ON THE EVE OF UGADI (THE NEW BEGINNING)...
WHAT IS CHALLA PUNUGULU ~Challa Punugulu also called Challa Punukulu is basically a savoury snack. It is deep fried Refined Wheat Flour and Butter Milk fritters which are a very popular street food in some cities of Andhra Pradesh. Buttermilk is called Challa or Majjiga in Telugu language and since in this fritter buttermilk is added to the batter therefore this name. These crunchy bites are often served with a peanut chutney which is called Verusenaga / Palli Chutney. There are a few variations in the batter of punugulu. It is also made from Idli / Dosa batter. However this version is more instant as it doesn't require hours of soaking of the ingredients.
This is a very easy snack to make with only the consistency of the batter being the most important aspect of preparing the perfect crisp, golden yet breaks softly on the tongue fritter. If you fail to achieve the right consistency, then you end up with either a fritter with no crunch or a fritter which is too hard for your comfort. But getting a batter with right consistency is very simple and I will show you how exactly. Also the ingredients that are added to the batter of these fritters can be as varied as possible. Many people keep it simple adding one additional ingredient, while some get more creative and add a few more ingredients. Nonetheless the Challa Punugulu tastes yumm, no matter whatever additional ingredients are added to the batter. So let's get on and learn how to make Challa Punugulu.
CHALA PUNUGULU RECIPE / REFINED WHEAT FLOUR AND BUTTERMILK FRITTERS RECIPE ~YIELDS ~ 20 SMALL SIZED FRITTERS APPROXIMATELY
CUISINE ~ INDIAN / ANDHRA PRADESH / SOUTH INDIAN
TYPE ~ SNACK / FINGER FOOD
TIME ~ 15 MINUTES PREPARATION + 15 MINUTES FRYING TIME + 30 MINUTES SOAKING TIME OF BENGAL GRAM USED IN THE BATTER
FOR BATTER ~
1) 1/3 Cup (50 Grams approximately) Refined Wheat Flour / Maida
2) 1/4 Cup ( 40 Grams approximately) Rice Flour
3) 1/3 Cup ( 80~90 Gms approximately) Yogurt / Dahi / Curd
4) 1 Tbsp Chana Dal / Skinned split Bengal Gram
5) 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
6) 2 Tbsp Onion, chopped
7) 5 ~6 Curry Leaves, chopped
8) 1 Green Chilli, chopped
9) A pinch Soda Bi Carb
10) Salt to taste
11) 2 Tbsp Water
FOR FRYING ~
1) 300 ml Oil
GET COOKING WITH ME IN EASY STEPS~1) Soak Bengal Gram covered with water for 1/2 an hour. Chop the onion, green chilli, curry leaf. Assemble all the ingredients on your working platform.
2) Take a large mixing bowl and in it add all the ingredients under the heading " FOR BATTER " except soda bi carb, salt and water. Using your hand mix everything in the bowl nicely.
- Add salt, soda bi carb and water to the mixture in the bowl. Using a spoon mix the batter into a homogeneous mixture.
- To test the batter of the right consistency, take a spoonful of the batter. Tilt the spoon. If all the batter falls off the spoon immediately then your batter is runny and you should add a little more refined Wheat Flour. Add 1 Tbsp of refined wheat flour at a time, mix well, check the consistency and again add more if required. If your batter doesn't fall off the spoon on tilting and you have ton shake the spoon to make it fall off, then your batter is too thick and you need to add more water. Add 1 Tbsp water at a time, check the consistency and again add water if required. You know that your batter is of the right consistency if of tilting the spoon, it very slowly trickles down from the spoon. (See I told you its easy peasy.) Once you get the right consistency of the batter then you will surely get the right texture and crispiness of the fritter.
- Within a few seconds after you drop the batter into the oil your fritter will swim up onto the top of the oil. Repeat the same with the entire batter.
- Once one side of the fritter turns golden, turn over the fritters and fry the other side to golden as well. ( NOTE ~ you need to keep the flame or heat to high at all time from start to finish. Only if your fritters are burning, then reduce heat or else not.)
- Once the fritters have turned golden brown on both the sides scoop them out with a perforated spatula.
- Transfer them from the perforated spatula into a metal strainer to drain the excess oil.
- Finally transfer them from the metal strainer into a plate layered with oil absorbing kitchen paper napkins. Your crisp, golden yet soft on the tongue fritters are ready.