TENKUZHAL (TENGOZHAL) CRISPY RICE SPIRALS
Every Diwali in my house and in my mother’s house, one permanent bhakshanam(savory snack dish) is the Tenkuzhal, we call this Tengozhal at home. The reason that everyone used to like this savory snack is because it’s not spicy. Children used to absolutely love this crispy, crunchy snack. Here in Singapore almost all my Indian and non-Indian friends love this snack and request me to bring some for them and Diwali is one such time where we share sweets and savories with our near and dear ones and what better way to share what is prepared at home with love.
Rice Flour - 2 Cups
White lentil/(Black gram skinless)/Udad dal or ready Udad flour - 2 Tablespoon
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp(I love this in the tengozhal so I put more, you can put 1 tsp
Asafetida - a pinch
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Salt as per taste
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp (for the palakkad iyer / keralaiyer touch)(optional)
Oil for frying
You need the Tengozhal press nazhi and you have to use the plate with holes (bigger holes to be precise)
Dry roast the udad dal in a pan and grind it in a blender to make a fine powder. I used the ready flour easily available in the market nowadays.
Dry roast the cumin seeds and when it pops remove, cool it and grind it for one spin in the blender. Don't make it into a fine powder. We are putting it in the blender so that it breaks into half and the aroma comes out.
In a big bowl, Add rice flour, udad flour, broken cumin seeds, sesame seeds, salt as per taste, butter and asafetida. Mix well so that you know everything has blended well. Now add water slowly and make a dough. The dough resembles the dough we make for chapatti / roti. At this stage add the coconut oil and knead well for another 5 minutes, palakkad iyers usually fry the bhakshanams in coconut oil which gives it a very unique and flavorful taste, to remind me of that I added the coconut oil, this is optional and if you want you can avoid it.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, and when the oil is hot add a little piece of dough to check, if the dough rises immediately then the oil is ready for frying.
Now stuff the dough in the nazhi(press) and close the mould. Squeeze it through the mould in big circles or smaller circles. Mind you, keep your hand a bit far once you drop as the steam will hit your hand. Deep fry the Tengozhal in low flame till it is crisp. I like my Tengozhal white and crisp. If your rice flour is good your tengozhal will come out white as mine in the picture and if not you will have to fry till its done to an almost golden brown color. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Once cool, store it in a air tight container. Indulge in this crunchy delight as and when you want it.