This year Ganesha brought bounty happiness to our home and family. This Chaturthi had to be special for all of us. I fondly love to call my little one as Bal Ganesh and of course with due respect to my Lord, she has been named after him. She's prosperity for us, just as her name suggests. For the festival, our entire family came together for prayers and offerings, followed by a good spread of lunch and we felt pretty well soaked in the festive disposition.
A day before the festival, my mom and I came together to make both sweets and savories for the festival. While Modaka, Shankarpali and Tambittu were sweets made to offer our Ganesha, for savories we had Nippattus and Masala Shenga. Masala Shenga/Peanuts were not exactly for the offerings, but surely to serve the guests who came over to greet us.
2 cups rice flour
1 cup maida (all purpose flour)
1/2 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1 tsp hing (asafoetida powder)
2 green chillies
3 strings chopped curry leaves
2 tbsp coarsely ground peanuts
2 tbsp hurigadale (roasted bengal gram)
2 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp white sesame seeds
Salt to taste
2 tbsp cooking oil
Water to knead
Oil for deep frying
Mix in all the flours, i.e. the rice flour, maida and besan. Add the hing, green chillies, finely chopped curry leaves, coarsely ground peanuts, roasted bengal gram, chilli powder, sesame seeds and salt to taste. Drizzle about 2 tbsp of oil. Using water little by little, knead gently into a soft dough.
Pinch lemon sized balls from the dough and roll out on an oiled surface. You can either use a granite stone or use a butter paper to pat the nippattu. An inverted and oiled steel plate will also do.
Heat oil in a fry pan. Gently drop the rolled nippattu and fry them on a medium low flame till they turn golden brown. Remove them and drain on a kitchen paper. Store them in air tight containers and they are good to go for a month long, well if you can resist not eating them so long!
Masala Shenga (Spiced Peanuts)
For the Spice mix
1 cup gram flour (besan)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
3 cups roasted peanuts
Water as needed to bind the spices and flour
Oil to fry
Mix all the spice mix ingredients mentioned above together in a large bowl. Add water in small quantities to the spices and flour. The quantity should be sufficient to ensure the spices coat the peanuts uniformly.
Heat the oil in a kadhai or fry pan on medium heat. Oil your hands a little as it will help in dropping the peanuts into the oil. Drop the peanuts in batches ensuring they are separated while frying. Fry the peanuts till they cook evenly and turn golden brown in color. Drain the peanuts on a kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil. Spread them out and allow them to cool down to room temperature.
Store the Masala Peanuts in an air-tight container and these are good for a month long. Again, these go very well as tea-time snack. Pack it up for travel treats or picnic munch-ons.
Both these spicy treats make great travel accompaniments and are excellent tea time snacks. Nipattu is another traditional dish from Karnataka cuisine and is commonly served as a snack in many Karnataka households. So the next time you have guests at home, greet them with these spicy Nippattus and Masala peanuts. Be promised, these spicy treats are sure to let their taste-buds lingering with it's spices.