Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vella Cheedai & Uppu Cheedai (Sweet & Savoury Rice Flour Marbles)

A slew of festivals round the corner and happy celebrations have begun...... Streets are lighted & decked up , shops are going frantic to put their best wares up for grabs and the mood in general is joyful ! The festive spirits had begun around Varalakshmi Viradham & Avani Avittam and then there was Independence Day followed by krishna jeyanthi which is celebrated today and Ganesh chaturthi which is just 10 days away. Navrathri & Vijayadasami adds to the splendour and it comes to a spectacular cacophonous end with Diwali. These are the times when the waistline be damned -----
Krishna Jayanthi celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna has always been close to my heart. We celebrated it with all the traditional fervour & zest.I have fond memories of celebrating Lord Krishna's birthday with my parents..... I remember how me & my sister used to fight in helping mom dole out these marbles/cheedais. Making these marbles as well as other fried savoury snacks was a huge enjoyment in itself and what followed was the restless wait till these prasadams (offerings) were offered to krishna; As the clock turned 5:30 PM- 6:00 PM, the puja is done and we would hungrily gobble up them all---- such were the sweet times ! But what was even more memorable & special for me was my mom drawing the cute little legs signifying Krishna's entry to our heart & hearth -  from porch to the puja room to the kitchen these tiny legs  of Baby krishna would be everywhere !  I still follow that tradition and when I see my daughter getting excited about it , I get nostalgic !
The most special offerings to Krishna are these cheedais other than Poha (Beaten Rice) and of course Butter. The cheedai is both sweet & savoury; made with rice flour they are yummy delights that can be snacked any time !

The traditional way of making rice flour is to wash the rice thoroughly, drain well & allow it to dry on a cloth. Once thoroughly dried, take it to flour mill to powder it finely. Or powder it well in a food processor; if that is not possible due to time constraints, store bought rice flour is just fine. Sieve it once to remove any coarse particles-- this helps in avoiding the marbles burst when dropped in oil 

For the Urad Dal Powder, gently roast the Urad Dal (lentils) in a skillet till golden brown, and once it cools grind it to a fine powder and sieve it to remove any coarse particles

Vella Cheedai (Sweet Rice Flour Marbles)

Vellam is Jaggery in Tamil , the rice flour is sweetened with Jaggery and rolled in to  marbles which are further fried in hot oil till golden brown 

What's in it :-
  • Rice Flour - 1 cup 
  • Jaggery - 1 cup
  • Urad Dal powder - 1 tsp
  • Sesame Seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee - 1 to 2 tbsp
  • Coconut Flakes - a few pieces (very finely chopped)
  • Cardamom - 2 to 3 pods - powdered finely
How :-

Roast the rice flour in a pan  till it becomes golden brown. Spread  it and allow it to cool. Mix urad dal powder, sesame seeds, coconut pieces, cardamom powder with the rice flour and set aside. Prepare the jaggery syrup as follows - If the jaggery is in chunks, break them in to small pieces. Bring a cup of water to boil and add the broken pieces of jaggery and let it simmer till the jaggery is completely dissolved.Take it off flame, you can filter it to remove any impurities.No need for a thick string like consistency of the jaggery syrup. 
Take the flour mixture and add ghee and this jaggery syrup little by little as required and make it to a pliable dough. the dough need not be very soft, else the marbles will not hold shape. Now grease your palm little and make  marbled size balls . Rest these balls on paper/cloth if to further dry up the balls and evaporate any excess moisture.In the meanwhile heat oil in a pan, put the marbles 2-3 at a time and fry on both sides till golden brown.

