Omapodi is a thin noodle/sev like savory made out of gram flour and carom seeds (ajwain) – a very potent and digestive spice, with a wonderful aroma.
This recipe requires a special press (nazhi) for making deep-fried savories of this kind. It comes with several interchangeable discs with holes of varying sizes and shapes for different types of savories.
Ingredients (makes around 3 cups of omapodi):
- Gram flour (besan) (1 cup)
- Rice flour (2 tbsp)
- Butter (2 tbsp)
- Carom seeds (ajwain) (1 tsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- Chilli powder (1/2 tsp or to taste)
- Asafetida (hing) powder (1/4 tsp)
- Oil (for deep frying)
- Soak the ajwain (carom seeds) in warm water for 15-20 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, add the besan, butter, hing, salt and chilli powder.
- Grind the ajwain seeds in enough water. Strain out the seeds and use the water for making the dough.
- Add the ajwain water a litte bit at a time, mixing the besan, butter and spices well to form a pliable dough. Adding a little more water might help since this dough tends to pose some problems while using the press, possibly because the holes in the disc for omapodi are very tiny. But don’t put too much water, because then the omapodi will absorb more oil while cooking.
- When the dough is ready, keep it covered until the oil is ready.
- Heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed vessel on medium flame. Keep a vessel lined with paper towels/tissue paper ready for placing the just-fried snacks.
- Take a small portion of the dough, place it inside the press with the correct disc for omapodi (many small tiny holes) in place.
- Test the oil by adding a small piece of the dough. If it rises up immediately, the oil is ready.
- Make the flame low. Now use the omapodi nazhi/press in circular motion, starting from outside to in, to make a large circular shape of dough in the oil.
- Let it cook for a minute or two, then carefully flip it.
- Cook for a few minutes, flipping as necessary, till you see a golden brown sort of color. Take it out carefully and place on the kitchen towel lined vessel.
- Continue until your dough is completely used up. In the end, you may have difficulty pressing the dough out into the desired shape because there will be too little dough remaining. When you reach this stage, take out the dough from the press, flatten it using your palms and fingers into a shape of your choice (I made little coins) and deep fry them.
- Store in an air-tight container.
Sweet (besan, rice, butter, oil), sour (none), salty (salt), bitter (ajwain), pungent (ajwain, chilli), astringent (asafetida).
First off, anything deep-fried in oil is at danger of being pitta and kapha aggravating in excess. In fact, people of all doshas might be better off indulging in only small quantities of deep-fried savories such as omapodi etc. That being said, the carom seeds (ajwain) and asafetida help enhance the digestibility of the dish. Still, anything deep fried should be consumed strictly in moderation by all the doshas – for pittas due to the oiliness, for kaphas due to the heaviness and for vatas due to the difficulty in digesting.
Deep fried food is tamasic by nature. If made using fresh ingredients and oil at home, and if your agni is strong enough to digest it, you may enjoy it in moderation!