chaklis rocks, definitely a fabulous crunch munchies..

  • Renuka August 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Thanks Hasna, Priya


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