As far as I can remember, no Diwali passed by without my mom's special Ribbon Pakoda. We had to have it to make it a Diwali. Thick, crunchy, crispy, right amount of salt, right amount of heat, not oily at all by any means - the perfect way it should be. Amma used to soak 2 kgs of rice and grind it in her grinder machine and add pottukadalai powder (roasted gram dal) and other stuff and make it deep into the night, just a day before Diwali. Sometimes she used to make it even on other days just because. To make a normal day special. I have never tasted Ribbon Pakoda, better than hers. This I say after trying many many different Ribbon Pakoda recipes from aunties, my grandma, relatives and even those well renowned sweet stores.
Now I had made it once, exactly the same way my mom used to make and it was just awesome. I tried the first time halving her recipe, but even that took a HUGE amount of time to finish making the entire lot. I never tried it again. Then recently I was going to Saffronhut's yummy recipes and found a ribbon pakoda recipe which used 1 cup rice flour. Just 1 cup! No soaking, grinding, nothing. This, I can do - I thought. It should take very less time and effort. But I don't like kadalaimaavu taste in Ribbon Pakoda. What do I do now?? Then something clicked and I realized that I could micro-size my mom's recipe and use rice flour instead. :) Voila! This recipe was born that minute. And guess what? It tasted almost the same way as my mom's. And now, my daughter enjoys it the same way her mom did in her early years.
Rice flour - one 265 ml cup + 2 tbsp
Pottukadalai (Roasted gram dal/dhalia) - powdered - 1/2 of the same cup
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (or more if you like)
White sesame seeds - 1 Tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Butter - 1/2 tsp, softened
Salt - to taste
Sift rice flour and pottukadalai flour and mix together. Add the rest of the stuff (except butter) and mix well and keep it aside. Mix it with the dry flour till it's not sticky anymore and it is well mixed with the flour. Add some water and mix it till it becomes a thick dough. The lesser the water, the better.
Use the ribbon pakoda disc in the murukku maker and make flat ribbon like designs in the hot oil. Drain on paper towels. Leave it out for 20 mins and store in airtight container.
Keeps well for almost a month, if you have that much self control to not eat it until then. :) I like it to eat on its own or with Sambar saadham or rasam saadham.
1. If the ribbons are not forming well and is absorbing more oil, the dough is too watery. Add more rice flour.
2. If it's too hard to press, add 1/2 tbsp of water and try again. If still hard to press, add some more water.
3. Do not add more butter. It makes the ribbons very crumbly.