Khara Kaddi | Kara Kaddi | Spicy Sticks

Khara Kaddi is probably one of the most loved dry snacks in Mangalore. It is usually available in bakeries and since it was never prepared at home (my mum didn't prepare a lot of deep fried snacks) we usually bought it only when we had guests over. Dry snacks such as the Khara Kaddi, Sontay (deep fried sweet potato sticks), Shemey (plain sev), Masala Kadale (spicy peanuts) or Corn Mixture (a rustic mixture of corn flakes, peanuts, puffed paddy, roasted gram seasoned with spices and curry leaves) were usually preferred along with the customary potato chips (crisps if you please). We didn't have a particular name for this and it was only when I reached Mumbai after my marriage that I got to know that the generic term for such snacks is called as 'farsaan' which is nothing but a random collection of dry savouries with a long shelf life.
When in Mumbai we sometimes stocked up on farsaan but for some reason I never found the Khara Kaddi anywhere apart from bakeries/stores owned by Mangaloreans. However, it never compelled me to try making them at home as I am not such a lover of deep fried goodies although I am married to one who simply cannot resist them. I brushed aside requests to make it at home for almost a decade and it was just recently that I gave in to it.

The whole experience was enjoyable as I took a basic recipe from my friend Jenny and modified to suit my taste. I have tried these almost 3-4 times now and we enjoyed the freshness of this simple snack immensely. Nothing can really beat the aroma and freshness of homemade snacks, isn't it? No sooner were they out of the frying pan than they were gobbled up. For the next one day we found ourselves drawn to the kitchen to steal some Khara Kaddis :-)

As the name suggests they look like small sticks. I used the plate with the medium sized slots to make them. If you wish you can make them thicker. If you like them really spicy feel free to add some extra chilli powder but ideally, don't reduce it as the whole charm of these spicy sticks is in the spice. The bits of ajwain (carom seeds) that you will get in between the munches is so delightful. 

The best part is that this snack is very easy simple and easy to make at home. I think for me they score higher than any store bought snacks as you are certain that you are neither using stale oil (or reused god knows how many times) nor preservatives for a longer shelf life. Just make them in small batches and enjoy them. Definitely a must try for Diwali!

Khara Kaddi | Kara Kaddi | Spicy Sticks

Other things required:
1. Sift the gram flour into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except the oil for greasing the mould and deep frying. Mix well until you get a stiff, smooth dough (like chapathi dough). If you wish you can knead it once by greasing your palm with a little oil. Pinch out big enough balls of the dough - it should fit inside the mould without spilling out while pressing.
2. Heat oil for frying in a sufficiently large kadhai/wok (so that you don't have to keep frying in too many batches). When a tiny piece of dough comes immediately to the surface when dropped into the oil, it is ready for frying
3. Grease the plate of the mould lightly with the oil. Stuff the mould with the prepared dough ball and press/squeeze the batter directly into the hot oil in a circular motion or until the pan is comfortably filled with the khara kaddi (don't overcrowd the pan) 
4. Fry the khara kaddi till golden brown on both sides and then remove with a slotted spoon onto an absorbent kitchen tissue * see notes
5. Let the khara kaddi cool down completely before breaking it into finger sized pieces and transferring it into an airtight container. 

1. For the khara kaddi you will need to use the plate with medium sized slots (holes). The smallest slots are for making sev. 
2. Adjust the quantity of chilli powder to your taste. The above mentioned quantity is for medium-low level of spice prepared for the sake of my kids. 
3. If you feel that the dough is too stiff, add another 1 teaspoon of melted butter and knead lightly before you pass it through the sev press.
4. It is important that you maintain the temperature of the oil on a medium high. If it is too hot the khara kaddi will brown/burn quickly, so take care to check the temperature at all times.
5. Make sure that you immerse the sev press/idiyappam mould in warm water as soon as you are finished with process. If the dough dries up and hardens it will be terribly hard for you to clean it.

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