Nippattu (Pappu Chekka) on a Snow Day

Snow Day in Houston
Snow Day in Houston
Snow Day in Houston
Snow Day in Houston

We never thought snow would follow us to Houston. We really thought we left snow back in Pittsburgh and in Seattle. But we were wrong. Like a dear dream of deep sleep, though it took some time, it found us here in Houston. We had beautiful snow scenery last Friday and early Saturday mornings. Thick white snow covered homes, lawns and neighborhood roads on Friday, cold crisp sunny morning on Saturday. It seemed like the weather followed us to bring all the beautiful memories from yester-years.

That rare occasion called for a culinary celebration. A cold quiet weekend needed something that would warm and spice up the time. That is why we made Nippattu: a popular snack of Andhra and south India that is crunchy and moderately hot.

Nippattu (Pappu Chekka)
(makes about 20 to 25 palm-sized Nippattu)

2 cups, rice flour (Biyyam Pindi)
1/4 cup, besan flour (Sanaga Pindi)
1/4 cup, finely chopped fresh curry leaves
2 tablespoons each- rehydrated chana dal & roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon, coarsely ground green chilli
1 tablespoon, ghee
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon each- cumin, ajwan and sesame seeds

Take the flours into a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Work the softened ghee into the mix and add just enough water to make a firm dough.

Tear out small portion of dough and place it on a wax paper. Flatten it a bit and using your fingers, spread out the nippattu in a circle until it is about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Nippattu come in all sizes and shapes, so don’t worry about the perfect shape.

Heat oil in a pan, suitable to deep-frying. Add the nippattu gently into hot oil and deep fry to pale gold. Remove to paper-covered tray. Make all the Nippattu this way.

Cool and store. Nippattu stay fresh upto a month or more when stored in a airtight container. They make best tea, coffee and movie time snack.

Nippattu with Tea ~ A Savory Snack on a Cold Day
Nippattu with Tea ~ A Savory Snack on a Snow Day

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

31 Comments

  • By Trupti, December 8, 2009 @ 11:36 am

    This much snow in Houston! It certainly needs a snack like this!

  • By Usha, December 8, 2009 @ 11:44 am

    Ha what a coincident! i made nippattu last saturday, when we had our first snow fall of the year… made the baked nippattu from redchillies blog… :)

  • By Pooh!, December 8, 2009 @ 11:50 am

    Sugarland seems to have gotten more snow than the downtown area. We sure did not see that much snow. I settled for mulaga bhaji on snow day

  • By Supriya, December 8, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

    Your nipattu looks good Indira. But I do feel sorry for the banana tree in the backyard. Hope ur beautiful tropical plants survive this weather.

  • By sreelu, December 8, 2009 @ 2:32 pm

    yummy, perfect for brrrr weather. Never heard of nippattu before.We had black ice warning on bay area freeways which is a first time for me.

  • By Gauri, December 8, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

    lovely snacks.. will try it soon

  • By vrinda, December 8, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

    Yummy snack and very new to me…

  • By Cilantro, December 8, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

    It is freezing out here with below zero temperatures for the past week. Great snack for a snowy day.

  • By Madhu, December 8, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

    Something spicy and crunchy on cold day..Perfect !

  • By jennyccy, December 8, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

    Spicy snack and a cup of tea in the cold day…nice!

  • By Ashley, December 8, 2009 @ 9:55 pm

    I just made this yesterday. . . thinking of something crunchy to go with hot tea on a cold, wet and miserable day. I must try yours, I’ve never had it with besan/peanut. I’m sure it’s as amazing as all your other recipes. Chekkalu is hubby’s favorite, so he won’t mind another round :)

    I also made your kobbari pachadi today to go with garellu and rava idli. Best thing I ever tasted!

  • By Aparna, December 9, 2009 @ 12:01 am

    we call this thattai in tamil.

