A delicious & addictive South Indian tea-time snack that's loved by all. This vegan & super crunchy snack is made of chickpea flour mainly on festive days.
Diwali Time Memories!
One of my most favorite Indian festivals is here and I can't wait to celebrate it with my family. Diwali is a big celebration time for us. It's not just the day of the festival that we look forward to, but also the prep that starts days before the actual festival. The pantry gets stocked with many staples that will be needed to make special Diwali treats, both sweet and savory. Everyone in the house gets on the deep clean mode and weekends are only reserved for cooking and cleaning. Moms of the housework relentlessly in both these departments. I remember, my mom would do the cleaning bit in the mornings with us and the house help. Then in the afternoons, she would quietly begin her Diwali Farsaan (snack) prep. She preferred that time because there would be no disturbances like doorbells or telephone rings plus we would be snoozing or lazying on the couch watching TV without bothering her. She would call for help if needed. But we were most excited when she would call us to taste the freshly made treats!
Snacks and Books - best afternoon companions!
Mom would make a variety of sweet and savory treats for us and at-least I would savor it and eat. She would make something for each one of us depending on what we liked. There would be Gulab Jamun for my brother, this Kara Boondi, and Chegodilu/Ring Muruku for my dad, Karanji, and Shankarpali for me and some generic dishes like Mysore Pak, Chocolate Rava Laddu, and chiwda which we all loved. We had Diwali vacation at school so afternoons were not reserved for homework anymore. I would rather spend it with a comic book in one hand and a bowl of freshly made snacks in the other. This was my favorite pastime. I could stay like this for hours if not disturbed. In fact, even today when I pick up comic books like Tinkle or an Archie, I crave something to munch along. We also had this custom where we would put a sample of everything made onto different plates and then distribute it among our neighbors on Diwali day. That way, we all had a variety of treats by the end of the day from different homes!
Some traditions stay on
There were a couple of things we did on Diwali day that we still do. One can call it a habit or a ritual, but we love these small family traditions. Mom would wake us up before sunrise, apply oil all over our bodies, and then we would take a hair bath. Dad would then hand out new clothes for us to wear which we would and then head out to burst some firecrackers. Since it would be the wee hours of the day, there would not be many of us out there, but it still was so much fun. My folks would then make and even receive customary greetings call from friends and relatives over the telephone. We would be outside, waking up our non-South Indian friends and coaxing them to get ready and come out quickly. This is what we did year after year and all these customs have stayed with us even today. Diwali was and is a time where everyone is in a cheerful mood, people show off their new and fancy clothes, there is lots and lots of food doing the rounds, everyone is gifting one another, and of course - Fireworks!
Here is the recipe for Kara Boondi
Making Kara Boondi is not as difficult as it seems. With just a little practice, you can nail the recipe. The key tool you need to make this boondi is the slotted ladle or Boondi Jhara. I got mine from India and its number 2. The number on the ladle is what is responsible for the size of the boondi. You can find something similar on Amazon. In a mixing bowl, add besan/chickpea flour, chilly powder/paprika, asafoetida, salt, and oil. Add water to it gradually and using a whisk, mix it together ensuring there are no lumps formed. The batter should be thicker but of flowing consistency. Meanwhile, prepare oil for frying. Place the ladle over the frying pan once the oil is hot enough and then pour a spoonful of the batter over it. You will notice the batter slipping out of the slots and falling into the hot oil. That is what you need. Tap the ladle lightly if needed. You can also press the batter with a spoon but be careful to not crowd the frying pan as that will make the boondi lumpy. Keep repeating these steps till you finish all the batter. If the batter does not fall easily, dilute it by adding little water to it. But be careful to not thin the batter. Once you have exhausted the batter, transfer the fried boondi to a mixing bowl. Prepare the tempering by frying curry leaves and peanuts in this oil. Pour this over the boondi mixture and give it a good mix. Adjust salt and chilly powder as per your taste. Kara Boondi Mixture is ready. Store in an airtight container and enjoy this dry vegan snack any time of the day.
If you want to check out all the savory snack recipes that can be made for Diwali, check out this post.
Kara Boondi Mixture | Namkeen Boondi - Dry Snack
- Slotted ladle or Boondi Jhara
For the Boondi
For the tempering
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1/4 cup peanuts
For the Boondi
- In a mixing bowl, add besan/chickpea flour, chilly powder/paprika, asafoetida, salt and oil.
- Add water to it gradually and using a whisk, mix it together ensuring there are no lumps formed. The batter should be thicker but of flowing consistency.
- Meanwhile, prepare oil for frying.
- Place the ladle over the frying pan once the oil is hot enough and then pour a spoonful of the batter over it. You will notice the batter slipping out of the slots and falling into the hot oil. That is what you need.
- Tap the ladle lightly if needed. You can also press the batter with a spoon but be careful to not crowd the frying pan as that will make the boondi lumpy. Keep repeating these steps this till you finish all the batter.
- Once you have exhausted the batter, transfer the fried boondi to a mixing bowl.
For the tempering
- Prepare a tempering by frying curry leaves and peanuts in this oil.
- Pour this over the boondi mixture and give it a good mix.
- Adjust salt and chilly powder as per your taste. Kara Boondi Mixture is ready.
- Store in an airtight container and enjoy this dry vegan snack anytime of the day.
Dry snacks are loved by all. Here are some of my favorites - Honey Dipped Cashews, Thattai - Fried Indian Savory Snack, Moong Dal snack - Microwave recipe, Crispy Vegan Split Peas | Masaledar Chana Dal, Masala Peanuts, and Spicy Garlic Almonds.