Uppu seedai/cheedai
Crunchy nibbles? Pebbles of crunchy heaven?? Small savory balls??? I usually try to translate dishes which summarizes the full meaning of the original titles of the original dish. I do this since everyone across regions can understand what it is all about. But how exactly do you translate Seedai/Cheedai? The word "Uppu" in tamil translates to "Salt" to depict the savory version of this dish since a sweet version exists. And what does Cheedai mean? No Idea! But what  I can tell you for sure is that "You can't stop eating with just one!"
Uppu seedai/cheedai
It is little time consuming to make, but take it from me - its worth all the effort. I especially miss not being in India this month! My mother has already made quite a few sweets for the upcoming Krishna Jayanthi - Indian festival celebrating the birthday of our God Krishna and flaunting it all over my face! I literally drooled yesterday when she was telling me about the sweets she made!
Uppu seedai/cheedai
Although me and my better half do not have even one sweet tooth, we do appreciate savory ones and I had no excuse not to make these. This traditional savory snack made esp. during Krishna Jayanthi is one of my all time favorite. My mother used to make 2-3 varieties of snacks simultaneously and usually the task of rolling out the dough into small rounds would fall in my hands. I would either sit next to her and roll it out while sharing some anecdotes, or sit in front of the TV (which would be full of interesting programs thanks to the festivities) and do it while watching it. Do it yourself or give it to the kids - but don't even think of not making it - its too good to pass.
Basic Information
Prep Time: 1 to 2 hours
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Yield: Makes around 60-80 depending on the size of the balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Rice flour
  • 2 tbsp Urad Dal Flour ( See how to make it here )
  • 1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut (freshly grated preferable)
  • 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida powder
Method
1
. Sieve the flour (see the tips below). Mix all the ingredients together
Uppu Seedai/Cheedai
2
Add water tablespoon by tablespoon and form it into one tight dough. Too much water will spoil it - so be careful about the water.
Uppu Seedai/Cheedai
3
Take a slightly damp and clean towel or even damp paper towel. Lay it on the ground. Take a very little piece of the dough and roll using your palms into a small round - a little bigger than peas, roughly the shape of small marbles. (see notes below)
Uppu Seedai/Cheedai
4
Heat oil to deep fry. Drop a bunch of these small balls into the oil and let them deep fry.
Uppu Seedai/Cheedai
5
Move it v slightly so that they don't bunch up together. They will come up and will be full of bubbles while cooking
Uppu Seedai/Cheedai
6
Slowly it will come up on the surface and the bubbles will also cease. You can either make them deep red and keep them slightly golden yellow. Your preference.
Uppu Seedai/Cheedai
7
Remove and place it on a paper towel to drain of excess oil.
Uppu Seedai/Cheedai
Cool and store in a air tight container. They keep very well. But one warning though - they are highly ADDICTIVE! :)

