The Sensitive Kitchen

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kara Sev

Time once again for Diwali preparations! I get a little braver every year, so this time around I'm making my own namkeen (spicy snacks). This one is traditionally made by rubbing dough through the holes of a sevai ladle. This struck me as unnecessarily laborious, and anyway I don't have a sevai ladle. So I used my murukku maker. If you don't have one, I'm sure something could be worked out using a spritz press, or even a handheld (not box) grater. You might not get the traditional short-fried-noodle shape of kara sev, but they would still be delicious.

1 c besan (chickpea flour)
1 c rice flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ghee
Water (5-6 Tbsp)
Rice bran oil for deep-frying

Sift together besan and rice flour to remove lumps. (Besan will clump up a traditional sifter, so it's better to use a metal sieve.) Add baking soda, pepper, cayenne and salt; stir to combine. Add ghee and 4 Tbsp water. Mix this, adding water by tablespoonfuls, until you have a moderately stiff but not crumbly dough.

Heat oil on high until it shimmers, then back off to medium-ish (I used 6.5 setting). While oil is heating, prepare a resting place: put a single layer of paper towels on a cooling rack, and set this on a sheet pan to catch any drips.

Put dough in a murukku maker with the sevai plate (many large holes). Squeeze out 1" lengths and cut them off into the frying oil. Fry until bubbling subsides and sevai are just golden. Remove with a spider to your cooling rack. When completely cooled, store in an airtight container. Makes 6 cups.

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