Chakli is a popular crispy snack that is originated in my state Karnataka, India. This is made of rice flour and trust me it tastes so good, you can’t just have one ( I know it’s the tag line of a popular chips brand, but this holds true for Chakli too..! )
The other day there was this competition of preparation and exhibition of Chakli in my native. When I had been there it reminded me of my maternal grandpa. Because there they were promoting one of the oldest methods or I can say a tradition that is on the verge of getting vanished. They call this tradition or the chakli made out of this method as Hand Chakli (ಕೈ ಚಕ್ಕುಲಿ). As the name suggests, we do not use any tool to make the chakli, instead we use hands to make them..! Grandpa used to follow the same tradition to prepare Chakli. I used to look at him with awe as the preparation looks so magical. You will have to check the video to believe it.!
Back in those days, people use to celebrate this Chakli making like a mini festival. Where people used to invite their relatives, neighbours for Chakli kambla (ಚಕ್ಕುಲಿ ಕಂಬಳ). Kambla is a term that is used for the group of people who gather for the preparation of food. Theses get-togethers used to bring people closer. They used to divide the works/ chores and used to chitchat and spend some quality time while munching this yummy snack.
This hand chakli cannot be made using the rice flour that we get in the market. Flour preparation itself has some traditional methods that need to be followed. I can write a separate blog for that, if you are interested.! Let me know if it’s a yes from you.
Advantage of this traditional chakli is, they do not absorb excess oil. If you open packed chaklis, you can feel that oiliness. But with hand chakli, even if you open it after months, you will not feel that greasiness, instead they are as crispy as they were when they were freshly made.!
Post preparing the chakli, people in those days, used to store it in a huge copper vessels and tie the mouth of the vessel using a particular kind of cloth. This used to keep the chaklis super fresh.
Now this tradition is slowly vanishing. People opt for these chakli makers or they buy packed chakli. There are very less people left who know this art of making hand chakli. Even though this looks super easy, but it’s not that easy..!
I am super happy after visiting the exhibition. There was also a competition of making hand chakli. The lady who is preparing chakli in the video, is the runner up. The man who is seen preparing chakli at 3:38 is the winner of the competition. I personally feel we should encourage such competitions to make younger generation aware about these old methods and to keep our old traditions alive.
Do watch the video to know this tradition called Chakli kambla of western ghats. The way hand chakli is made. Video is in Kannada. But the preparation is worth watching. Especially if you are a foodie, you are going to love it.