Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Seedai - Savory rice balls

After a frenzy November with 19 posts, including Foodbuzz blogger festival, POM party and our vacation to Big Island Hawaii, December was a little relaxing with all those holidays. Since, my son's school was off, my brother-in-law visited us and I was lazy, December ended up being too slow on the blog side!!! Hope the new year is keeping you all good and busy. I guess, my days will get very busy soon... I am starting school in two weeks and have ambitiously enrolled in 3 courses. Hope I will be able to keep up with school, family, helping a friend with her home preschool, my blogs and my kids... Yes I said kids!! I'm 9 weeks along with our second baby!!! Wish me luck guys!!!

Hmmm... Let me get my focus back... 'Seedai'. It is a traditional south India fried snack which is a must for Krishna Jayanthi and Diwali. I prepared these savory rice balls for last Diwali and clicked pictures with the intention of posting a lot earlier.... More than 2 months have passed, and finally here you go!!

Whenever I think of seedai, a couple of things come to my mind. People often joke about the hardness of seedai, that it can break your tooth trying to chew them... I am reminded of the funny scene in Rajinikanth's Ejaman movie where he tries to chew on the seedai specially made for him by Meena and breaks his tooth... Luckily, I have never had such an experience...

The other thing is the 'seedai bomb' that blasted in my kitchen, the first time I attempted this dish. I have heard from my mom, that seedai can burst when dropped into oil, if the urad dal flour is not passed through a fine sieve and contains some larger particles. I experienced it first hand in my kitchen. At that time, my fine sieve was broken and I did not find one in the local store and I skipped the sieving step. The result: I drop my first few raw seedai balls in hot oil and after few seconds, they go 'BOOM', 'BOOM', 'BOOM'... Hot oil spluttering all over, I could not even reach the knob to put the stove off without risking burning my hand. I had to wait until all of them burst and then turn off... Of course, a lot of clean up followed!! Now thinking back, it seems to be a funny incident, but it is serious, so be very very careful if you are attempting this recipe. Just drop 3-4 into the oil first, and if they pass the 'burst test', then proceed.

Lets start gathering the ingredients:
Rice flour - 2 1/2 cups
Urad dal flour - 1/2 cup
Butter - 2 1/2 tbsp
Sesame seeds (black or white - I just though black will look good) - 2 tbsp
Red Chili powder - 2 tsp or to taste
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

Dry roast the rice flour lightly over low heat. Make sure it does not change colour
Urad dal flour can be bought directly from the store or home made. If store bought, dry roast it too. Since the requirement is so small, I generally make it at home. Dry roast urad dal lightly over low heat. Remove from heat, cool and grind using a blender / dry grind attachment. Pass it through a fine sieve. This step is very important to avoid them from bursting in hot oil.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with enough water to make a stiff dough.

Roll the dough into small balls, about 1/2 an inch in diameter with fingers.

Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Drop the rolled balls (in batches, if required) and fry until golden brown. Remove using a slotted spoon over a plate lined with paper towel. Let it cool and enjoy. 

It can be stored in an airtight container up to a month, or may be even longer... It never stays more than few days at my home. This was one of my goodies in my 'Foodie gift exchange' bag at the Foodbuzz blogger festival.


  1. These look great! And congrats on the new addition. 9 weeks, thats fantastic. Best wishes (=

  2. Thx Lisa: What a coincidence... I was just reading your blog - One of your pies :) In India we say, if you are thinking/ speaking abt someone and they come in, they will live long (100 yrs, actually)... So long live Lisa!!!