Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thattai | Crispy Rice Flour Crackers

The first time I tasted Thattai was at a South Indian grocery store in my city! Crispy, crunchy, and a tongue tickling blend of spices just made it my instant favourite. Every time I head out for groceries I had to buy myself a batch. Back home I'd make a cup of hot tea and we would crunch them until they finished. One day I asked the owner of the store what exactly they were made of and she very kindly gave me the recipe. Since then, I have always made Thattai at home. Not because I did not like the one from the store, but because once you munch one Thattai you cannot stop. I decide that if I really was craving them then I could make them. If not, no unnecessary munching of snacks just because of a visit to the store!!

I made Thattai last month. In fact I made them twice - yes two batches in as many weeks. They came out so well - golden, crunchy and very very good. This recipe is somewhat tweaked from the original recipe I received. I did not add any sesame seeds or peanuts, and neither did I add any chilies. I wanted ti make a simple non spicy version. If you like that tingle on that tongue, go ahead and add some red chili powder or even very finely sliced green chilies.

1 cup rice flour
4 tbsp urad dal flour
2 tbsp dhalia (roasted Bengal gram dal)
1/3 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp urad dal, soaked for a couple of hours
1 tbsp chana dal, soaked for a couple of hours
Salt to tatse
6-8 curry leaves, chopped fine
2 tbsp butter
Water, as needed
Oil for deep frying

  1. Heat enough oil for deep frying in a large kadai (wok). Heat to almost smoking point, then reduce the heat to a medium.
  2. While the oil heats up, prepare the dough for the Thattai.
  3. Begin with grinding the roasted Bengal gram dal to a fine powder.
  4. Turn out into a large mixing bowl. Add the rice flour and urad dal flour and mix together.
  5. To this add the 2 tablespoons of butter and using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the flours.
  6. Now add the hing, salt to taste, the drained urad and chana dals, and curry leaves. Toss together, the using a tablespoon, add water only as needed to make a soft dough that is not sticky.
  7. Cover with a damp tea towel and rest for ten minutes.
  8. Next pinch out key lime sized pieces from the dough and turn into balls. Repeat for the entire dough. 
  9. Make sure both the dough and the balls are covered during this process else they will dry out and become crumbly.
  10. Now take 2 zip lock quart sized sandwich bags, grease one side of each with some oil.
  11. Place a ball of dough on one greased bag, cover this with the second greased bag, then press firmly but evenly with a flat bottomed jar.
  12. Gently remove this flattened disc from the bags and carefully lower it into the heated oil. 
  13. Fry until the disc stops bubbling in the oil. Strain and remove onto a kitchen towel.
  14. Repeat for the remaining dough balls.
  15. Allow the Thattai to cool completely before enjoying.

Good to Know
  • Make sure the rice four is well sieved for this recipe. If necessary, sieve it on your own at home.
  • The optimun geat at which the thatti cook to a crisp is between medium and medium low. The actual heat will vary depending on whether you are using a gas burner or an electric burner.
  • If the Thattai begins to brown too fast, the oil is too hot. The Thattai will not cook to a crisp and will tasty soggy and leathery once cooked.
Vegan Substitute: Replace the butter in this recipe with vegetable shortening.

Like this recipe. Tried it. Leave me a comment:) 

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  1. Hello! Nice to see your post after a long time. Never tasted this before. The recipe sounds great and promises a beautiful combination of rice, urad daal and heeng. Can these be baked? would like to try out baked version.

  2. Crispy and extremely very addictive thattais,looks fantastic..

  3. omg awesome clicks and thattai looks super yummy and crunchy snack :)

  4. superb crispies...makes tea time so much more delicious :-)


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