As a south Indian I grew up eating these for snacks - Achappams - crispy, light, slightly sweet and fun! It wasn’t until recently that I found out that they were called Rosettes out here.
*Update: I just found out that these are also called Chinese Pretzels! Thank you Tracy!
So I jumped at the chance and got myself the molds from Kitchen Collection and didn’t wait too long to give it a try. While making them though I found that there are a lot of nuances that you need to make a note of as you go along. For example the mold has to be hot but not too hot, the batter a certain consistency, the mold dipped to a certain height - not too deep, not too shallow, the oil should not be too hot, you need to change the heat as you make it to make it more crispy. Notes I compiled so I could share it with you.
First lets look at the ingredients you’ll need:
All purpose Flour - 1 Cup
Rice Flour - 4 Tbsp
Egg - 1 large beaten
Milk - 1/2 Cup
Water - 1 Cup
Sugar - 2 Tbsp or 3 if you like it really sweet.
Salt - 1 pinch or 1/8th Tsp
Flavouring : I used cardamom powder but you can use vanilla essence if you like or strawberry or any other flavor you like.
Natural colouring if you prefer it that way.
Oil for Frying - About 1.5 to 2 Cups . A note on the oil I used. I’ve been experimenting with grapeseed oil recently and because of its high smoking point, I’d definitely recommend it. But please feel free to use vegetable oil, canola oil or coconut oil or shortening.
In a glass bowl add the beaten egg, the flours and start mixing. Add milk and water and mix to a smooth ‘pancake’ batter like consistency. There should not be any lumps.
Add the sugar, salt, flavour and color and mix well. What I did to avoid lumps is to give the mix a quick beat with a hand mixer.
Heat oil in a preferably deep bottom, wide mouthed sauce pan. To test if the oil is ready just add a drop of the batter to it and it should sizzle and rise up immediately.
Now join the mold to the holder and place it in the oil for about 10-15 seconds. Pat the excess oil off onto a paper towel and gently dip the mold into the batter. The mold should go in about 3/4th of the way. So when you dip it into the batter you should be able to see the top of the mold.
Now dip the mold into the oil for about 10-15 seconds. The batter will start to sizzle and fall off the mold when you gently shake the mold. If it doesn’t come off that easy use a wooden skewer to separate the batter from the mold. I have a quick video here…
Now reduce the heat and let it brown a bit. The low heat allows the achappams to turn crispy. After about 30 seconds turn the achappam over and let the other side brown as well.
Use a skewer and transfer the achappams onto some kitchen towels to absorb the excess oil.
Keep in an airtight container and serve with tea!
I’ve been away far too long but here’s wishing you all a lovely year ahead!
Happy 2014 Peepal!