Tips to Avoid Uppu Seedai(s) from bursting in hot oil
One of the main reasons for this innocent looking snack to scare the hell out of cooks is that at times it starts bursting while you are frying, scattering hot oil all over the kitchen. If it sounds not a big deal, you should see it while in action. Its scary and its messy. Here are some of the possible reasons to why it happens and how you can avoid this from happening.
  • Stones in rice flour: Traditionally rice is soaked, sun dried and then ground into fine flour to make this. But current times, with time playing hide and seek, store bought is optimal. In that case, make sure to sieve the rice flour well, couple of times, before using in the recipe.
  • Small grains in Urad flour: Similarly to rice flour, if there are small grains in the lentil flour, then the result will not be favorable. The flour should be fine without any particles. Seive the flour well to get only the fine powder.
  • Rolling the balls tightly: The tighter you roll them, more the chances of them bursting. While rotating them in your palm, keep it as gentle as possible. While I take the effort to roll them into a nice round, my aunt's place (with whom recently I had the opportunity to make these goodies with) rolls them for a mere 2 seconds. Its more like touch and go and at times it's not even a nice round. But the need to avoid the bursting sometimes is too high to bother about how smooth the round is! So the point I am trying to make is, use feather light touch to roll out these goodies. The science behind it is supposedly to allow the trapped air inside the dough to come out. The tighter you roll it the harder it is for the air bubbles trapped inside causing the sudden bursting in the oil.
  • Water trapped in the balls : Similar to air, if excess moisture/water is trapped, the result will be a disaster too. Hence using frozen coconut is not ideal. But if using make sure that you knead the dough very well before lightly rolling them out into balls.
  • Using hot oil for making the dough: Personally I have never done it but using the hot oil (that you are heating for deep frying) to the dough while mixing it also helps to avoid the calamity!
  • Drying it out: Another tip I have heard is to let the balls dry out a bit. I guess that was indirectly done in the old days when family members sat around a moist cloth and rolled these out and placed them on the cloth while someone took little by little to fry them up in the oil. That sitting time for the balls while they waited for their turn to be deep fried helped them to dry out a bit avoiding any excess moisture issues in the oil.
  • Poking a hole: I have not done this personally but once an acquaintance gave me this tip to avoid the issue by pricking the balls with a needle! It sounded so cumbersome to me for which she insisted that if one batch of dough started bursting, you can try this tip to avoid wasting the next batch. So instead of throwing the rest of the dough away and start again fresh, just prick the remaining balls with the needle and deep fry it. It has worked for her although I have not used it. Try it to see if it works for you. If its going to save the dough, then why not :)
Uppu seedai/cheedai
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Yields: Makes around 60-80 depending on the size of the balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Rice flour
  • 2 tbsp Urad Dal Flour ( See how to make it here )
  • 1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut (freshly grated preferable)
  • 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida powder
Method
1. . Sieve the flour (see the tips below). Mix all the ingredients together
2. Add water tablespoon by tablespoon and form it into one tight dough. Too much water will spoil it - so be careful about the water.
3. Take a slightly damp and clean towel or even damp paper towel. Lay it on the ground. Take a very little piece of the dough and roll using your palms into a small round - a little bigger than peas, roughly the shape of small marbles. (see notes below)
4. Heat oil to deep fry. Drop a bunch of these small balls into the oil and let them deep fry.
5. Move it v slightly so that they don't bunch up together. They will come up and will be full of bubbles while cooking
6. Slowly it will come up on the surface and the bubbles will also cease. You can either make them deep red and keep them slightly golden yellow. Your preference.
7. Remove and place it on a paper towel to drain of excess oil.
Cool and store in a air tight container. They keep very well. But one warning though - they are highly ADDICTIVE! :)

Tips to Avoid Uppu Seedai(s) from bursting in hot oil
One of the main reasons for this innocent looking snack to scare the hell out of cooks is that at times it starts bursting while you are frying, scattering hot oil all over the kitchen. If it sounds not a big deal, you should see it while in action. Its scary and its messy. Here are some of the possible reasons to why it happens and how you can avoid this from happening.
  • Stones in rice flour: Traditionally rice is soaked, sun dried and then ground into fine flour to make this. But current times, with time playing hide and seek, store bought is optimal. In that case, make sure to sieve the rice flour well, couple of times, before using in the recipe.
  • Small grains in Urad flour: Similarly to rice flour, if there are small grains in the lentil flour, then the result will not be favorable. The flour should be fine without any particles. Seive the flour well to get only the fine powder.
  • Rolling the balls tightly: The tighter you roll them, more the chances of them bursting. While rotating them in your palm, keep it as gentle as possible. While I take the effort to roll them into a nice round, my aunt's place (with whom recently I had the opportunity to make these goodies with) rolls them for a mere 2 seconds. Its more like touch and go and at times it's not even a nice round. But the need to avoid the bursting sometimes is too high to bother about how smooth the round is! So the point I am trying to make is, use feather light touch to roll out these goodies. The science behind it is supposedly to allow the trapped air inside the dough to come out. The tighter you roll it the harder it is for the air bubbles trapped inside causing the sudden bursting in the oil.
  • Water trapped in the balls : Similar to air, if excess moisture/water is trapped, the result will be a disaster too. Hence using frozen coconut is not ideal. But if using make sure that you knead the dough very well before lightly rolling them out into balls.
  • Using hot oil for making the dough: Personally I have never done it but using the hot oil (that you are heating for deep frying) to the dough while mixing it also helps to avoid the calamity!
  • Drying it out: Another tip I have heard is to let the balls dry out a bit. I guess that was indirectly done in the old days when family members sat around a moist cloth and rolled these out and placed them on the cloth while someone took little by little to fry them up in the oil. That sitting time for the balls while they waited for their turn to be deep fried helped them to dry out a bit avoiding any excess moisture issues in the oil.
  • Poking a hole: I have not done this personally but once an acquaintance gave me this tip to avoid the issue by pricking the balls with a needle! It sounded so cumbersome to me for which she insisted that if one batch of dough started bursting, you can try this tip to avoid wasting the next batch. So instead of throwing the rest of the dough away and start again fresh, just prick the remaining balls with the needle and deep fry it. It has worked for her although I have not used it. Try it to see if it works for you. If its going to save the dough, then why not :)
Uppu seedai/cheedai

