Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Diwali special savoury snack 1 - Thattai

I cant think of an exact translation from the Tamil "Thattai" into English... I guess the closest would be "flatties" or possibly "patties" - because they are patted flat with your fingers into small discs :) Thattais are available all the year round in Indian sweet shops but I think they're much nicer home-made. Some people add bits of coconut (bleagh!) to the dough but - quite apart from my dislike of coconut in certain food items - I think that's a bad idea because the thattais quite soon acquire the flavour of stale coconut. Not good!

Recipe for:


4 cups rice flour
1/2 cup urad dal flour (can be ground at home in a spice/coffee grinder, but sieve it to get the finest powder)
2 htbsp chana dal, soaked for 10 minutes in hot water
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp red chilli powder, or to taste
2 tsp white sesame seeds
Salt to taste
10 curry leaves, roughly torn (optional)
Water as required
Oil for deep-frying


1. Mix all the ingredients into a fairly stiff dough.

2. Lightly grease a clean plastic sheet.

3. Make small balls (slightly smaller than ping-pong ball size) and pat each one lightly into a circle with your fingers to make the thattais. They should be more or less even all over and approximately 1/4-cm thick.

4. Prick the thattais all over with a fork so that they dont puff up during frying.

5. Heat the oil while you are making about a dozen or so thattais. When a piece of bread dropped in the oil sizzles immediately, it is at the right temperature.

6. Carefully peel the thattais off the plastic sheet one by one and slide them into the oil. Fit in as many as your wok will comfortable take.

7. Fry the thattais on medium heat, turning them over occasionally, until they are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon on to absorbent paper.

8. Serve as a snack with tea/coffee, etc. Store in an airtight tin.


Mika said...

Wow shammi, they look delicious. I love the chana dal in the thattai. They always seem to fall apart when I peel them. Any tips? BTW, is this a family recipe?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mika, thanks! Yes, it's my mom's recipe - all the traditional South Indian recipes I make are all learnt from her.

I didnt get the bit about the chana dal falling apart when you peel them. I only use kadalai paruppu (chana dal) - not whole chickpeas. That would mean no need to peel anything :)

Mika said...

Shammi- I meant the thattai falls apart when I peel them from the sheet. Sorry for the confusion:-)

Anonymous said...

hehe... sorry about the misunderstanding, Mika :) About removing the thattais... Tell you what - peel the sheet from the thattai rather than the other way around... that is to say, lift it up gently and peel the sheet off with your left hand while steadying the thattai with the right. If it's a lightly greased, reasonably thick plastic sheet, the thattai should come off easily.

Hm. I dont think a helpful tip should become longer than the post itself, should it?:)

Anonymous said...

Shammi, These murukku's are great and as soon as I read them on 'sugar and spice' I made them. They turned out great !! Thanks for the recipe.

ammani said...

Shyam, what am I doing wrong if my thattai is crumbling to pieces while being deepfried? Thanks in advance.

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jayasree said...

Hi, I have seen the recipe for thattai in various blogs. First time I came across the same recipe which I make (I too learnt from my Mom). For me, when i think of thattais, this is the recipe that comes to my mind. Now u get all kinds of thattai in market but his is rarely found

Srividya Padmanabhan said...

hey. though i know how to make thattai and made it quite well this diwali. One on my friends asked me for a recipe and got to browse thru ur website. Just a little tip that i learnt it from my mom and it works welll.

After you make the balls and place it on a greasy sheet you take another plastic sheet (the size of a 1/2 liter mil packet).

Oil it and place it on the balls.

Use a flat cup like a coffee davara to place it the plastic sheet and lightly press it.

Thattai come out very even and finlaay just peel off from the plastic and fry it.