Ribbon Pakoda is a popular South Indian crispy-crunchy deep fried snack made mainly with rice flour, gram flour, spices and oil. Also known as Ribbon Murukku, Ola Pakoda or Aaku pakoda in various regions, these are often prepared during festivals like Diwali, Navaratri, Ugadi and Sankrathi / Pongal festivals. In this post I share an easy & quick recipe to make flavorsome and crunchy ribbon pakoda.
If prepared and stored well, these keep good and fresh without losing their crunch, for a minimum of 2 weeks at room temperature. So you may make these ahead of the festival.
Murukku, Butter Murukku, Chakli, Thattai, Sev/ Oma podi, Khara sev, Nippattu and Chekkalu are similar snacks made for Diwali. But each of these taste unique and have a different flavour as they use different combinations of flour and spices.
About Ribbon Pakoda
While the term “Pakoda” means a crispy Indian fritter, since these are in the shape of a ribbon – flat and thin, these fritters are known as Ribbon pakoda.
Since they are a kind of Murukku, they are also known as Ribbon Murukku. In Andhra Pradesh, these are made very thin, as thin as a leaf (Aaku) so they are called aaku pakoda.
This Ribbon pakoda recipe uses fine raw rice flour, besan (gram flour) & fried gram flour (roasted chana dal/ chutney dal) as the main ingredients.
However you can also substitute fried gram flour with gram flour (please note: not the other way) but there is a difference in the texture of the ribbon pakoda.
Fried gram is one of the key ingredients used in a lot of similar snacks recipes as it makes the fried goodies lighter without absorbing more oil.
But using a lot of it will completely alter the texture, where you will end up with oily snacks & may not remain crisp for longer.
So it is very much essential to follow the correct ratio for the best results – crispy, crunchy, flavorsome, light and non-greasy. This is what you can expect from this recipe.
The dough is flavoured with spices like cumin or ajwain, red chilli powder and hing. White sesame seeds are also added for flavour which you may skip if you do not have.
My Mom always used green chilies and ginger while making the dough. These spices are ground with little water in a grinder and then filtered to the dry ingredients. It is later mixed to a dough by adding more water.
Sometimes she would also add crushed onions to make the spiced water. All these infuse different aromas to the ribbon pakoda. As I know every home has a different recipe to make ribbon pakoda.
Just like the omapodi or plain sev, these can also be made using only besan and skip rice flour and fried gram. Each variation gives a different taste, texture and level of crunch to the ribbon pakoda.
If making in small quantity just to finish it on the same day, then they can be made with besan alone since they may begin to lose the crunch after 2 to 3 days.
Please note this recipe is not for novice cooks similar to the butter murukku recipe this requires pressing the mould directly over the hot oil.
How to Make Ribbon Pakoda (Stepwise Photos)
1. Add ¼ cup fried gram (Roasted chana dal) to a grinder jar. These are also known as roasted gram and are commonly used to make chutney.
2. Grind them and make a very fine powder. We need only ¼ cup powder/ flour for this recipe. Measure and add it to a large mixing bowl.
3. To the same bowl, add 1 cup rice flour and ¼ cup besan (gram flour). All of these have to be fine & not coarse. If they are coarse then sieve them otherwise they may get stuck in the murukku maker and break the ribbon pakoda.
Crush ½ teaspoon cumin in a mortar pestle or on a chopping board with rolling pin. Add to the bowl along with 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds, ¼ to ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Very coarse particles in the dough may break the pakoda so crushing or powdering cumin and sieving the flours is very important.
4. Mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a kadai until very hot (not smoking). Add it here to the flour. Be careful as the oil is hot, use a spoon and incorporate the oil with the flour. Then use your fingers to mix and rub the flour in between your palms until all of the oil is incorporated well with the flour.
5. You can use plain water or ginger chili infused water to knead the dough. To make the ginger chilli water, add half inch piece of peeled ginger and 2 green chilies to a blender.
Pour little water and make a paste. Pour 3 tablespoons more water. Filter/strain this using a fine coffee/tea strainer. Use this water to make the dough. It makes the ribbon pakoda very flavorful like the one sold in the shops. Crushed onion can also be used for flavoring along with ginger chilli water.
