Andhra chekkalu recipe is simple, easy to make, vegan and gluten-free. Chekkalu are crispy, crunchy, thin and mostly round in shape rice flour crackers. Mildly spicy and heavenly addictive, these chekkalu are integral part of Andhra Pindi Vantalu.
About This Recipe
We Andradite’s don’t need a reason to munch a snack. We are up for snack anytime of the day. And as we know savory snack is more filling and nutritious than sweet one.
On a regular day in any Andhra house, you can find at least one savory munching snack. If there is a festival or any celebration like wedding, the first thing we stock at home are sweet and savory snacks. We call these as Pindi Vantalu, because flour (pindi) is the main ingredient in making these sweets and savories.
There are many variations in ingredients in making these chekkalu. The recipe I am sharing with you today is simple and easy to follow with pantry staple ingredients.
What Are Chekkalu?
Chekkalu are amazingly delicious savory festive snack. Rice flour, sago, urad dal or chana dal, green chilli paste and oil are the main ingredients in making these crispy crackers.
Andhra chekkalu recipe is vegan as we are using oil and gluten-free as we are using rice flour. These are thin, crunchy and very much addictive savory snack. Chekkalu is a Telugu word. In Telugu, chekka or chakka means wood. I am not sure why people call this as chekkalu. May be because these are in wood color or may be because these are crisp like wood.
Other Names of Chekkalu
Chekkalu is a south Indian savory snack. As any other Indian recipe, this chekkalu recipe is also highly customisable. The other names of chekkalu, depending on the region are,
Chekkalu | Chakkalu – Telugu
Nippatu – Kannada
Thattai – Tamil
Depending on the region, there is slight difference in the ingredients too. As mentioned above, today I am sharing with you a very simple and easy chekkalu recipe.
Andhra Chekkalu Main Ingredients
Rice Flour | Rice Powder – Traditionally, freshly milled rice flour is preferred in making these chekkalu. Instead of this, you can use organic rice flour too. Rice flour is gluten-free and has neutral flavour.
Urad Dal | Mash ki Dal | Minappau – Soak urad dal for at least two hours before adding it to the flour. Urad dal will provide nice soft crunch to chekkalu.
Sago | Sabudana | Saggubiyyam – Wash and soak sago for at least 2 hour before adding it to the flour. Sago upon frying gives a distinct crunch. I add small size sago pearls. Soaking time is less for small sago pearls and these turn crunchy upon frying. My little one likes sago in chekkalu, so I add handful of them. White sago pearls give appealing look to the chekkalu.
Green Chilli, Ginger, Curry Leaves & Cumin Seeds – Grind and make a coarse paste of these ingredients and it to the flour. These ingredients help in giving spice, taste and flavour to chekkalu.
Oil – I prefer using sunflower oil. Any neutral or flavourless oil is good for kneading the dough. Heat oil until smoky and carefully pour this over rice flour. A sizzle sound should come. If the sizzle sound is not coming, then the oil is not hot enough. Apart from this, we need oil for deep frying the chekkalu.
Tips & Variations
Hot oil will help in binding the flour and making a stiff dough. This will also help in removing the raw smell of rice flour.
Instead of oil, you can use butter or ghee. If using butter or ghee, melt it and heat it till it is hot and then add it to the flour.
You can skip adding urad dal and instead of it, you can use chana dal. If using chana dal, soak in water for two hours and use accordingly.
Instead of adding whole urad dal, urad dal flour is added to rice flour. Chekkalu with urad dal and rice flour combination are also crispy and crunchy.
You can even skip adding sago. Instead of sago, you can use lightly crushed peanuts or roasted chana dal (dhalia | phutanalu | phutane). The ones with roasted chana dal are called pappu chekkalu.
My friend’s mom adds coarsely ground or small size black peppercorns. If using black peppercorns, reduce or skip adding green chillies.
Instead of green chillies, red chili powder is added to bring spice in chekkalu.
Sometimes a small teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste is added to bring aroma, taste and flavour in chekkalu.
Some people add hing (asefoitida) to chekkalu.
Andhra Chekkalu Recipe
Step by Step Recipe
Start by soaking urad dal and sago pearls. Thoroughly wash and soak urad dal and small size sago pearls in two different bowls. Soak for at least two hours.
Add green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds and curry leaves to a mixer jar. Grind and make a coarse paste of the ingredients in the jar. Set this aside.
In a wide bowl, sieve rice flour. Drain the water from urad dal and sago pearls. Add these to rice flour.
Now add above ground green chilli paste and salt. Gently combine the ingredients using spatula or big spoon.
