By Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu) PhD.
Chakli (Chakkuli) is a spiral snack with crispiness and a very unique taste. It is popular across India. Shashkuli is the Sanskrit name of this snack. Few call it as Murukku also.
Though original test prefer rice, now a days these spiral snacks (Chakkal/chakkuli/chakli)are prepared using palak, methi, onion, potato, tomato, pepper, carrot etc too. Also variability is found in shape and size as well as oil used.
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Even though texts refer to use sesame oil, people from Kerala use coconut oil, in Gujarat mustard oil, in Karnataka sunflower oil, in Maharashtra palm oil and in other parts various refined oils are being used while preparing such snacks. So depending on oil used its quality changes.
Both rice and black gram are taken and fried separately. This is made into fine powder and mixed well. To this little curd and ghee (or butter) is added and mixed well to obtain the dough. While preparing dough salt, cumin seeds, sesame etc can also be added (some add water or sweet buttermilk in the place of curd). This is rolled in spiral manner using Chakli machine. This looks like Chakra (spiraled circle) of 3-4 round. This is fried in ghee or oil and stored on cooling.
Qualities and Action
Energizer, appetizer and tasty, heavy for digestion, anti flatulent and carminative.
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As it is carminative and laxative, it will not cause distention of abdomen unlike other snacks or fried eatables when taken in proper amount. So, it will not cause any harm in young kids even if taken regularly.
Even though black gram is referred in the classical texts while preparing chakli, in villages some add green gram, ragi or wheat flour. According to the ingredient added and oil used its quality may be altered.
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Old aged people without teeth also enjoy Chakli by soaking and softening it with curd!