Monday, October 28, 2013


I am gearing up for Deepavali by making some goodies.  My mom used to do this every year.  The weekend before the festival, she would soak the rice, strain it out, dry it on a mat, and send it along with various dals to the flour mill to be ground into powder for the different “bakshanams” that she was going to make for the festival. 

Stack of Thatais

If my grandmother was around, she would make kai murukku (murukku that you make by hand – without a press).  Otherwise, my mom would make mullu thenkuzhal, ribbon pakoda, thatai, mixture, and some sweets.

My dad worked in a bank all his life.  So a lot of people will come to see him during the holidays and most of them will come with a box of sweets.  So my mom did not make much.  Just one for sastaram – for tradition.  Also, nobody ate sweets that much in our house, so most of those will just get redistributed.

I have tried to carry on this tradition in my house.  I make a few salty snacks and make one or two sweets. I made ribbon pakoda and thatais over the weekend.

My mom’s thatais were the best.  These take a little more time to make than thenkuzhal, ribbon pakoda, or mullu murukku because you have to press each thatai separately.

Here is what you need:

  • 4 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup urad flour
  • ¼ cup channa dal, soaked for about an hour
  • 3 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
  • ½ - ¾ cup grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. hot oil
  • oil for deep-frying

Here is how I made it:

  1. Heat oil for deep-frying in a heavy-bottomed pan, on medium heat
  2. Mix the rice flour, urad flour, soaked channa dal (drained), sesame seeds, coconut, hing, chili powder, and salt.
  3. Add the melted butter and hot oil (you can add some from the oil you are heating for frying the thatais)
  4. Add water little bit at a time and knead everything to form a stiff dough. Taste the dough to make sure that it has enough salt.
  5. Take a little bit of the dough at a time and make small balls (about the size of a gooseberry).  Keep the rest of the dough covered.
  6. Place about 5 – 6 of these on a plastic sheet or a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
  7. Place another Ziploc bag on top of the balls and press down with the back of a katori to flatten the balls.
  8. Prick each thatai with a toothpick, and gently drop them into the hot oil.
  9. Fry till both sides are evenly cooked and the thatais are golden brown
  10. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  11. Repeat until all the dough is done.

Store in an airtight container when they have cooled down

Note:  Some people add powdered fried gram dal (pottu kadalai) to the batter.  You can also add curry leaves or garlic to get different flavors.


  1. Hi Meenakshi, do you use store bought finely ground rice and urad flour or do you grind your own to the right consistency? - Abitha.

    1. Hi Abitha,

      I used store bought ingredients. If you add a handful of powdered pottu kadalai, it tastes even better.!


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