Forget about store-bought snacks...prepare this crispy, delicious chakli recipe and you will wonder how much money you could have easily saved by not buying them at the store. Chakkuli or Chakli is easy to make and lasts for weeks….if you can resist your temptation.
Try them today - you won't be disappointed! And I bet you can't just eat one! Rice flour mixed in a savory combination of black gram and cumin seeds, fried to golden brown perfection makes an irresistible snack.
What is Chakli/ Murukku/ Chakkuli?
Although the snack is called differently in different parts of India, the basic recipe is the same across India. Chakli is a spiral-shaped fried snack with a spiked surface.
It is typically made from flours of rice, Bengal gram (brown chickpea) and black gram (urad dal). It comes in several variations, depending on the types and proportion of flours used. “Murukku”, a similar snack but one of the popular variations is typically made without the Bengal gram flour, and called "chakli".
About this recipe
This chakli is also known as Urad dal murrukku (Karnataka style). The version with Urad Dal is not only the easiest of them all but also the crispiest. It just needs a few basic ingredients mixed with the right proportion of water.
Dough with the perfect consistency of water will give you the crispiest yet not a greasy snack. Their unique shape and texture get the right attention from kids too. I learned this recipe as a kid from my grandfather when he was preparing this snack for Krishnashtami ( Indian festival). I used to help him and also learned some of the finer nuances in preparing the dough.
As I said, Chakkuli can be prepared in several ways and I have presented one of the easy methods here. But even the easy methods take some patience and attention to detail, but it is definitely worth the extra effort!
To get the best tasting, crispy, and delicious chakli/ murukku you need:
- Rice flour: This is a quite common ingredient. Be sure to get the fine variety in a sealed bag.
- Urad dal / Black gram: I used whole black gram. But it is perfectly fine to use split black gram or urad dal.
- Vegan butter or coconut oil: Adding oil or butter makes the chaklis softer and they also remain crispy for a longer time.
- Cumin seeds and Sesame seeds: Apart from the nice aroma they bring, Cumin seeds and Sesame seeds give an authentic taste.
- Oil for deep fry: I used corn oil for this recipe. However, coconut oil is also a great option.
Equipment needed: Chakli press and a deep pan.
Without butter (vegan)
Most chakli recipes call for butter, but I have found the alternative that brings the same crispy texture and does not compromise on the authentic, traditional taste. For this vegan chakli recipe, I got equally good results with coconut oil as well as vegan butter.
How to cook the urad dal
Cook the black gram in a stovetop pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Cook until it gets very soft (4 whistles and slow cooling).
If you have an Instant Pot pressure cooker, cook the urad dal or black gram using pot in a pot (PIP) method. Add rinsed urad dal in a small pot and pour 1 ½ cup water. Cover the lid and cook for 25 mins in HP. Open the lid after the pressure is released naturally.
Once the pressure pin drops, open the lid and take out the cooked dal. Use the whisk to mash them and let it cool down. When it is warm enough to handle in the chakli recipe, you are ready to move onto the next step...
How to make this recipe
Take a big mixing bowl, mix the cooked black gram with rice flour, melted butter (vegan), salt, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds.
Mix all the ingredients to get an even mix.
You do not have to add water because the water from cooked black gram is sufficient.
Place a big frying pan with sufficient oil ( I used 4 cups of canola oil) over medium heat. Put the dough inside the chakli press.
Start pressing out the chakli dough in a circular spiral on small pieces of parchment paper or paper towels. I usually do 3 to 4 spiral rounds, close to each other to make one chakli.
Secure the end to the outermost circle so the chakli will stay together. Continue pressing the remaining chaklis. The tube usually holds enough dough to press out 8 to 10 chaklis.
Test the oil for optimum temperature by dropping a small piece of dough to the oil and check if it rises up gradually. If it rises up too fast, lowers the heat. If it does not rise up in 10 seconds, let the oil heat up a little more.
When the oil has heated optimally, carefully add chakli one at a time into the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the frying pan. You can add 3 to 6 chaklis at a time depending on the size of your pan.
Repeat pressing out the chakli and frying process for the remaining dough. Remember to increase the heat for the oil to high before adding the next batch of chakli.
Allow the chaklis to completely cool down and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They have a very good shelf life and they stay good for weeks or even months as long as you keep them away from moisture.
Chakkuli ready to serve with hot chai or any sweet treat!
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How To Make Chakli
- Cook the black gram in a stovetop pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Cook until it gets very soft (4 whistles and slow cooling).
- If you have an Instant Pot pressure cooker, cook the urad dal or black gram using pot in a pot (PIP) method. Add rinsed urad dal in a small pot and pour 1 ½ cup water. Cover the lid and cook for 25 mins in HP. Open the lid after natural pressure release.
- Once the dal is cooked, use the whisk to mash it and let it cool down.
- When it is warm enough to handle, mix it rice flour, melted butter (vegan), salt, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds.
- Mix all the ingredients to get an even mixture.
- Place a big frying pan with sufficient oil ( I used 4 cups of canola oil) over medium heat.
- Press out the chakli dough in a circular spiral on small pieces of parchment paper or paper towels.
- When the oil has heated optimally (check recipe details on how to reach optimum oil temperature), carefully add chakli one at a time into the frying pan. You can add 3 to 6 chaklis at a time depending on the size of your pan.
- Repeat pressing out the chakli and frying process for the remaining dough. Remember to increase the heat for the oil to high before adding the next batch of chakli.
- Allow the chaklis to completely cool down and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Crispy and warm chaklis are ready to be served! Enjoy them all year round!
- After cooking urad dal, be sure to mash them. Otherwise, the dough won’t be soft and it will be hard to press down.
- You can add a pinch of turmeric powder to get a nice golden color.
- Sift the rice flour before using it in the recipe.
- You can also use urad dal flour instead of urad dal. Add ½ cup flour and sift it nicely to remove the chunks.
- I added both cumin seeds and sesame seeds. But you can choose to add just one of them to suit your preference.
- Add little water to the dough in case if your dough is dry.
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