Kuzhalappam Recipe – This nice little snack that I am going to show you today is my husband’s favorite. He has a lot of memories attached to it. So I asked him to pen it down for me and here it is –
Summer vacations were one of the most awaited for me and my brothers. Not because we got an off from school and that we could play a lot. But because it was during these vacations that we had a chance to visit our native. And those 20 odd days that we would spend there was so much fun that I just cannot put them into words.
Everything that we saw had a uniqueness to it. It was as if all of the things around us came straight out of a fairy-tale script. People staying all around our house would come over to see us as if we came in from a different planet. All the Kids wanted to play with us and we were the ones to show them the latest in the world of games(games did not mean X-Box and PS3s then, rather it was outdoor games that we meant). And then there was the abundance of love that we would experience from everyone around us.
Amongst all of them, there was Tattha (meaning Parrot, in Malayalam). Her real name was Saraswati Amma. She would occasionally help my grandmother in some of the daily chores at home. She was working at a local cashew factory for most part of her day. While we knew she lived somewhere close to our house, we never really knew where exactly her house was. In fact, as kids we never really bothered finding out.
Tattha was amongst the first ones to come over to see us. For her we were “Bombay Kili”, meaning Birds from Bombay (where we were living then). And when she came to visit us, she would bring along a packet of snacks which had some pakka-vada and Kozhalappam. These were our favorites.
Tattha had a unique approach to visiting us. She would come in secretly. Nobody around would be aware of the fact that she is there. And as she quietly tip-toed in, she would slip in the packet of snacks on our bedroom window and then go away. And for us, finding the snacks packet was the indication that Tattha was there. As years passed, we got so used to it that we would wait anxiously for the packet of snacks on our bedroom window.
She would then come in and meet us, check with us if all is well and how we all were and how old we were. For us, as kids that was all it was to it. We would carry on with our business, least bothered of what was happening around us. Tattha would keep coming in every day and most of the times with the packet of snacks.
We all grew up, got married, had kids. But whenever we went to Kerala, Tattha would be there to see us – all of us were the same “Bombay Kili” for her. She came to see us every year though our attention span towards her reduced gradually. Our interest in the snacks packet decreased.
But it never stopped. Her visits and the packet of snacks. Until the last year. One of my cousins called in to tell us that Tattha was no more.
It was after a couple of months that we visited Kerala again, on the occasion of Onam. Everything was as it was. Nothing changed. Except for the bedroom window. Nobody kept any more snacks packets there.
I was touched by the story from my husband. Indeed, Tattha’s was self-less love. She never expected anything in return and yet loved. Her love for the kids never reduced. We pray that she rest in peace.
Kozhalappam is the recipe for today. It is a simple snack which is similar to the “Nimki” that we made in Bihar. It is a nice tea time snack and I can tell you that if you start eating one of it along with a cup of tea, you will not stop at one. Let us take a look at the recipe.
- Rice flour - 1 1/2 cups
- Coconut - 1/2 cup grated
- Small onion / Shallots - 8-9 chopped
- Garlic - 1 tsp chopped
- Black sesame seeds - 1/2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Coconut Oil or refined vegetable oil - for frying
- Heat a pan and roast the rice flour for about 5-6 minutes and set aside.
- Grind the coconut, small onion, garlic and cumin seeds togeather to a smooth paste by using little water.
- Add the ground mixture and the sesame seeds to the rice flour and heat for about 2-3 minutes.
- Boil 1 cup of water with salt or as per required to make dough.
- Now add boiling water little by little to the mixture, while stirring with a spoon till the time you get a dough consistency.
- Let it cool down.
- Before the dough cools down completely knead it with your hands to make a soft and non sticky dough.
- Now take out the dough in a plate and cover it with a damp kitchen towel and keep it idle for half an hour.
- After half an hour divide the dough into small lemon sized balls.
- Roll the dough into thin circles, on a greased banana leaves or wax paper. (You can make thick or thin discs as per your preferences)
- Wrap the rolled out dough around a greased rolling pin or rod and press the overlapping edges together to form a small curl. Slide it off the rod.
- Repeat the same for the rest of the dough and place it on a tray.
- Now heat oil in a kadai on medium flame.
- When the oil becomes hot, slide each of the rolled kuzhalappams into the oil.
- Deep fry them until it becomes golden brown in color.
- Flip it in between and drain into a kitchen towel.
- Let it cool down and then store it in airtight containers.
- Enjoy your kuzhalappams along with tea or coffee.
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