Now create a well in the center of the ingredients and add hot oil. Slowly cover the oil with the flour by bringing the flour from the sides of the vessel to the center.
Carefully start rubbing the flour and oil mixture. The mixture should look like bread crumbs or sand. Now slowly add warm water and start to knead the dough.
Knead till dough turn soft and stiff. Cover the dough with a muslin cloth and leave for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, knead the dough for a minute and start dividing the dough into small and equal size balls.
Cover the dough and balls with muslin cloth, otherwise the outer layer of dough will turn dry and hard.
Shaping Andhra Chekkalu
The easy way to shape chekkalu is by lining the inside of the poori presser with a polythene or butter paper or parchment paper.
This is most convenient and easy way to shape chekkalu. Other than this, you can use cooking oil packet cover or milk packet to shape the chekkalu.
I have seen in few videos, people using banana leaf or plastic sheet like zip lock bag to shape chekkalu.
I feel comfortable and convenient to use poori presser. Line the insides of the poori presser with plastic sheet on both the sides of the presser.
Lightly grease it with oil. Then place a small dough ball in the center and gently press the poori presser. You should be very gentle while pressing. Otherwise, chekkalu will break.
Place the shaped chekkalu on a paper or in greased plate. At a time, press at least 15-20 and spread them on paper. Keep distance between the chekkalu.
Frying The Chekkalu
Heat enough oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot, reduce the flame and slowly from the side of the pan, drop one by one of the shaped dough. Do not over crowd the pan.
Fry on medium flame, till chekkalu turn nice golden brown on all the sides. Using a slotted spoon, remove chekkalu from oil.
Place them on kitchen tissue to absorb extra oil. Now repeat and complete the remaining dough.
Once the chekkalu reach room temperature, store these in a clean and dry moisture free jar.
Generally, savory snacks are stored in a stainless or glass storage boxes.
If stored properly, these chekkalu stays fresh for 3-4 weeks.
- 3 cups Rice Flour
- 3 tbsp. Oil
- 1 tsp. Salt or as per your taste
- ¼ cup Sago
- ¼ cup Urad dal soak
- 10 Green Chillies
- 2 inch Ginger roughly chopped
- 12 Curry leaves
- 1 tbsp. Cumin Seeds
How To Make Andhra Chekkalu Recipe
- Wash and soak urad dal and sago pearls in two separate bowls for at least 2 hours.
- Grind and make coarse paste of green chillies, ginger, cumin and curry leaves.
- Completely drain the water from urad dal and sago pearls.
In a wide bowl, sieve rice flour. To this add urad dal, sago perals and above ground green chili paste.
- Add salt and lightly combine the ingredients. Now add hot oil and carefully mix the ingredients using a spatula.
- Once the mixture is cool enough to touch. Gently with fingers, mix the ingredients till it looks like bread crumbs or sand.
- Now add warm water and knead to form a soft and stiff dough. Rest the dough for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, line the poori presser with parchment or polythene.
- Grease it with oil. Now make small balls out of the dough and start shaping them.
- To shape, chekkalu, place a small dough ball on the greased parchement and gently press the poori presser.
- Carefully, remove this and place it on a paper or oil greased plate.
Complete at least 10-15 before, you start to fry.
- In the meantime, cover and keep the dough and dough balls.
Heat enough oil for deep frying.
- When the oil is hot, reduce the flame and from the corner of the pan, slowly drop one by one pressed chekkalu. (see the pictures in the post).
- Don not overcrowd the pan. Fry chekkalu on medium heat only.
- Carefully flip and fry chekkalu on both the sides. Fry till chekkalu turn nice golden brown on all sides.
- Using a slotted, spoon carefully remove them from oil.
- Place them in a stainless fine sieve bowl or on kitchen tissue.
- Repeat and complete the dough.
- Once chekkalu reach room temperature, store them in a clean and dry moisture free air tight jar.
- Add love to make these chekkalu taste 'Yummy'.
As mentioned in the post, chekkalu are anytime munching snack. Serve these with evening tea or coffee. Or you can relish these as a quick nibble when you are hungry in between the meals.
You can pack these in snack box for school or office or as bus snack.
Perfect munchies to carry on long road trips and journeys.
Instead of papad, you can serve this with meals.
I like to relish chekkalu with sambar sadam, rasam rice,or any dal rice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
This is the last recipe, I documented when my friend Lav was in her good health and glory. I could not bring courage to post or to go through the pictures. It almost took me seven years sit, edit and write this post. The brief period, I enjoyed being with you, clicking food pics and documenting recipes is one of the BEST time of my life, Lav. Thank you for these wonderful memories Lav. Miss you a little more every day.