Thattai recipe with video & step by step photos. Thattai are popular deep fried Snacks made with rice flour, urad dal flour, salt and herbs. These crunchy rice crackers are from the Tamil cuisine and are also known as thattu vadai. During the festive season thattai & murukku are made in most South Indian homes as festivals are incomplete without fresh homemade delicacies.
Thattai are known as Nippattu in karnataka and chekkalu in Andhra. However all these 3 are different in texture and taste as they are made with different proportions and ingredients.
Each home has their own recipe of making these to suit their personal preference. This recipe yields light, tasty and crispy thattai that you can make for a tea time snack.
Making perfectly crunchy traditional rice flour snacks begins with rinsing the rice well, draining and drying. Then milled to flour as the fresh ground flour enhances the aroma & texture of these snacks.
To make thattai and murukku, I follow the same traditional method & make rice flour at home using raw rice during festivals. However this time I have made these using store bought rice flour.
If you have a helping hand home then I suggest making thattai with homemade rice flour as they taste the best.
If using store bought rice flour make sure you use the one from an Indian brand preferably South Indian brands. There are tons of varieties of rice flour available in the market – made with long rice, sticky rice, glutinous rice, boiled rice etc.
Many of these do not work well to make these rice crackers. Unknowingly I had tried these snacks a few years ago with different kinds of flours and they turned out to be soft within hours.
So the key to tasty and crunchy thattai is good rice flour. If you are a beginner, I would highly recommend watching the thattai recipe video and the following the step by step photo instructions.
Thattai recipe or thattu vadai
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
To roast and powder
- 1½ tsp urad dal or 1½ tbsp peanuts
Ingredients for thattai
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 tbsp butter (unsalted)
- 2 tbsp fried gram or roasted gram or pottukadalai
- 1 tbsp chana dal or bengal gram (soaked for 1 hour)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds (crushed, optional, use fresh)
- ½ tsp red chilli powder (use 1 tsp for spicy)
- ¼ tsp asafoetida or hing
- Salt as needed
- 1 sprig curry leaves chopped finely
- Water as needed
- Oil for deep frying as needed
How to make the recipe
- Wash and soak chana dal for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
- Dry roast urad dal or peanuts until lightly golden and cool them. If using peanuts, remove the skin.
- Add urad dal to a blender jar along with fried gram. Make a fine powder. If using peanuts, then powder fried gram very fine, then add skinned peanuts and make a coarse powder. You can also powder sesame seeds.
Making thattai dough
- To a mixing bowl, add rice flour, urad dal & fried gram powder, red chili powder, hing, salt, sesame seeds & chopped curry leaves.
- Drain the soaked chana dal and add it to the bowl.
- Also add soft butter & mix all of them well to incorporate the butter.
- Pour little water and begin to mix everything to make thattai dough.
- Add more water as needed and make the dough.
- Dough has to be non sticky, stiff and smooth.
- Too moist dough will make your thattai greasy as the excess moisture will soak up oil.
- Next too little moisture in the dough will make the thattai crack a lot while spreading the dough and make them hard.
- Taste the dough and add more salt if required.
- Divide the dough to 14 to 16 balls. Keep it covered.
How to make thattai
- Heat oil on a medium flame in a wide kadai.
- Spread a dry cloth, grease your fingers.
- Place a ball on the cloth or greased sheet.
- Begin to spread them moderately thin.
- Very thin thattai will break when you remove from the cloth. Very thick ones will not turn crisp.
- If the edges begin to crack then join them together.
- Make as many thattai as possible till the oil heats up.
- Check if the oil is hot by dropping a tiny flat piece of dough. It should rise and not sink.
- Transfer one thattai at one time to the hot oil.
- You can fry more than one thattai at one time if there is space in your kadai. But do not crowd them as they will not fry properly.
- Make sure the flame is set to medium high. Low flame will make them oily and high flame will brown them.
- Flip them when fried on one side. Flip as needed to both the sides and fry until evenly golden & crisp.
- When they are fried fully, bubbles will begin to reduce in the oil.
- Drain them on a kitchen tissue.
- Repeat frying them in batches.
- When they cool down, transfer them immediately to a tight air tight container.
- Serve thattai as a snack. They keep good for about 2 weeks if fried in fresh oil.
Video of thattai recipe
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Recipe notes for thattai recipeTo prevent thattai from turning soft and to keep them crisp for many days, make them as thin as possible, Fry them on a medium high heat until crispy. Transfer them immediately once cool down to an airtight jar / box. If you plan to offer this as naivedyam then replace chilli powder with pepper. Urad dal is added for flavor and to make the thattai light, you can also use peanuts. Do not over fry them for long time on a low flame they turn hard.
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
Preparation for thattai recipe
1. Wash and soak chana dal for 1 hour, drain it completely and set aside.
2. Roast urad dal or peanuts on a low to medium flame till golden. Cool completely. If using peanuts, then remove the skin.
3. Add roasted dal and fried gram to a blender jar. If using peanuts, first powder the fried gram very fine. Then add peanuts and make a coarse powder. You can also powder sesame seeds and use.
4. I used urad dal & fried gram so i made a fine powder together.
5. Add rice flour, urad dal and fried gram flour, salt, red chili powder, drained chana dal and sesame seeds. Sometimes sesame seeds splutter while frying, so make sure they are lightly crushed.
6. Add curry leaves and butter.
7. Mix up gently to incorporate the butter and then add water little by little. Do not pour lot of water at one time.
8. Make a stiff and non sticky soft dough.
9. Divide the dough to 14 to 16 balls.
How to make thattai recipe
10. Spread a dry cloth. Grease your fingers. Begin to make thattai by flattening the dough ball.
11. Flatten the dough as much as possible. You will see the balls begin to crack towards the edges. That is just fine, join up the cracks. Grease your fingers as needed. You can also flatten these with the base of a greased steel bowl or a greased lid. I am comfortable making these with fingers as the thattai turns out even with fingers.
12. Make these thin as shown in the picture. Too thin thattai will break while you lift and too thick ones will not turn crisp. So make them moderately thin.
13. Heat oil in a deep kadai. When the oil is hot enough, drop a small flat piece of dough to check if the oil is hot enough. The dough should come up and not sink to the bottom.
Slide thattai in the hot oil from the sides. Take cake while you slide it. Flip and fry on both sides until golden. You can fry more than one thattai at one time if there is enough space in the kadai.
14. The bubbles begin to reduce when they are well fried. Drain them to a kitchen towel. Cool them completely.
They will look very oil as soon as you remove them from oil but then nothing much would be on the surface or in the thattai.
Now comes the very important part of storing them well. Not only the method of preparing thattai even the way they are stored is very important to keep them fresh and crispy for many days.
Do use a clean and moisture free air tight container. I use air tight stainless steel containers to store thattai, chakli, murukku.
Do not leave them too long to the air/fan/ air con once they are cooled down. As soon as you notice them cooled transfer them to the jar.
Thattai should be completely cool before moving to the jar. These keep good for 2 weeks.