Champakali / Panasa Thonalu / Namkeen Karela - Savoury Version

Festivals and celebrations are closely associated with and revolve around particular types of food. 'Deepavali' means gifts, crackers, new clothes, and "food"! Bakshanams (Snacks) are a norm. In Chettinad the delicacies are Kai Murukku, Manaholam and Mavurundai. We also like to and are proud of to serve something new. This year especially, bombarded by the umpteen number of snacks and sweet eats on Facebook there was no room for excuses and I set about making Aval Mixture and this savoury version of Karela / Champakali along with Boppai Halwa (Papaya Halwa).

The sweet version of this snack dipped in sugar syrup is called Champakali (after a flower) in Maharashtra, and Panasa Thonalu (resembling a jack fruit pod) in Andhra Pradesh. As it looks like a Bittergourd, the savoury version is known as Namkeen Karela! 

Deep fried savoury snacks are must have for tea time. I have tasted the 'Namkeen Karela' in a Chaat (used in the place of Papadi), and so made a dough similar to papadi dough.

Maida - 1/2 Kg
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Peppercorns - 1/3 teaspoon coarsely crushed 
Ajwain (Omam) - 1/3 teaspoon coarsely crushed
Oil / Ghee - 3 tablespoon
Water as needed. 
Oil for deep frying

Mix salt, pepper, ajwain and 3 tablespoon oil/ghee into the flour. 
Add enough water and make a dough (like Puri dough). 
Roll out into thin discs. 
Score with a knife to make slits, parallel to each other in one direction, without cutting through the edges. Gather and roll along the parallel edges and pinch edges to seal. 
Shape enough Karela's to fill your pan. While it is cooking, make the next batch.
Deep fry in hot oil (over a medium flame) until golden.
Drain well. Once cool, store in airtight containers.


Alamelu N said…
Hi Achi..Didnt see you for a loooooooooooooooooooooong time... Happy to see you blogging again..:-)

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