Thatai. A crunchy South Indian cracker that’s a super popular afternoon snack. These golden-brown, crisp discs are perfect with a cup of chai, South Indian filter coffee or simply a quick snack on the go.
Traditionally Thatai are completely gluten-free and vegan, and pack a flavour punch, with spicy chilli power, savoury asafoetida and crunchy coconut. We love the taste, spices and texture, but we squirm at the thought of these crackers being deep-fried, which is how they are usually cooked.
So, we’ve taken the same super ingredients, and added a modern and healthy twist.
Our crackers are oven-baked, cutting out all the unnecessary oil, and we’ve added an iron boost with some rich spinach leaves. As well as all the usual spices, our Thatai have an extra tangy bite - we’ve used a dollop of tahini-lime mayo for protein, flavour and zing. And to make these even more nutritious, we've given our Thatai another protein hit with some black gram flour (see note below).
You can load up these versatile crackers with chutneys, dips and veggies or serve them as a crunchy snacks as is. So pack them up as your afternoon snack, try as a quick canapé for your dinner party, dip into soups and stews or devour in any way you fancy.
Flavour-packed, healthy, and easy. What more could you ask for?
We’d love to hear what you think!
N & N
Time: 35 mins
Makes: 15 crackers
- 1 cup rice flour
- 2 tbsps toasted urid dal flour (black gram flour)
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 1/8 tsp asafoetida
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsps tahini
- juice of 1 lime
- 4 ½ tbsps water
- ¼ cup chopped spinach
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Mix together the rice flour, urid dal flour, salt, chilli and asafoetida
- In another small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and tahini. It should form a thick emulsion.
- Add the chopped spinach leaves to the flour and spice mixture and mix. Pour in the tahini and lime mixture, add the coconut oil and incorporate well. Get your hands in there if you need to break up big clumps!
- Add the water bit by bit and use your hands to bring the dough together. It’s a gluten free mixture so it will be a bit crumbly.
- Take small balls, and either flatten into discs with your hands, or roll out onto a flat surface and cut out discs using a cookie cutter. Either way works fine – flattening with your hands will give you a more rustic, rough-edged look, and cookie-cutters will give you a very round cracker.
- Arrange on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 mins Any longer and they will burn and become dry. You’re looking for a tinge of golden brown.
They're super just hot out the oven. Load up with chutneys, curries or devour as is.
Spice Advice: Black Gram Flour (Urid Dal Flour)
Black gram, also known as black lentils, are a very high source of protein. In South India they're commonly used to make the batter for our iconic pancakes - Dosa (we'll be sharing a recipe for this soon) . Black gram is also a rich source of iron and fibre. It's available in most Indian and ethnic grocery stores, but if you're struggling to find it, you can substitute it with chickpea flour (gram flour).