  • By Menaka, December 9, 2009 @ 12:26 am

    Wow! very nice pictures of snow Indira garu…I too captured this rare moments but they are not as good as yours :P . Yummy looking chekkalu…

  • By Lori, December 9, 2009 @ 12:39 am

    This sounds perfect for a freezing cold day in Seattle. It’s going to be in the teens tonight. Brr. I will try an make these tomorrow. :O)

  • By Nirmala, December 9, 2009 @ 3:19 am

    Wow! Thats my favorite snack during childhood summer time. My grandma used to make them in big biscuit tins for us to snack on during our summer holidays. We used to soak and wet grind the rice which enables thinner and crisper nippatus. Thanks for the gorgeous photo!

  • By Pratibha, December 9, 2009 @ 10:19 am

    Hi indira, what beautiful pics. The snack looks so crunchy and perfect for a cold day. Cheers!

  • By madhavi, December 9, 2009 @ 10:31 am

    Hi,,
    We also had snow here in NJ. Nippattu is nice but we call it chekkalu. We call a peanut sweet made with jaggery as pappu chekkalu or pappu undalu.

  • By trupti, December 9, 2009 @ 10:39 am

    Snow in Houston??!? My oh my. That Nipattu sure looks good, something I have yet to try. :)

  • By sheba, December 9, 2009 @ 11:49 am

    such a pretty pic..and a perfect snack to go with it

  • By DK, December 9, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

    Yeah its way too chill for CA weather too – I actually saw some thin layer of ice on our tea table in the yard in the morning!!!!!Imagine that in SUNNY CA :) For some deep fried goodies – I will never say no snow ;)

  • By surekha, December 10, 2009 @ 3:18 am

    Hi indira!
    iam in austin and this is the 3rd time we noticed snow in here.nice.but all my plants are almost dead.My tomato plants,beans,pepper plants all are spoiled cause of the snow.Hope ur plants are ok.thanks for the recipe.I will try it and see.thanks for sharing.

  • By Padmaja, December 10, 2009 @ 9:17 am

    Indira, I hope your tropical plants survive this.

  • By Priya, December 10, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

    Gosh this looks so yummy and so perfect for a cold day. Your last pic with the cup of tea made my mouth water! I’ve tried baking Nippattu and it actually comes out pretty good – the texture is different but the flavor is just as good. Of course never as good as the fried version.

  • By Indira, December 10, 2009 @ 11:29 pm

    Most of my plants didn’t survive this harsh, cold weather. Very sad.

  • By Ranjitha, December 11, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

    You have a beautiful home and I am sorry to hear that your plants didn’t survive this weather.

  • By Usha, December 12, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    Tasty looking treat! Our plants didn’t survive either:( Especially tulsi! Hoping that it’ll grow back!

  • By seema, December 12, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

    we usually make pappu chekkalu and sakinalu for sankranthi! waiting for the new year and harvest festival to make this.

  • By Madhuram, December 13, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

    Like Usha, I too tried the baked version from RedChillies’ blog. I see that your version uses rice flour as against all purpose flour used by RC. I’m going to try this too. I think this one will be even more crisp.

  • By Ramya, January 6, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

    Hi!
    Your pics are awesome!! So,wonderful. I recently found your site and like it sooooo much.

  • By Ashley, January 10, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

    I just have to follow up here after trying this recipe out in the oven…

    I wanted to try the baked version of these, but didn’t want to use maida. So I made this recipe, added a bit more ghee and baked at 250F for 5 minutes, brushed with oil, turned them over and brushed again and baked for 5 min more. I then turned the heat up to 350F until they were nicely colored.

    As always, Indira, the flavors are amazing! You are my kitchen guru :)

  • By Lola, June 24, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    Rainy day and so gloomy…what better than nipattus? Tried your recipe this afternoon and tasted absolutely marvelous with ginger tea! I added a teaspoon of semolina for binding and extra green chilies to suit my spicy-taste-buds. This is such a big hit with my kid and I plan to fry a lot more over the weekend. Great blog, will come seeking for more such yummy treats :-)

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