Uppu Cheedai (Crunchy Savory Balls)

India has numerous deep-fried snacks. Being WFPB, many of us are denied the pleasure of such snacks. I have missed my murukku, ribbon pakoda, thattai… – since I sacrificed oil a decade ago. But the experiments to bake such snacks continued. Several attempts during the last decade, but not 100% successful. The mouth-feel was always dry. I had almost given up. But decided to try cheedai one last time. Success! I used brown rice whereas these are normally made with white rice. Now that the experiment with brown rice is successful, I must try again with super-healthy millets. But that is for another day.
Cheedai is a snack that is made as an offering to Lord Krishna on Janmashtami – his birthday. Since this festival is around the corner, I decided to post this recipe immediately. Do try it and, most importantly, provide feedback.

Uppu Cheedai

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice, soaked for an hour (you can also use millets, though I haven’t experimented yet)
1/4 cup split black lentils (urad dal, ulutham parupu), roasted till golden
1/2 tsp black pepper, crushed
2 tbsp grated coconut
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
Salt to taste
1/2 thick coconut milk (first pressing)
Method
Drain the water from the rice and spread on a cotton cloth
Dry completely under a fan
Transfer to a blender and grind to a fine powder
Similarly, grind the split black lentils to a fine powder
Transfer both powders to a mixing bowl
Add all the other ingredients except coconut milk
Add the coconut milk in small portions and knead into a stiff dough
Pinch a little of this dough and roll into a ball
Repeat for the rest of the dough
Transfer the balls to a steamer
Steam for a minute
Then transfer to an air fryer
‘Fry’ for about 15 minutes, shaking the fryer bowl occasionally
Keep checking to see if the balls are nicely browned and crunchy
Remove from the air fryer and store in an airtight jar
Snack as the mood takes you
Enjoy!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jayanthy says:

    I am following ur receipes. They r very good. I couldn’t see sambar powder receipes under chutneys and powders

    Like

    1. Just search for sambar powder. I too will check if I have uploaded it.

      Like

  2. Supraja says:

    Tried this and it tasted good. Thank you!

    Like

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