Eating is a necessity, but cooking is an art.
I finally took out the mystery out of making tikha gathia this Diwali season. Have always enjoyed snacking on these all my life, but had never learned how to make it, until this past weekend. Mom taught me this recipe. If you haven’t made this before, I suggest you make it under someone’s supervision, as this involves frying in hot oil and hence need to be cautious.
Tikha Gathia (spicy gram flour noodles) is a quintessential Gujarati snack made not just during Diwali, but is made year round.
As a little child growing up, finding different shapes of gathia in school tiffin box forming alphabets of your and your friends’ first letter of names used to be quite fascinating. Life was simple as a child 🙂 Then breaking the gathia with teeth making ‘katak katak’ noise used to give a good laugh among friends.
Till date it remains one of my favorite snacks. Gatha is made in different varieties, textures, and spiciness levels. This variety is still called thikha gathia even when made less spicier 🙂
Besan (Chickpea flour) – 4 cups
Asofoteida (hing) – 1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder – 2 teaspoons (It’s called ‘tikha’ aka hot & spicy for a reason)
Turmeric powder – 1/2 – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Oil – for deep frying
- Heat oil for frying.
- While the oil is being heated, knead a stiff dough (not too stiff, but not soft either) with besan, salt, asofoteida, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and oil, using water. Divide dough in 2-3 parts.
- Oil the gathia/sev maker. This is how it looks.
- Fill the sev maker with one of the dough batches, close it. When the oil is hot, hold the sev maker over hot oil and move the handle in circular motion, while also moving the whole machine in a circle. Okay the first time, its ok not to perfect the art – I haven’t either. But I believe it gets better with practice – we shall see 🙂
- Let the gathia turn light to golden brown in oil, while not letting it burn. The structure will become firmer as it heats. Flip it on the other side, once cooked on the first side. Once you feel like it’s done, remove from oil on to a plate lined with paper napkin or a container lined with a colander flipped upside down. This is to drain the excess oil, if any.
- While the batch is still hot, it might feel a little softer. Let it cool for a few minutes to see if you got the crunchy crispy texture and taste. If so, it’s perfect. If not, can put it back in oil to cook a bit more. Repeat the same steps with the remaining dough.
Snack on the crunchy, crispy, besan goodness for days!