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Sakinalu

Sakinalu are a traditional deep fried, round, spiral snack from Telangana, prepared with freshly ground rice flour and sesame seeds. It is a tradition to prepare during Sankranti and weddings.
Course Snack
Cuisine Telangana Cuisine
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rice Flour 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 20 pieces
Author Usha Rao

Equipment

  • Wide Bowl
  • Deep Frying Pan
  • Flat Plates or Spatula to lift sakinalu from a cloth
  • Thick cloth to shape sakinalu on

Ingredients

Basic ~ Plain ~ Tella Sakinalu

  • 2 ½ glasses Rice Flour
  • 1 glass Sesame Seeds
  • 2 tsp Ajwain
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3 tsp Salt adjust to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

For Karam ~ Erra Sakinalu

  • 2 tbsp. approx. Fresh Red Chilies Paste to above recipe.

For Green Chilies Sakinalu

  • Green Chilies and Garlic Cloves Paste to taste
  • 2 tbsp of Cilantro ~ Kothimir Leaves + Green Onions finely chopped

Instructions

Rice Flour:

  • Soak rice for 3 hours. Discard water and put the rice in a strainer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Grind rice to powder/flour in a mixie. Sieve rice and keep aside coarse rice to grind again. Flour is ready to be used.
  • Here in the US, rice flour from Chinese store works well for sakinlau and ariselu. Ingredient list on the back of rice flour should say water and rice.

Preparation:

  • Wash sesame seeds and let drain.
  • In a wide bowl take all the ingredients except water and oil.
  • Mix the ingredients until well blended.
  • Taste flour mixture and adjust salt to taste. If you can not really make out, sprinkle some water on a small portion of the flour mixture and taste it. It is easier to season the mixture when dry.
  • If making spicy sakinalu, add red chili paste or green chili paste in this step.
  • Add water and make the dough. It should be a soft and not very watery dough.
  • Spread a thick cloth on the floor or on a dining table where you would be making the sakinalu.

Gauramma (opt)

  • Take some dough in hand a make a small human kind of figure, one dough ball as head and slightly bigger one as the body, as in the collage above. It is customary to make such figurine with the dough, apply sindoor (vermilion) and turmeric powder to it.
  • First sakinam is made around this figure. This figure is considered to be goddess Gauri. Once the sakinalu are prepared, this Gauramma (goddess Gauri’s figurine) is put in the rice dabba (box) or in tulasi (holy basil) plant.

Shaping Sakinalu

  • Take a small gooseberry size dough in your fingers. Twist and roll the dough between fingers and make round circles. Check the video above or one below in the recipe card to see how a sakinam shaped.
  • Repeat above step for rest of the dough.

Frying Sakinalu

  • Once sakinalu are dry, you will know when they are dry, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, heat oil for deep frying. For this quantity of sakinalu, I would suggest making all the sakinalu before you begin deep frying.
  • Using a flat plate, lift the sakinalu and transfer to oil. You can stack 3-4 sakinalu at a time and then slide the whole lot into oil at once.
  • Depending on the size of the pan, you can fry more than one sakinam (singular) at a time. To maintain the same temperature of oil, always keep the flame on medium high – high. If the oil is very hot, reduce the flame.
  • After dropping the sakinalu in oil, wait for them to float in oil and then turn them around. Keep turning the sakinalu for even frying on both sides. Fry until done.
  • You can do a taste test to figure out how long to fry when you fry the first batch. Using a garela pulla (a metal skewer like gadget which is used to remove any deep fried food that has hole in the middle, such as garelu (vada), chegodi or sakinam), line all the sakinalu on the rod and remove from oil. Place this rod on a vessel to let the oil drip down into the vessel. If you do not have a garela pulla, a long metal skewer will work or a wide slotted spoon will work as well. Once oil stops dripping, place on paper towels or newspaper to drain any remaining oil.
  • Repeat above steps to fry all sakinlau.
  • Storing
  • When sakinalu are completely cool, store in an airtight container. These stay fresh for at least 2 weeks at room temperature and for months in the refrigerator. However, if storing in the refrigerator, bring them to room temperature before savoring.

Video

Notes

  • Rice Flour – Here in the US, we can use the rice flour sold in Chinese stores. There are two varieties sold in Chinese store and pick the packet that has rice and water on the ingredient list. This rice flour works for sakinalu and some of my aunts use it to make sakinalu here. This rice flour also works for ariselu.
  • Sesame Seeds – Use 1:3 sesame seeds to rice flour if you are making sakinlau for the first time and are not a seasoned skinlau maker. Use 1:2 ½ ratio for more sesame seeds. More seeds in the dough, challenging it is to shape sakinalu.
  • Dough – If the dough becomes very sticky due to excess water in plain sakinalu dough, cover it with a dry cloth or roll it on dry cloth. The cloth will absorb excess water. If this happens with karam sakinalu or green chilies sakinalu dough, the only option is adding more flour. Usually cloth can not absorb as much moisture from spicy sakinalu dough.
  • Salty Dough - Cloth absorbs salt. If the dough is salty, roll it on the cloth and mind you, this also make the dough dry. Add some water to bring the dough to the right consistency before shaping sakinalu.
  • Time to Prepare Sakinalu – Cousin A says, seasoned sakinalu maker can shape 20 sakinalu in 10 - 15 minutes, about 30 - 45 minutes to dry and 10 - 20 minutes to fry, depending on the size of the frying pan.