Thavaladai Recipe – Healthy Snack from Thanjavur Cuisine with Chitvish

by on August 15, 2012

A traditional snack from Thanjavur cuisine from the kitchen of Chitvish. Thavaladai is an excellent traditional dish for sudden guests. The dry flour can be prepared in advance and kept for a month or more.


Thavaladai Tamiliian Snack from Thanjavur cuisine

Thavaladai ~ photograph by Chitvish

The dry flour:

  • Raw rice – ½ cup
  • Split red gram (tur dal) – ½ cup
  • Jains can prepare this recipe during Paryushan by substituting fresh curry leaves with dried ones and fresh coconut with khopra.
  • Bengal gram (chana dal) – ½ cup
  • Split black gram (urad dal) – ¼ cup
  • Whole peppercorns – 1 tablespoon

The Tempering:

  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Mustard seeds – 1 heaped teaspoon
  • Asafoetida powder – ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves – 8-10
  • Chilli powder – 1-2 teaspoons, as per taste
  • Salt – to taste

Other ingredients:

  • Coconut – 2 tablespoons, grated
  • Oil – for shallow frying


1. Wipe the ingredients for the flour with a damp towel. Allow to dry for half hour and grind to a grainy consistency. Set aside.
2. Mix the chilli powder and salt in 2 cups of water and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds. When they start popping, add the asafoetida and curry leaves.
4. Add the prepared water and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the flame, add the flour and whisk thoroughly to avoid tiny lumps. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add the grated coconut.
6. Switch off the flame and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.
7. Divide the mixture and roll into 7-8 balls. Pat them into 2-3 inches discs of uniform thickness.
8. Shallow fry on a tava with a little oil. When the discs turn golden on the underside, flip over and allow the other side to roast well.
9. Serve with any chutney of your choice.   For a perfectly granular consistency in the Thavaladai, sieve the flour after grinding. Discard the fine flour and use it in something else, for example, dosai. Use only the granular flour for the thavaladai.


This recipe was first featured in Soul Food and Soul Mates – a column in Harmony Magazine. Part-1 of this post is the interview with Chithra & Viswanathan – a Tamilian couple from Chennai.


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