Odappalu ~ Instant Rice Flour Garelu (Vada)

After a break on Sunday, we resume our A-Z Challenge culinary Journey Through Telangana Cuisine with letter ‘O’. Like the last two letters, my ‘O’ was finalized long ago and odappalu were my first and last choice for the letter. There aren’t any vegetables or food items starting with ‘O’ in Telugu, except odappalu. There is oma or voma (ajwain) but there isn’t any food that is prepared with oma as the main ingredient. There is a home remedy for cough and cold using oma, I guess that would have been my last resort, if not for odappalu.

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When I was little, maybe 7 or 8 years old, or even younger, I remember this one conversation between my paternal grandmother and her co-sister, who is cousin A’s (the one who assisted in making chegodi) paternal grandmother. Every year my grandaunt visited us in summers during pickling season and prepared variety of mango pickles to last a year. My grandaunt was a very good cook and very quick in the kitchen. She lived in a nearby village, 20-30 minutes drive from my town but she hardly visited us or traveled anywhere. Whenever she did visit us, she use to make a variety of food; usually palaharam, sweets and pickles. During one such visits, she made some palaharam (traditional snacks that had a long shelf life) when the above mentioned conversation occurred. Conversation was about odappalu, that same dough is used for both chegodi and odapplau, and the only difference is, chegodi are shaped into rings and odappalu are pressed into garelu. That is the only bit of information I remember about odappalu and do not even remember seeing the final product nor tasting it.

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Last December/January when I asked amma to cook some palaharam for the blog with cousin A’s assistance, I had brought up odappalu. Cousin didn’t know what I was talking about. Amma said she remembers odappalu but hadn’t made it in years, maybe even in decades and that it is eaten with venna (butter). I did not probe further. Since I had the recipe for chegodi, I made odappalu after coming back to US. I pressed them thin like we do for palli garelu (chekkalu) and husband liked those a lot. But, what bothered me was why amma said these are eaten with butter, when palli garelu are eaten as it is? I asked amma how odappalu are suppose to look and that mine were crisp and crunchy. She said I might have pressed it very thin. These should not be as thin as palli garelu (chekkalu) and not very thick like pesara garelu (moong dal vada). She also said these appalu are pressed and fried right away, just like pesara garelu, and are puffy. Below is the picture of how my odapplau looked the first time I made them. Since the taste was good, I can rename these as nuvvula garelu (chekkalu) and post it later. For now, it goes to my magic folder, hoping to enrich it just like PJ’s.. 😉

Nuvvula Garelu

I made odappalu again following amma’s suggestions and this time I made half a batch without onion garlic paste and other half with the paste. Both the appalu came out yummy though I preferred the ones with onion garlic paste. This time husband did not taste these appalu but I ate them all day all by myself for breakfast, lunch and as an evening snack. I made a hole in the middle for all the applau except for one. You can see the tiny appa in the middle of the platter in the first picture, which puffed like poori. Odappalu with a hole in the middle can be called instant rice flour garelu (vada) and the ones without a hole as rice flour masala poori. :) As for the taste, it tasted like masala poori.

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Total Time: 30 – 35
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Yields: 18 – 20 depending on the size

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Rice Flour
  • 1 – 1 ½ tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste )
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Cumin Seeds
  • ¼ tsp. Ajwain
  • 2 Pearl Onions or approximately 1 tbsp chopped Onion (opt)
  • 1 small – medium Garlic (opt)
  • ¼ tsp cumin Seeds (yes, I listed it twice and this is to be used when grinding the onions) (opt)
  • ¾ – 1 cup hot Water (won’t need all of it)
  • ½ cup Sesame Seeds, washed and drained

Preparation:

  • Grind together onion, garlic and ¼ tsp cumin seeds.
  • Wash sesame seeds and let it drain.
  • In a big bowl, take all the ingredients except sesame seeds, water and oil.
  • Mix together all the ingredients until well mixed.
  • Add sesame seeds and mix. At this point you can taste the flour mixture, adjust chili powder and salt to taste. If the mixture is very hot or salty, add some flour.
  • Gradually add hot water and mix the flour. Mind you, it is hot water and do not burn your hand. Once the flour comes together, knead the dough gently. Dough should be on the softer side and pliable.
  • Heat oil for deep frying.
  • Divide the dough into small gooseberry size balls.
  • Take a ziplock bag or a plastic bag and cut it open. Keep a small bowl of water ready. Line a plate or platter with paper towels to drain excess oil from the appalu.
  • When oil is hot, wipe the plastic bag with wet fingers, place one dough ball in the middle of the plastic bag and press it gently with fingers to make a circle. If necessary, wet your fingers. If the dough is pliable, it should be easy to press the dough. Make a hole in the middle of the circle.
  • Now place the cover on your right fingers such that the appa is on your fingers and gently peel of the plastic from top. Gently slide the appa into hot oil.
  • Let the appa rise to the top and flip it. Fry the appa until it is light brown and cooked all through. Fry on medium – medium high flame.
  • Remove from oil and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Repeat the same with rest of the dough. If there is someone assisting, you can fry two or three applau at a time depending on how wide the pan is. Some batches I fried two appalu at a time and at times it was just one.
  • Serve odapplau warm, with some butter. If there are any leftovers, store in an airtight container and these stay good for at least one to one and half day at room temperature.

This day in 2012: Chili Rubbed Roasted Chicken
This day in 2014: Tungtap & Jadoh from Meghalaya
This day in 2015: Ispanaki Pide ~ Turkish Pizza
Events: This post also goes to A-Z Challenge for day 15, letter ‘O’.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

So far in this A-Z Journey Through Telangana Cuisine,
A for Attu Tunukala Koora
B for Biyyapattlu
C for Chegodi
D for Dondakaya Barada
E for Ellipaya Karam
F for Fenugreek (Menthi) Aaku Pesaru Pappu Koora
G for Garela Pulusu
H for Hyacinth Beans (Anapakaya) Annam
I for Iguru, Goru Chikkudukaya Iguru
J for Jonna Rotte
K for Kudumulu
L for Laddu
M for Makka Gudaalu
N for Nethichamili Muddalu

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