Tag: chakkli

How to make epic chakkli like my mom

How to make epic chakkli like my mom

As you may all know, today is Gokulashtami / Krishna Jayanti. It’s the grandest festival in my house and we all love it; “we” being my neighbours, my friends, cousins, colleagues, random strangers who visit the house during the festival, etc. I doubt the excitement is because Krishna was born. I mean, it is, to an extent. But a lot more excitement is because of all the thindi. My mom makes chakkli, kodbale, muchchoray, tengol, kadlekai mithai, kobri mithai, kadlekai unde, puri unde, rave unde, besan laadu, chigli and so many other thindi items with weird names. She makes this every year without fail and in HUGE quantities.

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Krishna overdose

We give all our neighbours, friends and colleagues the thindies on the day of Gokulashtami. And it’s not just anyone making the thindi. It’s my mom and her best friend, Prema aunty. They’re out-and-out pros! Anyone who smells the chakkli-making immediately pops into my house for a bite. Uttara, who hadn’t come home for some six months (although she lives next door) came home yesterday, secretly broke her fast and ate a piece of chakkli. Such is the effect of the chakkli frying smell.

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Crunchy chakklies

This year, I thought I’ll help my mom out a bit. I decided to make chakkli. And I decided to write the recipe, just for fun. The mess around the house, the atta flying all over the kitchen, boxes of thindi on the dining table, the aroma of elakki, sugar, ginger, and the spicy warmth of kodbaley and tengol really added to my festive spirit.

So here’s how you go about making chakkli.

1. Ask your mom if you can help. She might usually turn you away because you’re no good. But this year, Prema aunty can’t make it because she has baby-sitting duties. So my mom gladly obliged.

2. Watch and learn. My mom works fast and she’s not the most patient person in the world. If you don’t get it right ten times, she’s gonna ask you to go away. So learn quick.

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The mould and shaping plates you need to make chakkli and other confectionaries

3. You need akki (rice), uddin bele (black gram) in a 4:1 proportion. Wash them, dry them, roast them and take them to the guy who makes it aa powder. Flour mill guy. “Bees kondu banni,” says my mom.

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The beesing guy

4. After that, add salt to taste, heat some oil and add that too.

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Before kneading

5. Add water, some hing, and knead it.

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While kneading

6. You need to smack it hard before you put it in the mould and squeeze it. You gotta smack it like you mean it. Don’t do it half-heartedly because otherwise, the chakkli will break while you’re squeezing it.

7. After that, slowly squeeze it into the chakkli shape. Make the hole in the centre big so that your chakkli looks big. (Tip: Avoid making the circular shape while squeezing. Squeeze out a straight line first and then make the shape with your fingers. The dough is delicate, so be careful.)

8. Slowly put the uncooked chakkli into pre-heated oil and let it fry until you get the desired colour.

9. Don’t eat it until you give it to Krishna for pooja. (You can skip this step if you believe that God resides in you.) I had a conversation with my mom regarding this and it went like this.

Me: Why do we make thindi for Gokulashtami?

Mom: Because Krishna was a thindi potha. Haven’t you heard all songs go, “I’ll give you that, come here. I’ll give you this, come here.”

Me: So he accepted a lot of bribes? Yeah, I think I’ve heard that. Krishna was a manipulative person and he accepted bribes. He was corrupt. Blah blah blah.

Mom: Before you say anything else, know that Krishna resides in you. So, everything you’re calling him, you are those things too.

Later…

Mom catches me eating all the thindies, bit by bit.

Mom: Swathi! You’re not supposed to eat it you mental girl!

Me: But the Krishna in me was hungry and needed the food. He is tempted easily and he couldn’t control himself.

Mom: Sighhhh

#Sorry

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Epic chakklies in the making

11. Anyway, after the pooja, you’re done! Eat it. Devour it. Try and share it.

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All the thindies

I love how yesterday went. My mum said, apparently when Krishna was born, it rained heavily with no prior warning. That’s exactly what happened yesterday. It poured in the afternoon on a REALLY hot day.

And I also went and gave some cows a few bananas.

Also, Nuvena surprised me today by turning up outside my house after a visit to Iskon.

It was such a happy, productive, festive and Krishna-ish day! :)

I hope many more youngsters like me don’t dis festivals just because religion has a role to play in it, and it’s “cool” to be agnostic or atheist or whatever. Just go with the flow, take what comes at you with an open mind, celebrate the festival without causing anyone harm and be happy!

Happy Gokulashtami! :)

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Happy Anniversary appa and amma – A day trip to Her Hill

Hi all, it’s been a while since I last wrote, hasn’t it?

This post is about a short trip we took to a place called Avalabetta around 90 kms from Bangalore. But it turned out to be more than 150kms for us.

You see, my family and I love to travel. These one-day trips, especially, attract us a lot, because my dad loves to drive and if he makes up his mind to go somewhere, which is quite rare, we all readily agree at the opportunity! And we all love to sing in the car as we drive. Yesterday, my sister was missing, so not much of the singing happened. Besides, NO one knows about Avalabetta and there are no signboards anywhere. So we had to concentrate on the roads.

Our day started off with dropping my doddi at the airport, because we were all headed in that direction anyway. She left to Calcutta to meet her daughter. She is my favourite doddi. We bid her goodbye and got onto the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway.

Not too far away, we spotted a really fancy temple. Oh! It was my parents’ anniversary! 31 years! That was why we went on the trip in the first place. So they were in a very thankful mood, for being happy together for 31 years. (Obligatory ‘touch wood’). They’re a role model couple for me. (Minus the fights on what to watch on TV. Hehe.)

