Seedai or Cheedai is a delicate delicacy. It has a crunchy texture while you bite, but melts in the mouth with the flavor of deep fried crispy rice murukku. But beware while you make at home – It has a beasty feature behind its beauty – it explodes like a mini bomb in oil if the moisture stays inside the cumin and sesame flavored rice ball. There are many stories of burns and bruises in the making of Seedai. So, truly Beware- with a capital ‘B’.
There are two types of Seedai – the salted version and the sweet. The sweet version is made with vellam or jaggery/unrefined cane sugar. This is relatively a lesser bomb-shell in nature or mostly non-violent. But seems to be an emotional creature – as it runs the risk of breaking down in oil or the dough becoming loose in nature due to the jaggery water added.
Beyond my writing efforts of making seedai a good-humoured affair, the taste of salt or sweet seedai is certainly worth the effort involved in making. And lucky me, no burns and bruises for the first time. The Seedais came out well, though not as good as Amma’s.
This time it’s time for Uppu Seedai – the salted version.
Uppu Seedai/Salted Rice Ball Crispies
Before making seedai, we need home made, fine powdered rice flour, the core ingredient for both the salt and sweet version of seedai.
- Wash well and soak 3 cups pacharisi/raw rice in enough water for 2 hours. Drain the water and spread in a clean cloth, preferably cotton towel which would absorb the excess water and dry the rice inside the room.
- Never use paper, especially newspapers to dry rice or any kitchen purposes, as they contain highly dangerous ink which can cause illnesses.
- The rice shouldn’t be dried too much. With a bit of moisture still in the rice, dry grind in a blender to a fine powder.
- Sieve well and keep aside
Dehusked Black Gram Flour
Also needed is black gram flour, which is dry roasted and powdered.
- Grind again the granules left over from the first sieve
- Combine only very fine powder which is very important in the making of seedai.
Ingredients (makes approximately 80-100 – gone in a jiffy)
- pacharisi maavu/rice flour (raw rice) – 2 cups
- ulundhu maavu/dehusked black gram flour – 2 tbsp
- nei/clarified butter or butter – 2 tbsp
- seeragam/cumin seeds – 2 tsp
- ellu/sesame seeds – 2 tsp
- thengai thuruval/grated fresh coconut – 2 tbsp
- uppu/salt – to taste
- thanneer/water – as needed to make a tight dough
- yennai/oil – to deep fry
Method of Preparation
- Dry roast rice flour till aroma comes out, but be careful not to over roast as it will change the colour of flour.
- Take a wide bowl and mix all dry ingredients – rice flour, black gram flour, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, grated coconut, salt with butter.
- Make a tight dough with just enough water.
- Heat oil for deep frying in a pan and start making seedai. Keep in medium flame.
- Roll small balls not pressing too much, which might result in bursting in oil.
- Slightly press with a fork for the moisture to escape out; This truly helped me.
- Fry in medium heat only, till slightly golden in colour or remove when the spluttering of oil is reduced.
- Remove the done seedai in kitchen tissue to absorb excess oil.
- Cool and store in an air tight container.
Making Seedai is a scary one for me. It did burst the first time when I tried.