Uppu Cheedai (Savoury Rice Flour Marbles)

  • Rice Flour - 1 cup
  • Urad Dal Powder - 1 tbsp
  • Coconut Scrapings - 1/2 cup
  • Sesame Seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Hot Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - to fry
  • Hot Water - as required
How :-

Roast the rice flour in a pan  till it becomes golden brown. Spread  it and allow it to cool. Mix in it urad dal powder, sesame seeds,coconut scrapings, hot oil and add little water to make a pliable dough.Take the dough and make marble sized small balls. Leave for one hour for drying out . Fry them in oil till brown 
Rolled out as marbles------
Useful Pointers 

For both the vella cheedai & uppu cheedai, rest the marbles for atleast 15 to 30 minutes after you roll/shape them.It takes away the air trapped & excess moisture if any... and prevents bursting of these marbles when dropped in to hot oil
For the Uppu cheedai, add a tablespoon or two of the hot oil meant for frying to the flour while kneading the dough. It helps the dough bind better and also prevents bursting of marbles while frying in hot oil
3. For the Vella cheedai, the jaggery syrup need not be of thick consistency. The jaggery syrup replaces water to bind the flour to a dough
For vella cheedai ,pour the jaggery syrup in to the flour mix as required and knead it in to a tight dough, else the marbles will not retain shape

Wishing all readers a Happy Janmashatami !


  1. wow awesome the crunch...

  2. Looks so crunchy n yummy. Love both d versions

  3. this is one of my favourite snacks...yummy

  4. Priya, WOW! the cheedai looks fabulous! Me had a visual treat and krishna will have a party at your place :)

  5. lovely...i have never made this..

  6. Cheedais have come out very well! happy krishna jayanthi!!!

  7. Wowww... cute lovely marbles... I'm all in for the vella cheedai... yummy yummy... Lovely recipe and good tips too.. By bursting, do you mean breaking up of cheedais or do they really burst??

    It is good to know abt your family traditions too :)

  8. Both came out excellent and crunchy! Thanks for the pointers too.....

  9. Both cheedai looks so well made and delicious.Loved the picture where your little Krishna is sneaking a few of your yummy cheedai.

  10. Excellent looking rice flour rolls. Recipe is delicious.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  11. Happy Krishna Jayanthi to u and ur family...Seedai luks perfect and delicious...

  12. Happy janmashtami wishes to ur family. I see that the little krishnar of your home is so anxious to pop it right in.

  13. happy krishnastmi.the balls are looking yumm

  14. Perfectly made Priya...I have always been scared of making seedais but now after seeing your recipe I know I am going to follow this one today. thanks.

  15. Happy Krishna Jayanthi.Seedais look goody good.

  16. Love these cute marbles..perfectely made dear..

  17. Hey Priya, envy you guys to have been able to prepare the cheedais, I could'nt with my naughty lil one keeping me busy throughout the day...anywasy, cheedais look perfectly done..and hope you had a good time

  18. love 2 pop them anytime..looks delicious

  19. Love both ..looks delicious ....hope you had good celebration

  20. I can munch on this whole day :) It looks delicious :)

  21. seedai looks great n delicious..Happy Janmashtami dear!!

  22. how beautiful it is see how tradition follows generation after generation. As little girls we too used to be too excited. Cheedi looks delightful so glad you and ur family good time!

  23. So cute n addictive they look ~ very well written post n the second pic is adorable!

  24. your cheedai look great.. the bursting stories are all over the bloggoerse with so many posts about them. i have never tasted these, but will try some after collecting all possible pointers :)

    Richa @ Hobby And More Food Blog
    Hobby And More on Facebook

    Btw, some script on your blog keeps crashing Ie and chrome, so it takes me 2-3 tries to leave a comment.:(

  25. kutti krishnar hands on the cheedais..sweet..did he eat it?

  26. Feel like munching some,both looks fabulous..

  27. o this is looking so yummy ..perfect for the festive season....I never tried this kind of laddues,,,,need to try now..

  28. happy janmashtami Priya nd ur family...ladoos are super cute and yummy...a must for any festival

    Monsoon Medley at my space

  29. Hope Krishna Jayanthi was great at your place - the seedais turned out great! wish I had bestirred myself to make some - next time!

  30. They have come out super perfect Priya..Belated wishes from my side

  31. Looks soo tempting, and delicious...cant wait 2 try it out...thnx

  32. Voww!! love these......looks delicious....
    thanx for sharing...
    You hav a fab space...nice blog,enjoyed browsing ur recipes...
    glad 2 follow u..dear...