Saturday, November 05, 2005

Diwali special savoury snack 2 - Nada (ribbon) pakoda

I guess nada pakoda is one of those things that can only be made by using a traditional "press" that's ubiquitous in any South Indian household. If there's another way of doing it, I'm not aware of it. I suppose it might be possible to roll the dough out and cut into thin strips, but I dont think it would be worth the trouble.

However, with the use of a press, it's really easy and the end result extremely more-ish. Addictively more-ish, actually. The nada-maker is atriumph of simplicity. It's basically two cylinders with handles at the top, one cylinder hollow and the other slightly smaller (and not hollow) to fit inside the hollow one - as seen in the photos below. There are usually 3 or four plates with holes or slits of varying sizes (to make different kinds of savouries), which go inside the hollow cylinder - not all at the same time, though!

The dough is put inside the hollow cylinder with the appropriate plate inserted at the bottom, and the sealed cylinder is placed on top. Then using both sets of handles, the top cylinder is pushed into the bottom one, which forces the dough out in the desired shape - flat and ribbon-like, long and round like spaghetti, thin vermicelli-like, etc. The ribbon pakoda plate is the one on the far right.

What I made was the basic version but to vary the taste, a tbsp of garlic or onion paste can be added to the dough

Recipe for:
Nada (ribbon) pakoda


2 cups rice flour
1 cup gram/chickpea flour
1 tsp red chilli powder
pinch of asafoetida
1 tbsp butter
1 generous tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
Water as required to make dough
Oil for deep frying


1. Make a fairly stiff dough with all the ingredients - not TOO stiff, or it will be very difficult to press it through the mould, and not too "loose" or the dough will absorb too much oil and fall apart in the oil itself.

2. Heat the oil in a wok. If a piece of bread rises instantly to the top when dropped in, the oil is at the right temperature.

3. Break off a piece of the dough, roll it gently in your hand so that it fits into the hollow cylinder. (Leave a 1/2 cm gap at the top so that the dough doesnt come out messily at the top while being pressed.)

4. Use the press directly over the hot oil and squeeze out the dough in a circular motion. You can make 2-3 little portions or one big one which can be broken up later.

5. Fry the pakoda on medium heat till golden brown on both sides. Drain and place on absorbent kitchen paper. Store in an airtight tin when cool.


ammani said...

How did you manage to get this ribbon pakoda achhu? I'm so j ;)
Thattai, ribbon pakoda!! Yumm!!

Shammi said...

whoa, that was quick, Ammani :) I'd only just posted the recipe!

Got it from India, through my mom - where else! How else! :)

Mika said...

Looks delicious Shammi. I too made nada for diwali. I added some pottukadalai powder instead of gram flour (seems to enhance crispiness). I somehow dislike the sesame seed addition-seems to change the flavor somewhat.

LERA said...

Hi shymala R,

Thanks for posting peanutballs & ribbon pakoda, your authentic recipes me sweet memories of my schooldays, when I used to be surprised with these goodies at times !

Anonymous said...

Shammi.. what's going on. I didn't check your blog for few days and you are on a posting spree.:)

Nada pakoda, Peanut balls, jilebi, thattai..absolutely mouth watering. I liked the thattai recipe very much, it's been a while since I made those and your photos are making my mouth water.

Anonymous said...

hai shymala,
i tried ur ribbon pakoda and thattai for this diwali 2006 ,its a big hit with my dear husbby and my friends all r asking for ratios,ingredients,etc,,,,,,,,,,,,,
credit goes to u .
thanks a million,billion,trillion.
what to tell more than thanks..........
also i hv tried ur vallakai podimas,it was so yummy
bye shymala