Story/History of recipe
Seedai is one of the famous snacks of South India. Apart from the original one other varieties in terms of shape were also introduced. Chettinad, an authentic and largely known cuisine that has a wide range of dishes especially traditional snacks is also famous for its Chettinad Seedai or Chettinad Seepu Seedai (cheedai) where Seepu translates to comb. This renowned variety of Seedai is unique for its look which in the traditional way of preparing was made by drawing stripes using a comb.
Recipe Ingredients, Preparation Steps and Occasions Served
Rice flour :
- Soak two cups of raw rice in water for around one or two hours.
- Spread and dry soaked rice on a white cloth under room temperature for 15 - 30 minutes.
- Grind the rice into a fine flour and sieve well.
- Slightly dry roast the rice flour for a few minutes to remove moisture, sieve again and keep it aside.
Coconut milk :
- Take a cup of grated pulp of coconut, sprinkle water and grind into paste.
- Add this paste to a strainer and take coconut milk.
- Heat the coconut milk for a few minutes. Do not boil.
To prepare Chettinad Seedai dough :
- Dry roast urad dal only for a few minutes and grind coarsely.
- In the same jar, add roasted gram dal and grind well into a fine powder.
- Sieve and transfer it to a bowl. To this, add rice flour and mix them well.
- Add butter, black sesame seeds, salt and hot coconut milk to the flour.
- Mix the contents well with a ladle and when it is warm enough to touch knead it to a soft, smooth and non sticky dough with hands.
To prepare Chettinad Seedai :
- Slightly grease the murukku maker, use the disc/ press for Seepu Seedai (single hole one with stripes) and fill in the dough.
- In a cutting board or any plate squeeze the dough into long strips/tapes.
- Cut the strips into equal sized small strips of around 10 cms length each.
- Alternatively, you can flatten the dough on the countertop, with an unused comb draw the stripes on the dough and then cut it into small strips.
- Take a strip and, using the index finger, fold like a ring and seal the ends to form a cylindrical shape.
- Repeat the process for remaining dough and it is ready to fry.
- In a pan, pour oil and heat at high flame.
- Check whether the oil is heated and drop in the cylindrical shaped seedai batch by batch and fry at medium to high flame.
- Give it a stir occasionally and fry well. Do not let it turn brown.
- Once done take it out and place on a strainer or tissue cloth to remove excess oil.
- The prepared Chettinad Seedai can be stored in an airtight container and it can stay fresh for a month.
- Rice flour contains nutrients like calcium and zinc. It can be a healthy alternative for wheat in case of a gluten free diet.
- Urad dal is rich with minerals such as phosphorus and calcium that helps with bone and teeth health.
- It also contains magnesium, potassium and iron which are good for the heart, boosts immunity and improves the digestive system.
- Along with the iron content it is also rich in protein and fiber hence ideal to be included in a weight loss diet and helps to increase the energy levels.
- Roasted gram dal is loaded with protein and fiber, it is healthy to include it in the regular diet and ideal for weight loss as it is also low in calories.
- It is also rich in vitamins and minerals that are healthy for skin and hair care, boosts memory and prevents cardiovascular disease and maintains blood pressure.
- Coconut milk contains several vitamins and minerals that help to lower the blood pressure.
- Black sesame seeds contain antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress and thereby it prevents diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.
- It is rich in nutrition with healthy unsaturated fats which lowers the cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Coconut, tomatoes, ginger and garlic are a few most used ingredients of chettinad cuisine.
- Most of the chettinad snacks are prepared with rice flour and urad dal flour and hence they are more healthier compared to the other snacks prepared with besan or maida.
- Coconut milk contains lauric acid as one of the fatty acids which helps in increasing the "good" HDL cholesterol.
- There are around 5+ different varieties of Seedai available in South India.
- In the ancient Chettinad lifestyle, food had much importance that their kitchens were given a bigger space than other areas of a house. They are also well known for their ancient architecture.
Suggested consumable by age groups
- Half to one small bowl of Chettinad Seedai can be eaten by all age groups.
Good times to eat:
- It is perfect as an evening snack.
Eat along with:
- It can be enjoyed alongside a hot cup of tea or coffee.
When not to eat or eat more often:
- Not advisable to consume often as it is a deep fried snack and also as it contains coconut milk which can increase cholesterol.
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