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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Seepu Seedai

The Chettinad cuisine is one of South India's best known cuisines and this mouth watering cuisine has carved a niche for itself not only in Tamil Nadu but elsewhere in India and even abroad. Apart from standard and traditional food items, Chettinad cuisine is renowned for its unusual snacks and munchy items that are lip-smacking good. Some of the popular Chettinad dishes are Kandarappam, Ukkarai, Pal Paniyaram, Thenkuzhal, Karupatti Paniyaram, Kavanarisi, and Seepu Seedai to name just a few.

These are some dishes which has been an all time favourite for many people, from young to old. My grandfather who has lost almost all his teeth still likes to eat them. We give him by making it to a coarse powder in an ammi or mixie. We had mostly lived in north india, so people coming to visit us from our native place usually bring these snacks item. And almost in a jiffy it is finished.

I would like to post the recipes of some of these dishes which I make at home. Already I have posted a few of them. Today I am posting the recipe of the authentic Seepu Seedai. It is usually fried in edible coconut oil, which adds to its superb taste. It is made with rice flour, roasted gram flour. It gets it name "Seepu Seedai" because of it design. Seepu means comb in tamil. It got its design from Comb those days and hence the name. Nowadays they have designed some instruments like to achhu, kattai etc to do it easily. When I was young, we used to go to our native place - chettinadu for every summer vacation. During these days of our stay there, my grandmother, athai etc used to take our (children) help for preparing many snacks, vathal etc. Seepu Seedai always used to one of the items and we all children used to be very happy in helping them for preparing it, for 2 reasons. One because it was very interesting to do it and the next one because we will soon get our favourite snack.


Seepu Seedai

Ingredients
Raw Rice Flour - 4 cup
Urad dal Flour - 3/4 cup
Roasted Gram Flour - 3/4 cup
Diluted Coconut Milk - 2 1/2 cup
Ghee - 4 tsp
Salt to taste

Method
Basic Raw Rice Flour
Soak raw rice in water for about 2 to 3 hours. Drain the water from the rice and spread it on a clean white cloth in shade (not in sun). Let it dry for about 1 hr. Grind in a mixer. In South India we have special flour mills in many places to make wet rice flour. But then I mostly grind it in the mixer. Sieve the flour through a fine siever. Dry roast it in a low fire till it the raw smell of the rice is gone and it becomes like "sand", you should be able to draw line with it.

This is the basic rice flour for many snacks. You can prepare this rice flour before hand and keep it stored in an airtight box.

Seepu seedai
1) Mix rice flour, urad dhal flour, & ghee. Take milk from coconut by adding warm water to the same. Take about 2 ½ cups of milk, if it is not sufficient, you can add some boiling water. Boil this milk with salt, add to flour mixture & knead well . The should be soft.

2) Press in the seepu seedai achu into a long strip.
                         or
Since I didn't have a here I adopted the old fashioned way of making it with a comb. For this use a new, clean comb. Spread the dough like we do for chapatis, cookies etc in a clean greased plastic sheet. About 2 mm thick not very thin. Press it lightly with the comb, so that the lines of the comb get formed on it.

3) Cut into pieces of even length. Form it in the shape of rings using your finger. Fry for about 10 – 15 in hot oil (but not very hot) till it is done (i.e till the sound of the oil has stopped or is very little). Remove to kitchen tissue, cool & store.

Submitting this post to the JFI - Festival Treat Event guest hosted by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons. JFI was initially started by Indira Of Mahanandi

and
To the event Festive Food : Diwali hosted by Priti of Indian Khana