Ribbon Pakoda

What is Diwali without some deep fried Ribbon Pakodas? Try this Traditional South Indian Savoury snack!

Ribbon Pakoda

Ribbon Pakoda / Ribbon Pakodam / Ola Pakoda / Nada Thenkuzhal

Have been absent from the blogging scene since last few days as Diwali is close and it is time for some home cleaning, sweets making, buying gifts for loved ones etc which take priority and precedence during this time of the year.

So I did my share of cooking marathon in the last few days, which I will be sharing with you all in the coming few days. Some South Indian Diwali specials that I have grown up eating and will never ever be tired of. Hope you have gone through my earlier posts wherein I shared with you some of the healthier snack versions like the Garlic Flavoured Kurmura Chivda and the Poha Chivda. This however, is purely sinful (deep fried method) so I am trying to create a balance by incorporating few fried and non-fried versions of savory snacks on the blog. Less guilt hopefully!!

And while I was enjoying my cooking marathon, it brought back fond memories of childhood. Ma sitting in front of a hot stove (those days cooking gas were an expensive affair to a family having limited means) dishing out the best of Diwali sweets and snacks. Ma ensured that her Diwali Bonus money was spent on buying us clothes and the rest of it was used for making snacks and sweets at home.

The experience taught me some most important lessons which I still follow today – Use money wisely and only indulge on essentials. No matter what, always ensure the family stays happy during festivals by spreading some cheer around.

Diwali snacks always started with Ribbon pakoda and we would surround Ma near the stove waiting for the hot ribbon pakoda to be out of the oil and straight into our mouth. Something that I still enjoy doing today. 

Ribbon Pakoda are one of the most famous South Indian Diwali snack options and they are also called as Ola Pakoda or Pakodam and Nada Thenkuzhal too in Tamil. From the pictures, you can observe, they acquire this name Ribbon owing to their shape. 

These are very addictive, crunchy gluten free savoury snack that is made every year in most South Indian homes. Combination of ingredients such as besan or gram flour and rice flour along with basic spices make this savoury snack interesting. There are few tips and tricks to get the perfect crunchy texture which is discussed below in the recipe notes section. Do go through the same. 

I have unfortunately not managed to do the step by step pics as it is very difficult for me to single handedly click while dropping the pakodas through a press into hot oil. Apologies for the same. However, I have tried to write a detailed recipe with tips to ensure that there are no issues.

My advice and something I practice too, is to always try a small batch to ensure you get hold of the method and the right consistency, not to mention the wastage can also be reduced to a great extent.

Do read the recipe (needless to say, its Ma’s) and the notes below. Happy Diwali People!!

Ribbon Pakoda are one of the most famous South Indian Diwali snack options. They are also called as Ola Pakoda and Nada Thenkuzhal too in Tamil. Crunchy, Gluten Free savoury snack

Recipe for Ribbon Pakoda / Ribbon Pakodam / Ola Pakoda / Nada Thenkuzhal

Ingredients –

1.      Rice Flour – 2 cups

2.      Chickpea Flour / Besan – 1 cup

3.      White Sesame seeds – 2 tsp

4.      Hing – ½ tsp

5.      Warm Oil – 3 tblsps (Sesame Oil preferably)

6.      Red Chilli Powder – 1 tblsp

7.      Salt as per taste

8.      Oil for frying

9.      Water required to knead the dough

Method –

  1. Sieve the Rice flour, chickpea flour / besan together and remove any lumps or impurities to ensure smooth dough. For best results – Sieve twice.
  2. Now in a big bowl, add the sieved flour, sesame seeds, salt, red chilli powder, hing and the warm oil.
  3. Crumble this dry mixture with your hands until the oil spreads evenly (it should feel like breadcrumbs). Recommend doing this for atleast 3-5 minutes which results in crispy and crunchy ribbon pakodas.
  4. Once the crumbs are ready, slowly incorporate water and knead the dough.
  5. The dough should be soft to touch (bit softer than your roti dough).
  6. Grease the mould and fit the ribbon pakoda plate.
  7. Fill the mould with a small portion of dough and close it. Now press this over the hot oil in a circular motion. 
  8. Allow it to cook on medium to low heat. If your dough is of the right consistency, the pakodas will be light and float on top within 5-10 seconds of dropping it in the oil. If not, it will sink at the bottom or remain raw.
  9. While making ribbon pakodas ensure the oil is just hot and does not smoke else it  the pakodas will turn brown too fast and stay uncooked from the inside.
  10. Drain the excess oil on a kitchen towel and transfer it to an airtight container, once cooled slightly.
  11. Stays good for a month.

Recipe Notes –

  • Don’t overcrowd the oil when making ribbon pakodas. Do a small batch and wait for it to cook completely. Else it wont result in crispy pakodas and it will also be under cooked in most parts.
  • Ensure you add the 3 tblsp of warm oil in the rice flour and besan mixture. It leads to crispy pakodas. You may add melted butter too but I prefer adding oil. 
  • Never make a big batch of pakoda batter. It tends to get dry which will lead to breaking of the pakodas in the oil.
  • If your batter for some reason has turned a bit dry, sprinkle some water, knead the dough again for some 2 minutes and then start again. PS – Go easy with the sprinkling of water as excess water will damage the consistency.

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Vidya Narayan

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Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Coming over for tea tomorrow!

    1. Coming over for tea tomorrow!

      1. Ha ha.. most welcome .. filter coffee & a bowl of this !

  2. Great recipe for Diwali and it looks so crispy & beautiful ! Happy Diwali !

    1. Thank you & wish you the same as well. Glad you liked the post & recipe.

    1. thank you so much. I agree with you. Gives a good quantity too.

  3. This is looking so yummm…Just loved the recipe and pictures..awesome !!

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