Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ribbon Pakoda

My husband left to come back to the U.S., four days after our wedding.  I only joined him a couple of months later.  While I was waiting for the paperwork to come so that I could apply for my visa, I spent some time with my in-laws.  They were the sweetest, most gentle people ever.  I mostly stayed in my parents’ house and would go once every couple of days to spend some time with my mother-in-law.

Ribbon Pakoda

She loved to feed people.  You could not go to her house and leave without eating something. This was something that truly brought her joy.  She relished serving all the delicious food she made to the family and friends who visited her.  And everyone knew that if you visited Saroja perima/atthai, you would leave with a full, sated belly.

Once, when I had gone to see her, she asked me “tape sapidariya?”, meaning “would you like to eat some tape?”.  I was stumped.  Did I hear her wrong?  What was this tape? And why did she want me to eat it?

Turned out, she was referring to ribbon pakoda,.  I had never heard it called that in my twenty-four years of living in Chennai.  But, I realized later, that all the people in my husband’s family called it tape.

This is a really simple snack to make and hard to mess up. 

Here is what you need:

  • 3 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup besan (gram flour)
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp.  softened butter
  •  1 Tbsp. hot oil
  • oil for deep-frying

Here is how I made it:

  1. Start heating the oil for deep-frying in a wok or kadai, on medium heat.
  2. Add the rice flour, besan, salt, hing, and red chili powder to a bowl.  Mix well.
  3. Add the softened butter.
  4. Take a tablespoon of hot oil from the stove (the one you are heating up for deep-frying) and pour it over this mixture.
  5. Start kneading this mixture while adding warm water till you have a stiff dough.
  6. Take big balls of dough and place them in the press fitted with the ribbon pakoda disc.
  7. Squeeze out the pakoda in a swirling motion into the hot oil.
  8. Let this fry on medium heat for a couple of minutes.  Then carefully, flip it over.
  9. Remove from oil when both sides are golden brown and drain out the excess oil on a paper towel
  10. Repeat with rest of the dough.

Once they have cooled, store in an airtight container.


  1. Made this today with your recipe and it turned out perfect... Thanks Meena!! :)


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