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Aanjaneya temple en route Nandi hills

So here, this is the temple.

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Appa and amma at the fancy temple. Their phones were off the hook with people calling to wish them. My parents are too popular pa.
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The gopuram of the temple

It was really pretty, but honestly I didn’t get the temple feel. When you visit a temple, there’s something about the atmosphere that makes you feel like it’s holy. This was just too modern and fancy. Like Iskcon. I don’t feel like Iskcon is a temple. Anyway, outside that temple, there was a tamarind tree, where we went and plucked some unfortunately ripe tamarinds. They were not nice. We all like the unripe, sour ones! Slurrrppp!

So back on the highway. We began looking for a Peresandra, from where we had to take a left turn (according to some random website called Sutha Mutha).

(PS: We assumed someone very reliable had told my father about Avalabetta and given him proper directions, but turns out he read about it in Bangalore Mirror and decided to follow what the paper said. (I didn’t know people relied like this on newspapers. I must be more careful about what I write.)

Anyway, we were lost after a while on the highway. Well, there was Google maps, but we didn’t really know what to look for, because everyone we asked didn’t know Avalabetta. We didn’t know how to pronounce it. We called it AvaLabetta (Like ‘her betta’ in Kannada) but they pronounce it Aavalakonda. The localites there are Telugu speaking people. So we were all confused.

After finding Peresandra, we were looking for a place called Mandikal. (I read it as Knee Leg in Kannada but it’s actually Knee Stone in Kannada). From Mandikal, a right turn would lead us to the foot of the hill. On our way there, we saw a bunch of farmers doing something interesting on our right. We just had to stop! I ran to the farmers and asked them what they were doing. They were harvesting potatoes! There were so many potatoes cropping out of the mud, and we got so much joy from pulling them out of the mud; it almost felt like we were creating them!

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As these cows walked, the plough dug the potatoes out of the ground, thereby making it easier to pick them up! It’s too cool
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Appa picking potatoes
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Me, just being a poseur as always!

Also, I was hell bent on playing with puppies, calves, kids (goat babies), anything. It’s a thing I like doing when I’m on trips. But I couldn’t find puppies anywhere. I found goats and their babies but they were too scared. I heard this one buffalo crying. I thought he was calling out to me. I took a banana for him and went to him but he got so scared! I was offended.

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I hate you forever, you buffalo!

Back en route to our destination, Avalabetta. But wait. We all had to pee. But of course, there are no fancy rest stops in India. So yes, we all secretly watered someone’s mango grove. Sshhhh..

We finally got back on track. The farmers we helped actually told us were were off route. So we took a U-turn and asked a bunch of people that directed us correctly. We found the foot of the hill and began our journey up. My my! How horrid the road was! It’s under construction still and we thought our car would conk out. But it has very high self Esteem and couldn’t conk out. It took us up the very steeeeeep hill until we got on top.

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The view from above

Phew! The view was beautiful! There was not a soul in sight and we had the hilltop all to ourselves! It really is like a non commercial Nandi Hills. It was really sunny, but during Winter the place will be ideal. There’s a Forest Office guest house atop the hill, so if you ever feel like waking up to that view, and watching sun rise/set there, you can stay there.

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Anniversary photu
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There are pretty flowers atop the hill
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I made a ring out of one of them. Learnt this at Mount Carmel College I think. And yes, I’ve bitten off two of my nails.

We went to the temple at the hill, and I think I forgot to click pictures there. The pujari said it is more than 1,000 years old. This was more like a temple. Old, non-fancy, with the smell of karpoora and teertha, it was perfect. The deity was inside a cave, so going from a really sunny courtyard into a cool cave felt otherworldly. It was a Narasimha temple, the God our family is supposed to pray to. My mum told me that my dad was supposed to be named Narasimha, if not for Ramesh. (Thank God they chose the latter!) 

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The one picture I clicked while climbing a bit to the temple after parking our car

After praying there, and being ripped off by the pujari, who took 700 bucks from my dad, we went down in search of food. We stopped at Peresandra again, which is apparently famous for chakkli.

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Chakkli beka saar?

Dabba thara ithu. After eating the chakli my mum makes it’s impossible to eat other chakkli. We also ate cucumber from the road, which I had a craving for. Then my daddy bought us Nandini majjige. Yum!

We stopped for lunch at a Panchagiri hotel, which looked all fancy from outside but was like a cave inside. Not a cool cave, this one.

After lunch, we decided to stop by at Bhoganandeeshwara temple, which is at the foot of Nandi hills. A little out of our way, but according to my sister, worth it. The temple was lovely. Built during Vijayanagara empire’s reign, it has amazing architecture, but of course all the sculptures are half destroyed thanks to invaders. That adds some sort of affect to these South Indian shiles.

Also, make a note to not go to Shiva temples during Shivrathri period.  Apparently there was a mela going on, so it was REALLY dirty. But there was a very traditional, kola. I don’t know what you call it in English.

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As long as you don’t concentrate on the water, this is a pretty picture I think
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The vast interiors of the Bhoganandeeshwara temple

 So from this temple, we left and came back home. It was a long, but fun day! A good trip after really long. So thank you dad, mom, and thank you car and thank you dad for driving the car.

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Such a posey picture!

Thank you for being a role model couple for me. Hope you guys grow younger with time. I don’t think I need to tell you both that I love you. So I won’t. : P

Cheers! : )