How to make Kodubale | Easy Kodubale Recipe
Right now as I write this, I sit on my dining table overlooking our balcony lit with tiny serial bulbs, running end to end, hung over the balcony parapet like wet jeans on cloth liners, its warm LEDs creating a bokeh effect on the hindsight in a very soothing way. Our little girl has been running around the home in sheer excitement of the festive hoopla. I miss the sounds of zameen chakras, rockets and phooljhadi (flower-pots) bursting in the vicinity, that reminds me of home back in India; but in a few minutes from now we'll head out to the local temple about 5 miles from home, where sounds of bursting crackers and rings of temple bells will chime alongside families wishing each other Happy Diwali. There's community get together - with prayer, celebrations, food and musicals to round off the night. Also, with parents around, our home is smelling of kodubales and shankarpalis and that's nothing short of what Diwali has been for us - food and celebration, both in plenty.
Before I head out, I'll leave you with this recipe for Kodubale, a traditional Indian savory snack that we grew up eating way too often, that there came a point when I hated it by heart. After I moved to Bangalore, I did not eat them for years. And then slowly, there came a time when I went back to eating them on my occasional trips to Mangalore, where they are made in plenty. It wasn't with much fervor though, but I know why so. Kodubales are made plenty in Mangalore - every bakery stocks them, every house stocks them, they are gifted too. They stay fresh for long, so most homes will serve you with a plate of these alongside tea. Women in most households have a recipe of their own, so they either whip up batches and stock by larders or they rush out to the nearest bakery to buy them the moment they hear a guest is about to arrive. My relatives even brought them along to gift whenever they visited us. Eventually it was overdosed and I saw aversion to it.
Of what I remember, these require no occasion to treat upon really. You make them on whim, serve your guests, feast them on festivals, snack on them in evenings with your tea, or simply carry them on your bus rides to munch on when odd hunger pangs strike. They are fried ofcourse, but they won't do much harm as a lot of the rice flour in the recipe is immune to absorbing oil. So you'll have a delicious savory that you can eat guilt free. I highly advise not experimenting these with baking, as they can obviously end disastrous. But if you have courageous nerves that I don't have, and you are successful at baking these, please share your tips with me. I will be overwhelmed to hear from you. On another note, you can control the amount of heat to your liking. I love these spicy, but if you like them low on spice, use a milder chilli powder for the heat. They are delicious I bet!
Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 20 min | Makes: 3 dozens
2 cup rice flour
3/4 cup roasted split bengal gram (huri kadale)
1/2 cup desiccated dry coconut (powdered copra)
1/4 cup maida / plain flour
1 sprig finely chopped curry leaves
1 tsp. red chilli powder (I use a spicier one, such as Guntur chilli powder)
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. good quality asafeotida
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. hot ghee
Oil for deep frying
In a mixie, pulse the roasted gram into fine powder and keep it aside. Mix all ingredients mentioned under dry ingredients list along with roasted gram flour and make a well in the center. Add hot ghee and mix into the flour. Add just enough water to knead it into a firm dough.
Pinch out lemon sized balls of the dough and roll them using your palms into a long, 1 cm thick rope. Cut the rope into 7-8 cms long strips. Bring the 2 ends of the strip together and pinch its ends to form a tear drop shape. Alternatively, you can bring the either ends together and pinch them to seal, thus forming a round bangle shaped ring. Prep all of the dough and keep it ready for frying.
Meanwhile, as you prep the dough, heat up oil in a kadhai / wok to medium low heat. Test by dropping a small ball of dough. It should sink first and raise up to the surface. Once heated to this stage, drop the prepared kodubales into the hot oil and fry them in batches on medium low heat till they are golden brown in color. Do not clutter many in each batch as they need to be cooked through well. The temperature of the oil is key in making good kodubales as hotter oil will tend to crisp the kodubales faster, while the centers may still be uncooked. Remove from oil and drain on a kitchen paper. Allow them to cool completely and store them in dry airtight containers. They can be stored and stay fresh for about 2 weeks.