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5 Member Reviews

By Harini Priya on Aug 23, 2011

Thanks for the recipe, you made my day........this was the first time I was trying seedai alone, was really worried tht it mite burst(heard so many stories abt seedai and its burst factor), but it came out beautifully, thanks for the precise measurements.......

Recipe Image

By Kumar on Aug 22, 2011

Hi!,

Thanks a lot for the fantastic recipe. Tried for the frist time and the result is fabulous. Picture speaks more than words. You can see them.

Read All 5 Reviews →

38 Comments

By Varsha on Aug 17, 2014

I made both vellai n uppa chiddai.it has come awesome. Thanks for sharing

By Anu on Sep 2, 2013

Uppu Seedaii came out very well. thank u

By Anu on Sep 2, 2013

Uppu Sendai came out very well. thank u

By Archana on Aug 29, 2013

Any tips how to avoid soft seedai? Mine dont turn out crunchy :'( Once I did make crunchy, following the same recipe next two times I had only non crunchy ones. I am thinking of giving up .

May be you added a little too much water?. This should be a tight dough.--DK

By Shoba on Aug 28, 2013

Hi... I tried & it came out really well... At the beginning the seedai burst and spilled oil all over my kitchen :cry: . I tried poking hole in the seedai & it helped me :wink: ... Thanks for the lovely recipe

By Raji on Aug 24, 2013

I made the Seedai with your recipe and it came out very good. Thank you. I used 1 Tbsp of butter.

By Savita on Feb 17, 2013

Tastes much better if you some jaggery too

By sudha on Nov 17, 2012

no need to add the spice n all ah.....?

By Susmitha - Veganosaurus on Aug 9, 2012

Oh yeah, another change that I made was, I used coconut oil instead of butter to keep it vegan. Maybe that further reduced the moisture content, hence making the see dais behave themselves without bursting.

By Susmitha - Veganosaurus on Aug 9, 2012

:-D I made both your Seedai's yesterday for Gokulashtami and they turned out great! :) Though I haven't grown up eating Seedais, ever since we got married, my hubs and I have been making Seedais for every Gokulashtami. I have always heard scary stories about Seedais turning into little oil bombs, but our little Uppus Seedais have always been good, well-behaved little babies. I think it's because I've always used dry coconut powder instead of fresh coconut. Yesterday too, when I followed your recipe, that was the only change I made. Your method is a lot simpler than what I've normally followed so I could make more snacks and sweets in the saved time. :-P The only think that took extra effort was the urad dal powder. My mixie didn't grind the whole thing into a smooth powder so I had to sieve it but since my sieve wasn't fine enough, I ended up sieving through a cheesecloth. That was a sight to see with flour dust flying all over the place. :-P Finally I devised a method of placing the cloth inside a covered box and then tapping it to get the fine flour our. Needless to say, the flour was baby powder soft. haha Thanks for sharing your recipes and your very entertaining lead-ins to the recipes. :)

By RUPA on Aug 9, 2012

Once again thank you for your recipe. I tried both the recipes and they came out excellent. Everybody is very pleased with the outcome, one of the best sites. This is the 2nd year when our cheedai 's are worth eating . Keep up the good work and look forward to more traditional recipes

Thank you for the kindest feedback. :) Happy Krishna Jayanthi :) --DK

By Chithra Raman on Jul 28, 2012

I once made uppu cheedai with my Mother's instruction but the taste was good and first time it bursted I do not know what went wrong

By Chithra Raman on Jul 28, 2012

Hi I tried last year it came out well thanks

By shoba on Sep 3, 2011

Deepika, yes if your seedai is not crisp they are definitely undercooked, the easiest way to make it crispier without putting it again in the oil is to put it in the microwave oven for a min or two

By Deepika on Aug 31, 2011

@shoba - you were soooo right, your guarantee worked :) add hot oil while preparing the dough and they don't burst - awesome ! thanks for this wonderful tip. but my cheedais were not crisp from inside - do you think they over undercooked :-?

