Fafda is a popular Gujarati street food specialty and where it is very normal to throng the street vendors to buy platefuls of hot crispy fafdas, with Jalebis . Some foods have to be eaten in the right combinations and fafda I think is one of them . Though it is also normal to have it as a popular tea time snack , jalebis are invariably served with fafdas. Again one favourite snack from my childhood days where we munched on these while grew up in Rajkot. We wouldn't make them at home as they were easily available everywhere.
But here in Chennai , one needs to visit popular Gujarati neighborhoods, quite far from where I live to satiate any craving for these delightful treats. So I decided to make them at home , and searched a good recipe and I think I got the taste and crunch right in fafda . The basic recipe is the same as many sites and this one is from Nishamadhulika.com , where recipes never fail.
2 cups Gram flour/besan
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp carom seeds ( ajwain )
2 tbsp oil
Oil for deep frying
Sieve the gram flour, add baking soda,salt, ajwain , and oil. Mix all iingredients well with 1/2 cup warm water to make a smooth dough.
You have to knead the dough well, turn and flip around , for at least 5 minutes, by stretching and folding.
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.Take a long wooden board or even a greased roti slab will do, , pinch off small balls from the dough and take one ball in your hand, keep it under the heel of the palm and drag slowly along the board to get a thin long strip...make as many thin strips and deep fry in a batch.
If it is difficult for you to keep the dough under the hand and drag to form a strip, you can keep the ball of dough between two polythene sheets and press with a rolling pin to get a long thin strip of dough.
You will get long oval strips, little ragged, but that ddoesn't matter, you have to use a flat steel knife or cutter to swiftly remove the strip from the board, keep it on a greased plate after removing.
Make as many fafdas and then deep fry in a batch , oil should be hot and the fafdas will quickly crisp up.
Store fafdas when completely cooled in an air tight container.Serve with spicy green chutney or fried green chillies. A plate of jalebis, fafdas and chillies is heavenly!
Stretch the ball of dough on a greased board or slab.