Chakli Recipe – Crunchy and spicy, the spiral shaped Chakli are delicious fried snacks popular across India. This popular savory food is made with various kinds of flour, herbs and warm Indian spices. Chakli is traditionally prepared during festivals like Diwali. Many of us from Karnataka and Maharashtra have fond memories of exchanging plates of homemade Diwali goodies with neighbors and friends. And these always included freshly made chaklis and karanji among other sweet and savory items.
When you’re not munching on a crunchy piece during festive occasions, you can enjoy this as an anytime snack with a hot cup of masala chai.
Sold in many Indian sweet and farsan shops, chakli and Murukku are used synonymously to describe these spiral rice-based goodies deep fried in oil.
Chakli goes by many names from Chakri in Gujarat, Chakli in Maharashtra and Karnataka, Chakralu in Andhra and Murukku in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
What is Chakli?
Chakli is essentially a rice four or whole wheat flour based fried snack made with a stiff dough mixed in with hot and warm spices like red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, carom, sesame seeds, peeper powder and green chili paste.
Chakli is made with a chakli press using a specific shaped disc. You create the unique spiral shape with circular hand motions while pressing out the dough on a non-sticky surface.
Just like its various names, chakli is made in several ways using different set of ingredients including flours and spices. Murukku from the Southern states is usually made with rice flour, while a lot of people make chakli with steamed whole wheat flour.
Some even use sabudana, poha, lentils, ragi or other millet flour. Each family has its own special recipe that has been passed down generations.
About this recipe
My recipe helps you create crunchy and delicious chaklis instantly and with minimal ingredients. Make this when you have guests coming over and want to serve them something different from the usual fare.
This recipe is made using rice flour, fried gram flour, oil and spices. Don’t skimp on the fried or roasted gram (chatni dal) as it lends a light texture to the chaklis. If you don’t have fried gram, use equal amount of besan (gram flour).
You can add or skip any of the spices and herbs as per your taste. You can also use ginger, garlic and green chilli infused water or buttermilk to mix the dough instead of plain water.
Most people prefer to make this with homemade rice flour which imparts a rich flavor, but you can use store bought rice flour for this instant version. Use organic flour whenever possible.
Chakli stores well for up to a month and makes for light snacking on the go.
The main trick to make perfectly crisp chakli is to knead to a firm dough, neither hard nor soft. Follow my detailed steps, pro tips and troubleshooting tips to get it right every time.
You may also like to check this collection of 100 Diwali sweets recipes.
How To Make Chakli (Stepwise Photos)
Prepare the ingredients
1. Grind ¼ cup of fried gram in a mixer. Measure and use only ¼ cup of ground flour for this recipe and sieve it well. Don’t use more than that. Store the excess flour to use in stir fried veggies or making chutneys.
2. Add the ground flour (or use besan or gram flour instead) along with these ingredients to a large mixing bowl:
1 cup of rice flour
½ to ¾ tablespoon of red chili powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tablespoon of til (sesame seeds)
1 tablespoon of ajwain (carom seeds)
3. Mix well to combine .Then heat a little butter or oil in a pan. Measure 1 tablespoon of hot butter or oil and drizzle into the flour mixture and mix well by hand.
Make the dough
4. Slowly add water, start with 3 tablespoons, and keep mixing to form a dough. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, as required.
5. Make a firm but pliable dough. The dough should be non-sticky but at the same time it should not be crumbly or dry. If the dough is sticky, add a little flour and knead again. If it is dry, add a few drops of water and mix again.
The dough has to be pliable and firm, but not dry and crumbly. It should come out of the chakli maker without much effort and without the strands breaking up while shaping.
6. Before you start making the chakli, heat 2 cups of oil in a deep-frying pan on medium flame. While the oil is heating up, grease the chakli maker or mould. I’ve used a single star plate or disc.
If you do not have a press, use a plastic bag. Your chakli will be plain and not with the star design.
7. Divide the dough into 2 to 3 parts and fill the chakli maker or the plastic bag. Press the chakli maker to release the dough and shape the dough to spirals using circular hand motions on parchment, muslin cloth or aluminum foil. Make more chaklis and cover to prevent them from drying out. Start from the inner center and move your hand in clockwise direction to make a spiral (watch the video for the exact procedure).
If using a plastic bag, cut a small hole at the end to release the dough.
