For the Indian Cooking Challenge
this month we did a Krishna Jayanthi Special dishes, that are very popular in Tamil Nadu.
I asked Gayathri
to suggest a dish and she wrote back saying she has been wanting to make Uppu Seedai and Vella Seedai and she had bookmarked the recipes from Sharmilla's space. Since these were something I have been wanting to make myself, I wanted to select this right away.
I remembered my colleague telling me that she makes it often. So I was pinging her for her recipe, she finally just verbally told me how she makes and I hoped I will remember well. Meanwhile I also got my Amma's recipe from her collection. Amma was very surprised that she has so many variations written for these two recipes. After checking, the measurement all seem to be almost nearing each other.
Infact we did this almost the same day as I had announced. The Uppu Seedai was a hit, while the Vella Seedai had flopped.
Well before I get into the actual stories, here's couple of things you got to remember while making these. I distinctly remember the firecrackers we had in our kitchen, when Amma's help dropped in the uppu seedai, before Amma could say go! And we had literal firecrackers! Konda must have been about three years or something and we never attempted to make it again.
So the most imporatant thing to remember, is to make the balls really dry. They don't have to be pressed or rolled in your palm to form the perfect balls. Infact if you notice my Uppu Seedais, they are just pinched and shaped.
Second one is to really dry roast the rice flour. Even if you are using store bought flour, please roast it almost till it turns colour slightly. This is what my colleague suggested, who always makes it with store bought flour.
Since we always use homemade Rice flour, it was having the correct texture. We roasted it again. The volume of Rice flour reduces after roasting, so measure your cups after roasting.
Vella Seedai Recipe that Amma had, which required the Jaggary to be made as a syrup, was a flop for us. The moment we dropped in the ball, everything started disintegrating.
We made it again just before posting and used store bought. This time I followed Sharmilla's recipe
. The recipe calls for the jaggary to be just boiled and added to the flour. This worked out fine, in sense it didn't disintegrate, however the inside was soft. I cooked it in low all through. Maybe after cooling down, it will become hard. However the taste was very good.
Raw Rice flour - 1 cup
Urad Dal - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Butter - 2 tsp
Sesame Seeds -1 tsp
Grated coconut - 2 tsp
Channa dal - 1/2 cup
My friend also adds these to her Seedais and says it tastes great
Crushed Cumin - 1 tsp
Pepper corn, crushed - 1/2 tsp
Points to remember
Measure the rice flour after roasting. When you draw a line with the roasted rice flour, you should be able to make a straight line.
Drying the balls for at least 20 mins, makes sure your seedais don't break.
Soak the Chana dal in water for 30 mins, Drain and add to the flour when you are making.
Dry roast the rice flour till it turns colour. Keep it aside.
Dry roast the urad dal till it turns colour. Cool and powder to fine. Sieve to make sure you have fine powder.
Dry roast the sesame seeds, toss it around and keep it aside.
The way to do for crushing is, once the seeds are cooled down, simply crumble them in your hand, so that it crumbles down.
For mixing the dough
Mix in soft butter, crushed sesame, cumin, pepper if you are adding to the flours. Mix well. Then slowly add water just enough to get a dough.
The dough should be able to hold it's shape.
When you pinching down the seedais, just pinch out and roughly roll them into balls. Do not make tight balls. Do not roll them in your palms as you might do for a laddu. Pinch them out as small balls, press down so that they form balls.
Important step to remember.
Once you make all the balls, spread them on a paper or cloth for atleast 15 - 20 mins, for them to dry out.
Heat the oil to hot, reduce to medium, cook in batches. Make sure the balls are not very big as the inside as to get cooked.
Raw Rice flour -1 cup
Jaggary - 3/4 cup
Butter - 1 tbsp
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Sesame Seeds - 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder a pinch
Oil for deep frying
How to make the Vellai Seedai
The same roasted rice flour and Urad dal is used for this as well.
Dry roast the sesame seeds.
Soak the jaggary and strain the impurities. Put on high flame, switch off when it starts bubbles or boiling.
In a bowl, take the flours, sesame seeds, butter, cardamom and slowly add the jaggary water.
Mix well to get a soft dough.
Make bigger balls than you make for uppu seedai. Dry them as the uppu seedai and deep fry in batches.
I guess the melting or bringing to one boil should also work fine. The thread didn't work at all.
My friend adds channa dal as well to the sweet ones. I skipped it second time.
On the whole, this is quite a challenge and hopefully we will get into making this again and perfecting it soon.