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R is a great fan of Thatai – Spicy crispy disks according to Ms.A, I love it too ( err well anything fried) Every time we go to India we get these by the boxes, all homemade 🙂 oh yes both moms are expert in Thatai making ,but unfortunately neither their daughter ( moi) or son ( R) show any inclination to learn, just eating seems enough.
Anyway I found slight variations in tastes in both of them, they were fantastic but slightly different and when out of curiosity I asked them they both claimed this was the Iyengar version. handed down from their moms /MILS whatever. and when I had them send the recipe it looked the same.
I tried this ONCE , yep that was about enough of Thatai making to last me a lifetime, and in my enthusiasm I doubled everything. Suffering anyway , might as well make a large batch was my thought and boy did I suffer. Every time someone popped a Thatai in their mouth it made me mad !!! seriously, here I am slaving over hot oil and they are easily eating it without a thank you . yes I expect a thank you for every bite 🙂 The fact that it was wholly self-inflicted pain doesn’t count either.
Now this is where my mom and MIL prove their love, they actually want to make it and love it when it disappears. Me, I get mad as I see it disappear 🙂  I sound mean, usually I’m not but snack making brings out the worst in me. Anyway I decide I had enough of this , I either get mine from mom and mil when I visit or alternately I found a nice  mami who agrees with this recipe whom I hire to make it for us . everyone happy happy.

This is the Iyengar version of Thatai — supposedly made for Diwali.


Rice flour – 2 and 1/2 tumblers ( yes that’s what I used, the stainless steel coffee cups)
Urad dal flour – 2 tablespoon
Butter – 3 tablespoons ( per original recipe – 50 grams)
Salt – 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ( to taste)
Red chilly powder – 1 teaspoon (Modified for me – the spice wimp)
Asafoetida  – 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves – few leaves
White Sesame (Ellu) / fried gram – 1/2 teaspoon
Sunflower oil – For frying

Original prep of rice flour and urad flour
This is per the original recipe,
Roast urad dal in a dry pan it darkens, and grind to a powder.
The Moms’s grind Grind raw rice in a flour mill ( yes quaint)
I simply roast and grind the urad flour and use ready-made rice flour.

Warm a pan, add dry rice flour , roast a bit , let it cool, add urad flour + all ingredients , Add water to form dough, be judicious with the water adding. make small round disks. , fry .. done.

  • I spread mine in to medium square and use a lid to cut small disks – yep maybe hard and burnt but it shall be round 🙂
  • The disks need to be thin, hence the patting by hand.
  • According to MIL, her mom added more butter to the dough in the end – makes it crisper .
  • Chilies could be upped quite a bit, after the first few times when i made faces about the spice level, they caught on and make me a batch first and then make for the rest. MIL calls mine ‘ chappunu thatai’ – aka bland Thatai 🙂

This with a cup of ginger tea is a version of heaven.