6. Pour more plain water to mix and form the dough.
7. Dough must be soft and non sticky. It should not be dry or crumbly. If the dough is sticky then sprinkle some flour and mix. If it is too dry, sprinkle water and mix again. Taste test the dough and add more salt or red chilli powder if needed.
Make Ribbon Pakoda
8. Grease the mould and attach a ribbon pakoda plate. Fill with the prepared dough. Cover the rest of the dough to prevent drying.
9. Pour oil to a heavy bottom kadai or deep pan. Heat on a medium flame until hot enough. Check by adding a small flat piece of dough to the oil, the dough has to rise immediately without turning brown. This is the right temperature. If it becomes brown, it means the oil is very hot. Reduce the heat and let the temperature of oil come down a bit. If the dough sinks it means the oil is not hot enough.
10. Press the mould directly to the hot oil, moving the hand in circular motions. Be careful and keep your hand and mould at a good distance from the hot oil and steam.
Do not press the dough in one place, we need to keep moving the hand in circular motion. Fry on a medium high flame until golden. If they are not fried well, ribbon pakoda will turn soft and chewy very soon.
Remove them to a cooling rack or a colander. Cool them completely. I usually break the ribbon pakoda to pieces and then store them in an airtight steel or glass jar. They keep good for 2 weeks. If you are making them in larger quantity then store them in separate smaller containers so they stay fresh for longer.
Ribbon Pakoda (Ribbon Murukku, Aaku Pakodi)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ¼ cup gram flour (fine besan, senagapindi)
- ¼ cup fried gram (roasted gram, putani, putnalu)
- 1 cup rice flour (fine flour)
- ¼ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds ( jeera or ajwain or vaamu/omam)
- ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)(optional)
- 1 to 1½ tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons hot oil
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- oil as needed for deep frying
- 2 green chilies
- ½ inch ginger (adding more leaves a bitter taste)
Make Dough for Ribbon Pakoda
- Powder ¼ cup fried gram in a mixer grinder jar. Measure and use only ¼ cup powder for the recipe.
- Place a sieve over a large bowl. Measure the flours including the powdered fried gram powder. Add all of them to the sieve. Sieve them together.
- Crush cumin seeds in a mortar pestle. Or using a rolling pin crush them on the chopping board. Add it to the flour, along with red chilli powder, sesame seeds and salt. Mix them.
- Then heat up 2 tsps oil in a kadai and pour to the flour. Using a spoon mix well. Then use your fingers and incorporate the oil well. Rub the flour well in between your palms to incorporate the oil
- This step is optional. Make a fine paste of ginger and chili if using. Add 3 to 4 tbsp water to this and filter it to a bowl. Pour this to the flour.
- Pour more water as needed and make a dough that is non sticky but smooth. If the dough is dry then sprinkle more water. If the dough turns sticky, then sprinkle little rice flour. Taste test the dough and add more salt and chilli if you prefer.
How to Make Ribbon Pakoda
- Pour oil to a deep fry pan or kadai. Heat it on a medium flame.
- Meanwhile grease the mould and fit the ribbon pakoda plate to the mould.
- Fill the mould with the prepared dough. Cover the rest of the dough to avoid drying.
- Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small portion of the dough in hot oil. The dough has to rise steadily without browning and must not sink.
- Press the dough in the hot oil, moving the hand in circular pattern to make a disc of ribbon pakoda.
- Fry until golden and crisp on a medium high heat. Keep stirring and fry. Towards the end if you want you may fry them on a low heat for even crispness. Once crisp remove to a steel colander.
- Make more ribbon pakoda and fry in batches until all of the dough finishes. Just ensure the oil is just hot enough and not too hot.
- Cool ribbon pakoda completely. Break them as desired to pieces and store in a airtight jar.
- Make sure you crush the cumin well.
- You may substitute fried gram with gram flour. In this case use a good amount of ajwain/omam/vaamu for a nice aroma.
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
Ribbon Pakoda Recipe first published in October 2015. Updated & republished in October 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.
Follow Swasthi’s Recipes