By gomathi on Aug 22, 2011

To avoid seedai from bursting my mother in law told me to fry the rice floor (that is soaked and powdered in mixer)slightly before making the dough

By gayathri on Aug 21, 2011

I tried this recipe.It turned out well.But the colour was golden brown.I want to make white colour seedai.I used fried raw rice flour.Is that right?Pls reply me.thnx a lot.

By vikram on Aug 20, 2011

hi my mom liked the posts very much

By saranya on Aug 19, 2011

hi, i had shared the notes u displayed here in the facebook,,,my id is saranya nakshatraala......thnks for ur tips

By Preetha on Aug 15, 2011

I tried the uppu seedai and the thattai. the thattai came out better. any tips on how to make both the snacks crispy. though the taste was good, the seedai didnt turn out crispy. i dont know why.

By Kavitha on Jul 20, 2011

Please clarify for me in malaysia version wat is Asafoetida powder?

By Biji on Oct 30, 2010

I dunno if Iam being stupid.... :?: I tried this today, but as soon I put the rolled dough into oil, everything dissolved into the oil leaving back some residue in the oil....I dunno wht went wrong... Thanks.....Biji

By nandini on Sep 10, 2010

The best cheedai I have made with your instruction this gokulashtami. Have come back to the site for Vinayak Chathurthi.

By Suguna on Sep 1, 2010

the easiest way to make uppucheedai is to roll the ball into a rope ,take small bits and just soothen the cut edges without actually rolling it.this way,you can make it faster and they will not burst.

By Usha on Aug 29, 2010

Hi all, slightly dry roast the rice flour. And it will taste much better.

By Usha on Aug 29, 2010

Hi, the method for making rice flour to be mentioned. Soak the rice in water for about 10 mins, wash it well, drain the water completely, slightly dry the rice for about 10 mins in a towel and grind it into fine powder (with the moisture content). Otherwise, cheedai would become too hard.

By shoba on Aug 17, 2010

While making the dough heat some oil and pour onto the dough and mix it well. If this is done I guarantee you that the seedai will not burst.

By vidyamali on Dec 21, 2009

Thanks Seedai came out good once again thanks for the tips also as sometimes seedaibursts out and the oil is allover but i got and it tasted well i gave it to some of my friends

By divya on Oct 16, 2009

Thanks so much!! I tried it for the first time, and it came out superb! Hi Divya - Thank you for your feedback. I am glad it came out great :) -- DK

By Priya on Aug 13, 2009

Omg this is not fair at all DK...am miss seedai that much...lovely snacks!!

By How to make Uppu Seedai Recipe | Krishna Jayanthi Salt Cheedai … | Images and all!! on Aug 12, 2009

[...] exactly do you translate Seedai/Cheedai? The word “Uppu” in tamil translateRead more at http://chefinyou.com/2009/08/uppu-seedai-recipe/ Tags: seedai recipe (0) Comments    Read More    Post [...]

By How to make Uppu Seedai Recipe | Krishna Jayanthi Salt Cheedai … | Images and all!! on Aug 12, 2009

[...] exactly do you translate Seedai/Cheedai? The word “Uppu” in tamil translateRead more at http://chefinyou.com/2009/08/uppu-seedai-recipe/ Tags: krishna jayanthi (0) Comments    Read More    [...]

By Srividhya on Aug 12, 2009

I totally miss being at home during Krishna Jayanthi. Amma called me in all glory today morning to say she is making uppu cheedai and vella cheedai :( Lovely and informative post you have here!

By Lakshmi Venkatesh on Aug 12, 2009

As usual a very excellent click. The seedais look like as if I can pick it up and start eating it up.

By bergamot on Aug 12, 2009

Looks really nice.. love the color of these small balls

By Cilantro on Aug 12, 2009

Thank you for the tips, I forgot to mention. I will make note of them when I make cheedai.

By Cilantro on Aug 12, 2009

Cheedai has come out perfect. Looks like the ones from Grand Snacks. My only fear of them is bursting out of the oil sometimes. They usually misbehave with me. Otherwise they are really a true crunchy delight.

By sathya sankar on Aug 12, 2009

Seedai looks yummy, perfectly shaped and crunchy !