Friday, September 25, 2009

Janthikalu - a crispy Andhra snack

Wish you all a Marvelous Navarathri Dear Friends!!

Navarathri or Dussehra for those who are unaware is a big Indian festival that marks the victory of Godess Durga over the demons -lead by Mahishsura. It depicts triumph of good over evil. Indian festivals are all fun & frolic. On this occasion and other festivals approaching shortly, Shanthi from Shanthi Krishnakumar’s cookbook is hosting an event on “Dusserah Dhantera’s and Deepavali” and I am delighted to send this basket of “Janthikalu”, photo for now friends :-) and the following post for all the fellow foodies to cherish.

Food is an integral part of all Indian festivities. Each regional cuisine in India has its own traditional foods and recipes passed down the generations. I would like to share with you, a native Andhra classic “pindi vanta”. “Pindi vantalu” is a telugu word that directly translates to “flour based dishes”. These are rustic dishes that are made from freshly ground flours from new  grain harvest. Janthikalu that I am going to present here is one such dish. The procedure to make it is a elaborate, but it is every ones favorite. It is so addictive that one can’t stop eating this crispy snack. There are a variety of its versions made using different kinds of flours like besan (chick pea), rice, urad  or combinations. These are called by different names as “Chakkilalu”, “karappusa” “Murukulu” etc. in various dialects.The ones I made in this recipe are using rice and urad flour.  This recipe was passed on from my mother-in-law and is the gold standard for making janthikalu in my kitchen and hope it will interest you..

Now coming to the procedure to make janthikalu, you will need the tool called “Janthikala gottam”, also called murukku maker, or karappusa giddalu shown in the picture below. The one I used here was inherited from my M-I-L. You should be able to shop for these online as well.

My mom-in-law in her original recipe uses the freshly ground flour in a proportion of four cups (soak- dried) rice with ½ cup urad as there is accessibility to plenty of grinding mills back home. But I improvised it by use of store bought rice flour and urad flour directly and the taste and crunchiness translates pretty well. So this infact is much simplified and can be made instantly without involving grinding.
Ingredients for this recipe are:
4 cups Rice flour
½ cup urad flour
1 cup melted butter
2 tsp ajwain seeds
3 tsp sesame seeds
1-2 tsp red pepper powder (based on how hot you would like it)
Salt to taste
Enough luke warm water to knead the above (into a dough like for chapathi or pizza dough consistency)
Oil for deep frying

Take the flour into a large bowl, add all the rest of ingredients and melted butter and Knead well into soft dough. The kneaded flour should be used immediately. If left for too long janthikalu will loose their crispness and turn out hard. So if you plan to make larger quantities (than this one) then knead and prepare in batches one after another.
Heat oil in a large deep pan for deep frying. Select the little plates of the gottam with desired shape and fix it into the janthikala gottam or muruku maker.

Divide the kneaded dough into small balls to the size enough to fit in the Janthikala gottam and place it in the outer dough holder. Now squeeze release the dough using the inner press into preheated oil for deepfrying.

Fry the janthikalu until golden yellow and remove from pan using a appropriate spatula. Drain excess oil onto paper towels. Now repeat the process until all the dough is used up.
Let the janthikalu cool off and store them packed in an airtight container. They store well for a couple of weeks or even a month when stored airtight.

Enjoy your crispy snack anytime. I bet you cannot stop eating it once you begin, so make sure to cook up plenty:-)

One again a Happy Dussehra and a Wonderful weekend ahead! Enjoy!

Recipe for event -  “Dusserah Dhantera’s and Deepavali


  1. Happy Navrathri Raje....Nice way to explain..liked it...looks so crispy..perfect tea time snack

  2. Its new to me raje...looks crisp and yummy...nice step by step presentation...wish u & ur family happy navrathri

  3. Wow looks so yummy and crispy. perfect... nice clicks as well raje.

  4. Lovely tea time snack.. first time here..very nice recipes..

  5. Happy Navarathri...Thnx for explaining it so well!!

  6. Oh that looks like a great snack to have - yum!

  7. HAppy Navrathiri Raje. Your murukku makes me nostalgic. Great entry for the events too.

  8. Hey hey! I like these murukus. Mom makes so many varieties in this!

  9. Just love murukkus, crispy murukku looks prefect..

  10. Thank you all for your feedback on Janthikalu! Have a wonderful holiday!

  11. happy dussera..
    loved the mysore bajjis ..they looks so yumm..

  12. A perfect snack to bunch with steamy chai!

  13. Very hard recipe for me to practice at home,

    You have done a great job, it looks very crispy n nice.

    Happy Dussera...

  14. Crispy & Perfect favorite snack

  15. Thank You Soumya, Sireesha, VS, Malar and Esai Selvi for your feedback!

  16. Hai

    First time to be in ur site, wonderful site.
    Your dishes looks yummy, I am following u..
    Wen u get time peep into my blog,

    Kiran Mary


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