Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kerala Churuttu (Thin Flour Sheets with sweetened Rice filling)

Recipe No: 246
 This is a traditional Christian snack/ dessert common in the Kottayam region of Kerala and happened to be one of my favorites. When I came to Thiruvananthapuram after marriage this was one snack that I missed a lot. The filling is sweetened Avalose Podi but the trickier part is the skin, also called ‘Mandaka’, (funny name but I don’t know its origin) which is a very thin sheet made with Maida/ All purpose Flour. If the skin is not thin then you won’t get the almost transparent effect which is very characteristic of Churuttu. Let me try to explain to the best of my ability how this ‘endangered’ traditional sweet is made.
To make the filling
  • Avalose Podi……………...1 1/4 Cup (For recipe click here)
  • Sugar……………………….1 Cup
  • Water………………………1/3 Cup
  • Lemon/ Lime Juice..….1 Teaspoon
  • Cardamom Powder…..1/8 Teaspoon
To make the Covering/ Mandaka
  • Maida……………………....1/2 Cup
  • Salt a pinch
  • Water as needed
  • Oil and Flour as needed
To make the Sugar syrup
  • Sugar……………………….1/3 Cup
  • Water………………………3 Tablespoons
Method of Preparation
To make the Filling
  1. Heat 1 cup Sugar with 1/3 Cup Water to a one thread consistency.
  2. Add the Lemon juice and mix well.
  3. Add Avalose Podi and the Cardamom Powder; mix well; switch off the heat and keep aside till it cools a bit.
To make the Sugar Syrup
  1. Mix 1/3 Cup Sugar and 3 Tablespoons of Water; boil till it attains a one thread consistency. Keep aside till ready to be used. (This will give the stickiness and moisture to the Covering/ Mandaka while assembling the Churuttu)
To make the Covering/ Mandaka
  1. Mix Flour and Salt and make a very soft dough using enough Water. (This should be softer than Puri dough.)
  2. Let it rest for 30 minutes. By this time the dough will become more soft and stretchy.
  3. Take two balls which are a bit bigger in size as that of a marble and roll out into 3 inch circles.
  4. Spread some Oil evenly on top of one piece of rolled dough; sprinkle some Flour on top and cover with the second piece of dough.
  5. Roll out this layered dough as thin as possible and keep aside till you finish doing the rest.
  6. Cut out circles as big as possible from the rolled out dough, taking care to avoid the edges where the dough may not be overlapped, as those portion tends to be thick. (You can use the leftover dough to make more of these covering.)
  7. Heat a thawa/ flat pan on medium low heat and partially cook the rolled out dough on both sides. (Don’t let it brown.) Once cooked, it will bubble up revealing the two layers.
  8. At this point take it out and separate the two layers. This will give you the thinnest possible Covering/ Mandaka to make Churuttu. (This is only partially cooked, but we will cook it again later.)
  9. Once all the dough coverings are semi cooked and separated, place the semicooked Flour sheets one by one  on the hot pan and cook on both sides again. This will slightly toast the Mandaka, which will later make the covering of Churuttu crispy.
  10. Once cooked, cut it into two so that you get two semicircles out of one sheet. (You can make all of them and then start assembling the Churuttu, but I prefer to do it side by side as the Covering/ Mandaka had a tendency to become crispy after the second cooking. If it becomes crispy before making the Churuttu, it may crack when you make the cone.)
To make the Churuttu
  1. Pour the prepared Sugar Syrup in a plate.
  2. Dip one side of Mandaka in the Syrup and let the extra syrup drip off.
  3. Make a cone by overlapping the two halves of the straight side of the semicircle.
  4. Stuff the cone with some of the prepared filling (Don’t overfill) and press the edges together using three fingers so that the signature three spiked pattern is formed. (The edges will stick together due to the presence of the Sugar Syrup. Please refer the pictures to understand more.)
  5. Repeat the same process with the rest and serve at room temperature.
  • To know whether the Sugar Syrup reached a one thread consistency, touch the Syrup and press it between the index finger and the thumb. If it forms one thread without breaking fast, then that is a one thread consistency.
  • Lemon Juice will prevent the crystallization of Sugar which is very important in this dish.
  • The covering should be as thin as possible so that it will slightly crisp up once made. This will also help the Sugar Syrup penetrate the skin making it moist.
  • It is easier to make Churuttu if  Mandaka and the Syrup are still warm.
  • Churuttu tastes the best after two or more days.
  • It will stay good for at least two weeks at room temperature. Don't refrigerate Churuttu as it  crystallizes the Sugar, destroying its texture.

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
serve it to your family with love…


sojo said...

Asha, u do have patience... I go to tiruvalla bakery and buy and eat and eat and eat coz I love this... never tried this myself... uve explained it soooooo mom makes avalose podi and avalose unda in large quantities for all of us to take it.. do u know Kottayam Maami chettati? we used to buy CHURUTTU from her... really Asha, u r a PRASTHAANAM....

Priya Suresh said...

Omg, u have loads of patience this kerala churuttu looks simply awesome and completely new to me..Fantastic job..

Asha said...

Thanks a lot...guys... This is so dear to me...

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Oh Asha...ithu super aayittundu....Hats off for your patience...

Liz said...

I couldn't help comment on this, coz I was thinking about churuttu yesterday morning and wildly wishing you would post the recipe. Now, do you have some 6th sense??!! (or is it me who sensed the recipe is on the way?) This snack is becoming so extinct, and my mom commented the other day that the churuttu they get nowadays is no way near 'Maami cheduthi's churuttu'. Kottayam folks can never get over the love for churuttu! Way to go girl!

Vimitha Durai said...

Thats really a very tedious job but the outcome is yum...

Jeena said...

wow i have never come across a churuttu recipe here. awesome work.. and ofcourse people from kottayam love it. i doubt whether any other part has this sweet itself.

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