Sabbakki Thengolu or Pearl Tapioca savory crunchy twists:
Thengolu or savory crunchy twists are generally prepared using rice flour. This recipe has the addition of tapioca pearls or sabbakki, as we call it back home. The tapioca adds another aspect of crunch and texture to this snack.
At times the terms ‘sago‘ and ‘tapioca pearls’ are used as similes. I have come to understand via Wikipedia, that while sago is the starch extracted from the stem of a tropical plant, tapioca is extracted from cassava root.
My most favourite crunchy snack prepared by my mum has been none other than thengolu ! She makes the best thengolu I must say. Time and time again, she would produce these perfect crynchy, munchy snacks for us to have at tea-time. I could never have enough of it.
Now, my kids and my husband all love this snack – who wouldn’t? Don’t we all yearn for a crunch now and again?
I know I am repeating myself here – make such snacks in small batches and devour them. Keep your routine healthy. There would then be nothing to feel guilty about.
At the moment its Diwali. Time to celebrate, time to enjoy.
tapioca pearls – 1/2 cup (sabbakki or sabudana)
rice flour – 1 cup
curds – just enough to soak the tapioca pearls
red chili powder – 1 tsp (or as per taste)
salt to taste
oil to deep fry
- tapioca pearls - ½ cup (sabbakki or sabudana) i used the small sized pearls
- rice flour - 1 cup
- curds - just enough to soak the tapioca pearls (natural plain yogurt)
- red chili powder - 1 tsp (or as per taste)
- salt to taste
- oil to deep fry
- to make this recipe 'chakli press' or the hand-held chakli making device is needed. either the traditional wooden one or the contemporary steel one can be used. i used the steel chakli press, which i brought from India many years earlier
- first wash the tapioca pearls or sabudana with water, drain
- soak them in curds just enough to cover them - for 2-3 hours
- then add the rice flour, salt, chili powder. mix well
- adding small amounts of water make a soft but not sticky dough as you see in the picture
- keep aside for 10-15 min
- heat oil in a deep pan for deep frying
- while this is on-going, prepare your 'chakli press'. select the plate with small holes (not tiny holed one-which is for making sev or omapudi). insert this at one end of the 'chakli press'
- grease the inside of the chakli press with oil - this step is important otherwise the dough will not slide through easily
- tease out large lemon sized amount of the dough and place it in the 'chakli press' as shown in the pic. add enough dough to fill the space.
- cover with the other handle part
- keeping oil at medium heat, drop in a small piece of dough. if it rises up immedietely, then the oil is ready for frying
- holding the chakli press at least 1-2" over the oil, but not touching it, press down using the handle to release the dough onto the oil directly.
- after about 30 sec, flip the thengolu gently over and fry. again flip after 30 secand fry.repeat 2-3 times until both sides turn deep golden brown.
- transfer to a paper towel to allow excess oil to get absorbed
- serve with a hot cup of tea or coffee or just munch on them as and when you feel like it!
if you do not fry them for long enough, they will be hard
keep the heat at low-medium to medium to allow thengolu to cook inside and out
i prepared some thengolu and with left-over dough, i prepared bite-sized snacks by first taking a small portion of the dough and flattening it out onto a greased baking sheet. then rolled it up and cut small portions and deep-fried them. you will notice these in the pic