There are many variations of nippattu based on where the recipe came from. The one I have here is how nammamma makes it, she makes some of the best nippattus, kodubales and chaklis in our family. Nippattu is easier to make compared to kodubale though most major ingredients are common between the two. There is no kneading involved unlike the kodubale.
I think all kids have some unique preferences when it comes to food. Mine is no exception. She is not a picky eater, I don't remember having cooked anything specially for her even when she was a toddler except for toning down the spices a little bit. That way she is an absolute mom's delight because she doesn't complain about what is put on her plate. I don't recall ever being so nice when I was her age, although I ate what she made, I always wanted something that nammamma hadn't made that day!. So I am more than happy with my daughter's food habits.
DD definitely has her likes and dislikes and I know that from the amount of food that gets consumed and there are some preparations she flatly refuses to eat (anything eggplant). However, she has these some what weird(!) preferences, she likes certain deep fried snacks to be soft and not crackly crunchy and has an explanation, according to her chaklis and kodubales and nippattus taste better when they are not hard/crunchy :-). So, when I deep fry stuff, I do a tad under fried batch specially for DD. Oh the joys of motherhood :-)
I will tell you the tips to get a perfectly crunchy nippattu but also point out tips to get the soft yet delicious nippattus, go ahead, read on and then try it out yourself.
What do you need to make nippattus?
Makes about 20-22 nippattus
2 cups rice flour
3/4 cup + 2 Tblsp roasted gram/ hurigadle/chutney dal
5-6 dry red chilies (adjust according to your spice tolerance)
1 Tblsp dry roasted peanuts
1 Tsp white sesame seeds (optional)
1/2 Tsp asafoetida
About 10 curry leaves - chopepd fine
1 Tblsp grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
1 Tblsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 Tblsp cooking oil to mix the dough
2 cups of oil to deep fry (I used saffola/sun flower oil)
water to mix into a soft dough
How do you make nippattus?
- Take the red chilies, 3/4 cup roasted gram,coconut, salt and 1/4 cup of water to a blender and blend into a homogeneous paste.
- Crush the peanuts very slightly to break into 2 or 3 pieces per peanut, do not powder them.
- Take rice flour in a wide bowl, add the ground paste, asafoetida powder, 2 Tblsp of roasted gram, crushed peanuts, chopped curry leaves and sesame seeds if using and mix well.
- Add water slowly to the mixture and bring it to a single soft mass.
- Heat the oil on medium heat for deep frying (See notes), take one Tblsp of the hot oil, add it to the nippattu dough, mix and knead once.
- Pinch off small lime sized balls from the dough and flatten it on a aluminium foil or plastic wrap (See notes), holding the end of the foil in one hand, gently remove the flattened discs and drop them into the hot oil. Depending on the size of your pan and the amount of oil, you can adjust the number of nippattus you drop in for deep frying at a time. Take care not to over crowd the pan.
- Cook the nippattus on medium heat for 2-3 minutes before turning them over. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. A good indication is for the bubbles to stop and the oil becomes calm.
- Remove the fried nippattus with a slotted spoon, drain the oil and take them on to a plate lined with paper towels.
- When the nippattus cool down, store them in an air tight jar for safe keeping :-). Nah, just go ahead, munch the crunchies and enjoy!
- Addition of coconut not only enhances the taste in this recipe but makes the nippattus crunchy without making them bite-hard.
- You can add dry coconut grated instead of the fresh coconut if you need longer shelf life.
- Drizzle a drop or two of oil on the foil or plastic wrap before you flatten the nippattus, that way it is easier to slide them off in to the oil.
- To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a small pinch of the dough in it. If the dough comes up to the surface of oil immediately, oil is ready, else you need to wait. I typically do this as I have not invested in any thermometers.
- If you want softer nippattus, make the discs a little thicker.
- Addition of the hot oil makes the nippattus crisp and crunchy.
- Do not skimp on the curry leaves or asafoetida in this recipe.