Ribbon pakoda

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There are some posts that I am every excited as I am learning but drag the blogging part cos it’s just so long :D. Ribbon pakoda happens to be one those. Honestly, it’s really easy to make and chances of failure is very less. However, I wanted to capture as much details as possible and even some really minute steps that there are just many stepwise pictures which means more time spent editing, captioning each of those pics :D. but hey, when the blog is finally good to go and I hit the publish on such recipes, there is a completely different level of satisfaction.

This has been one of those recipes that I have been wanting to blog forever. Mil has these consistent recipes (she has it written down on her laptop somewhere) and each time she does it, comes out perfectly. This Diwali thanks to COVID-19, I actually have enough leaves left to take 2 random days off just to learn some recipes from her :). Thenguzhal was the other recipe that I learnt during Diwali.

Hats off to all those people who dedicatedly cook every single day and to those people who put an effort to make special dishes for every festivity. As mentioned many times before, I am not the primary cook of the house and I do not cook every day. I love food, I love to cook, I love to feed people and I love to eat (duh obviously). So when I see people (mostly women that I know of) slaying in their ktichen everyday churning out beautiful food, I cannot but be in awe of those people. My mil stood 7 straight hours making thenguzhal & poondu kara (to be blogged sometime) because she made huggee batches to be circulated to family & friends. Pah, different level dedication only that is. Now let me be very honest. Making thenguzhal or these ribbon is actually really simple. Putting the dough together takes 10-15 mins. The pain point comes after – standing and deep frying batch after batch :). Of course, finally when you consume & people consume and everyone is happy, you feel the effort put in is totally worth it. In our house, we are most happy when Tash & Adya like any of these dishes and savour them and have it. It’s like the deed is done and needless to say, both of them loved this :). And the biggest plus is that it’s all homemade so you have the control and knowledge of the ingredients that go in and the oil that is used for frying which is how I know to express my love towards people mostly :D.

If you are making this for the first time, you can do half the quantity mentioned. I made this for the first time too but mil kinda couldn’t imagine me making less than this :D. That gen only know buckets of food :).

Ribbon pakoda
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
  • 4 cups kadala maavu/ besan/ chickpea flour
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • 6 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp asafoetida
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 500 ml veg oil for deep frying
  • 2 cups water
  1. In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients – 4c besan/ kadala maavu, 2c rice flour, 3t red chilli powder, 6t salt, 3t asafoetida. Mix everything well using a spatula.

  2. Place ~3.5T softened unsalted butter in microwave safe bowl. Microwave till the butter melts completely (took 20 seconds).

  3. Now take 3 fistfuls/ spatulas of the dry mixture into a smaller bowl.

  4. Pour the melted butter and mix everything together into a crumble. 

  5. Now add this crumbled mixture back to the bigger bowl and mix everything together.

  6. Now add water (1 cup at a time) and keep mixing/ kneading with your hand. 

  7. It took me 2 cups to get to a dough consistency.

  8. Next microwave 1/4c veg oil in a microwave safe bowl for 1m 10seconds or till it gets hot.

  9. Pour this oil on to the dough. Mix everything together to form a smooth pliable dough. What we are looking for is a dough softer than chapathi dough.

  10. Now heat your kadai with 500ml of vegetable oil on medium flame.

  11. Meanwhile, make cylindrical moulds roughly the size of your mold press and place it in a bowl.

  12. Grease the insides of the mould press.

  13. Check if your oil is hot & ready by throwing in a small piece/ pinch of the dough. If the dough comes sizzling up immediately, we know the oil is ready.

  14. Now fill up the mould press with 1 of the dough balls & press gently releasing the dough into hot oil (gently draw circles while pressing).

  15. After 1 minute, flip the ribbon pakoda using a deep frying spatula.

  16. Now, wait for the bigger bubbles to stop appearing around the ribbon and also the sound to come to a minimum (the sizzling sound of the ribbon cooking).

  17. Drain the ribbon out of the oil & place it in a heat withstanding colander/ strainer lined with a kitchen towel.

  18. Repeat this process till all of the dough is converted into ribbon :).

  19. Store the cooled down ribbon in preferrably non plastic boxes (stainless steel/ glass).

  20. Next up is the most difficult task as per me – eating this mindfully :).

Recipe Notes
  1. Mil says even if the dough is little towards being sticky, thats ok esp for ribbon since chickpea flour tends to absorb water and dry as time goes. So if you start with something sticky, then it still will be easy as you progress. Else sometimes you will end up having a slight hard time in terms of mould pressing :).
  2. Here in dubai, we get good quality & fine rice flour. Else back in India, mil & my mom wet rice and dried it on a muslin/ cotton cloth, and  then grind it together in a nearby maavu mill aka grinding mill for use. If your flour isn’t fine/ smooth, run it through a sieve. 
  3. My mil keeps 3 or 4 dough balls at a time open in the bowl. The rest she keeps in that big bowl in which we started mixing the dough initially and covers it with a wet cloth (this is so the dough doesn’t dry out coming in contact with air). 
  4. If your dough breaks while pressing, it means you have added more butter. But that doesn’t matter, it will still taste yummy :). 
  5. The step of taking some fistfuls/ spatula fulls of flour & mixing with butter is to ensure the butter is incorporated properly instead of straight away mixing it in a big bowl with all the flour. If you are trying this with a very small quantity, that step can be omitted. 
  6. Mil asked me to keep the heat on an even medium flame all through the process. Reducing & increasing the flame will result in some of the thenguzhals being underdone / overdone. 
  7. The hot oil added helps in aiding to the crispiness of the ribbon pakoda. 

Stepwise pictures

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