Dried black grams thick crackers… ay, that’s some name I chose for this recipe LOL. Why do we always sell a recipe with an opening verbs like tasty, delicious, has a good snap, so forth and so on?
I guess if we don’t like what we sell then how do we convince people to try it. Marketing strategy? Must be!
I bought dried black grams to make Ulundhu Kali. They are also known as black lentils, mung beans… it has many names! checkout this Wikipedia page for where it is cultivated and it’s nutrition benefits and ofcourse it’s other names!
I tell you, making Ulundhu Kali is hard work! You have to constantly stir the dough to prevent any lumps and to avoid burnt bottom. Then you have to cook them in lots of sesame oil. Yikes! I would have been against this step a few months ago but not now. Sesame oil is good for women’s health.
In olden days, Tamil Nadu women used a variety of oils in their day to day life after science interfered, we stopped using them and only stuck with sunflower oil to run away from trans fat. As long as I can remember, only sunflower oil is used in my house.
This might not be best practice in the overpopulated and undernourished developing country. We need to bring back other oils and use it moderately to gain all the strength we have lost over the years.
The problem is, people are either obsessed with rich countries’ food habits or they overdo the traditional Indian method. There doesn’t seem to be a balance between the two. Realising what we are doing wrong and practicing some mindfulness may hence solve the problem.
Dried black grams thick crackers definitely has quick prep time and you can whip up a batch in the evening to accompany your tea. When you bite into the cookies, the ground black grams just disintegrates in your mouth. I was hesistant about using Jaggery to sweeten the dough. My aim was to replicate the taste of Ulundhu kali and I also wanted something which can be devoured in a week’s time.
Bake and store it in an air tight container and enjoy it’s sweet aroma every time you open it!
I was happy it turned out so good!
Here’s the recipe.
1 cup wheat flour, spooned and leveled
1/4 cup + ½ T tightly packed pounded Jaggery
1/4 cup +2 T water, divided
1/4 cup of dried black grams with skin
1/4 cup cubed cold unsalted butter, roughly measured.
1/8 t of tablesalt
Tools needed: A fork, a rolling pin, clean and smooth surface for rolling the dough.
Dissolve jaggery and strain dirt.
Mix all the above ingredients in a medium-sized wide vessel, cut cold butter into this mixture using the fork, add the jaggery water and form a loose dough.
After resting the dough for 10 minutes, cut parchment paper in the size of your cookie sheet, divide the dough into three balls. Start rolling out each one on the cut parchment paper for 1/8 thickness in height, draw vertical and horizontal lines to cut the dough into rectangles or squares(your choice). Add the ragged shapes to the next dough ball(again, your choice) for rolling.
DETAILED RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes (depends on your house’s voltage)
Oven Temperature: 190C
Oven Type: 16-liter OTG without fan
In an omelette pan or any small round pan, dry roast dried black grams for 10 minutes until aromatic and grind it into a coarse powder or fine powder. I am leaving this to your choice.
Mix this thoroughly with wheat flour and salt in a medium-sized wide vessel.
Add the cold butter and start breaking it into the flour with the help of a fork. (You are just pressing the fork on top of the butter to break it into small pieces.) Now it should look like sand with tiny lumps(cold butter).
Dissolve jaggery in 1/4 cup of water and strain dirt, add to the above mixture and start forming a dough. Don’t press too hard like you do for a flat bread or chappati. Just press the dough together to form a loose dough. Use more water if needed. To make this process easy, google or look for an YouTube video on ‘how to make pie crust dough.’
Once a loose dough is formed, cover the vessel with a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes, away from ceiling fan. Alternately you can rest it in fridge but the dough would be hard to roll out.
After resting, roll the dough into sheets of 1/8 inch thickness on a cutout parchment paper(the size of your cookie sheet) and cut vertical and horizontal lines with a sharp knife. Set aside the ragged squares of the roll out. You can include in to your next batch of rolling.
Crackers can be pricked with a fork.
Use parchment paper on both bottom and top of the dough for easy roll out.
Cooking time for ovens with fan may vary. Crackers could be baked within short period of time.
When using OTG oven without fan, keep a close eye on the crackers after half the time has passed. Wheat crackers are burned easily.
Care should be taken while roasting the grams as the skin deceives the eye.