Fry The Chakli
8. When the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of dough in it. If it rises in 3 to 4 seconds with burning, the oil is perfectly heated. Gently slide one chakli at a time into the medium hot oil. Do not stir the chaklis for a couple of minutes until the dough firms up. Fry them on a medium heat until golden brown and crisp. Add 3 to 4 at a time without crowding the pan.
9. Don’t be tempted to cook them faster by increasing the heat to high. When chaklis turn light golden brown on one side, flip the other side and fry until golden brown. Remove to a steel colander.
Fry the remaining chaklis in batches. Cool the chakli completely before you store in an airtight container (avoid plastic jar). Do not reuse the oil and throw it away.
- To make the chakli spicy, add red chili powder or green chili paste.
- Taste test one fried chakli and adjust the ingredients in the remaining dough before frying the rest.
- Knead a firm dough that is not crumbly, hard or sticky. Slowly add water while kneading.
- Use butter paper, parchment paper, aluminum foil or muslin cloth to make the spirals for easy removal. Use individual parchment squares and use it to slide the chakli into the oil.
- If the strands break while shaping, it is because of less moisture in the dough. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of water to the dough and knead again.
- If the spiral shape isn’t proper, the dough is too moist. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of rice flour and knead again.
- Fry chakli in medium heat, otherwise they will lose crispness in a day or two.
- If oil is not hot enough, chakli will absorb a lot of oil while frying, and turn oily and soft the next day.
- Do not fry on high heat as chakli will brown fast, remain undercooked and even get burnt.
- If dough is sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of rice flour at a time and knead well.
- If the dough looks floury, dry or crumbly, sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of water at a time. Mix the dough to the correct consistency.
- If the chakli is oily or breaks while frying, you have added more than 1 tablespoon of butter or oil. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of rice flour, at a time, to remaining dough, and knead again.
- if chakli tastes hard after frying, there is less fat in the dough. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons hot butter or oil to the dough and knead again.
- If the chakli tastes soft and break very easily, you have fried it on low heat. Increase heat to medium and fry the remaining batches
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup rice flour (refer notes)
- ¼ cup besan (gram flour)
- ¼ cup fried gram powder (roasted gram powder) (substitute with besan, refer notes)
- ½ teaspoon salt as needed
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (do not use unhulled)
- 1 tablespoon hot butter or hot oil
- 1 tablespoon ajwain (carom seeds) (optional)
- ½ to ¾ tablespoon red chilli powder
- 1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
- water as needed
- 2 cups oil for deep frying
- The recipe needs ¼ cup fried gram powder. You can replace it with besan. If using fried gram then add the gram to a chutney jar and make a fine powder. Use only ¼ cup powder in the recipe.
- Add rice flour, besan, fried gram powder, salt, sesame seeds, ajwain, hing & chilli powder to a large mixing bowl. Mix up well.
- Heat 1 tbsp butter or oil until very hot. Pour it quickly to the mixture. This will make the chakli crunchy.
- Gently mix with a spoon as the oil is too hot. Then mix well with your hand to incorporate the oil evenly.
- Pour water little by little and make a dough. Start with 3 tablespoons and keep adding 1 tsp at a time until the dough forms. Do not knead it just mix to get a non sticky dough.
- If the dough is sticky add a tsp of flour. If it is dry, sprinkle a tsp of water.
How to make chakli
- Grease the chakli maker and fill it with the dough.
- You can make chakli either on a moist cloth, dry cloth or parchment paper. Slowly press the chakli maker to release the dough. Make spirals of the dough. Use your finger to end the spiral. Join the end of the chakli to the spiral. (check video)
- Heat oil on a medium high flame. Continue to make the chakli while the oil heats up.
- Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small portion of dough to the hot oil. The correct temperature is when the dough rises to the surface without browning.
- Remove the chakli to your fingers and gently slide to the hot oil. You can fry about 3 to 4 chakli in each batch depending on the size of your pan.
- Do not disturb them for 1 to 2 minutes. When they firm up, turn them to the other side. Fry on a medium flame on both the sides until crunchy.
- Remove chakli to a colander and cool them completely. Transfer chakli to a air tight steel or glass jar.
- I used Indian brand store bought rice flour. You can also use homemade flour.
- Always ensure chakli is fried in hot oil on a medium high flame otherwise they may turn soft after a day or 2. If you fry them when the oil is not hot enough they will turn soft the next day and will also turn oily.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Chakli Recipe first published in October 2016. Updated and republished in August 2022.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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