Palakayalu | Deep-fried Rice Flour Balls from Andhra Pradesh

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Palakayalu are small, deep-fried, crispy balls made with a rice-flour dough. These are made in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for Sri Krishna Janmashtami (Gokulashtami). However, you can make them any time as a tea-time snack like I did yesterday.

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Palakayalu or crispy rice flour balls made in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for Krishna Janmashtami (Gokulashtami)
Palakayalu

August 24, 2019 is Sri Krishna Janmashtami (aka Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Krishna Jayanthi). Along with Venna (fresh white butter), Paalu (Cow Milk), Perugu (Curd or Yoghurt) and assortment of dishes made with Atukulu (beaten rice, Poha), we always make some crispy snacks. I guess this is to entice Bala Gopal. 🙂 Palakayalu are small crispy rice flour balls that are super easy to make. Kids absolutely love them. Even older people can have them because well-made Palakayalu are crispy but light as air.

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Palakayalu are similar to but not exactly the same as the Uppu Seedai or Uppu Cheedai made in Tamil Nadu.

I first posted this recipe on August 12, 2014 and have updated it with new photos and ingredient measures by weight.

Find more recipes for naivedyam at Gokulashtami, Krishnashtami Or Sri Krishna Jayanti Naivedyam Recipes.

Important:

Do read the tips below before you try this recipe.

  • The palakayalu tend to burst if the oil is too hot or the dough has too much or too little water, the palakayalu tend to burst.
  • To test the oil temperature: Heat the oil on a medium flame till it is just hot. Add a pinch of dough into the oil and it should rise to the surface slowly. If it rises quickly, the oil is too hot and reduce the flame to let the oil cool a bit.
  • To test the consistency of the dough: When you roll the dough into a ball, there should be no cracks (dough is too dry) and the ball should holds its shape when you leave it in the plate; the side touching the plate should not flatten (dough has too much water).
  • If the dough is dry, add about 1 tsp of hot water at a time, and knead again.
  • You must make the palakayalu as soon as the dough is ready. If you leave the dough to rest, it will dry out.

Always be careful when you fry the palakayalu, especially when you fry the first batch. This is because if the palakayalu burst, the hot oil tends to splatter and may cause burns.

Recipe for Palakayalu | Crispy, Deep-fried Rice Balls for Krishna Janmashtami (Gokulashtami)

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Cooking Time: 60 Mins

Ingredients

  1. Rice Flour – 2 Cups
  2. Water – 2 Cups
  3. Sesame Oil – 2 tbsp
  4. Sesame Seeds – 2 tbsp
  5. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Asafoetida – 2 Large Pinches
  7. Salt to Taste
  8. For Deep Frying
    • Oil – 2 Cups

Method

  1. Making the Dough
    1. Sieve the rice flour and set aside.
    2. Over medium heat, in a large vessel, boil the water.
    3. Turn the heat to low.
    4. Add sesame seeds, 2 tbsp sesame oil, red chilli powder, asafoetida and just enough salt to make the water taste salty (about 3/4 tsp).
    5. Let the water simmer for 2-3 minutes.
    6. Turn off the heat.
    7. Add the rice flour immediately and mix well. Do not let the water cool.

    8. Transfer the dough into a plate and wait for a couple of minutes for it to cool a bit.
    9. Grease your palm with a few drops of oil and quickly knead the dough till its smooth. If you need to add more water, use hot water and add just 1 teaspoon at a time.

  2. Shaping the Palakayalu
    1. Grease your palms well with oil.
    2. Pinch enough dough to make a 1/2″ ball.  I use the standard spoon measures and use 1/4″ spoon of dough for each ball.
    3. Roll the dough between your palms to shape them into a ball.
    4. Repeat till you shape all the Palakayalu.
    5. To ensure the dough does not dry out, cover the Palakayalu with a thin wet cotton cloth. If the dough or the shaped balls dry out, then will crack when you are frying them.
  3. Frying the Palakayalu
    1. In a wok or kadai, over medium heat, heat about 2 cups of oil. To test if the oil is hot, add a pinch of the dough. It should rise to the surface slowly but immediately, and then sizzle there. 
    2. Turn the heat to low-medium.
    3. Add some Palakayalu to the oil and fry till they are golden brown. Do not increase the heat. If you do, the palakayalu will be brown on the surface but raw inside. It will take each batch about 10 to 12 minutes to fry.

    4. Using a slotted ladle, keep moving the balls as they fry to ensure they fry evenly. 
    5. Remove the fried balls from the oil and drain any excess oil.
    6. Place the Palakayalu on kitchen tissue to drain the excess oil.
  4. Let the Palakayalu cool and immediately transfer to an air-tight container.
  5. Enjoy with some hot tea or coffee!

Palakayalu | Crispy, Fried Rice Flour Dough Balls from Andhra Pradesh
Palakayalu | Crispy, Fried Rice Flour Dough Balls from Andhra Pradesh

Palakayalu | Deep-fried Rice Flour Balls from Andhra Pradesh

Aruna
Palakayalu are made for Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. While Krishnashtami is a special occasion, I also make these deep-fried rice flour balls as a tea-time snack at other times. Palakayalu can also be seen as Andhra’s answer to Tamil Nadu’s Uppu Seedai.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Snacks
Cuisine Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
Ingredients
  
  • 2 Cups Rice Flour (~ 300 gms)
  • 2 Cups Water (~ 500 ml)
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Seeds (~ 20 gms)
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder (~ 10 gms)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • Salt to Taste
For Deep Frying
  • 2 Cups Oil
Instructions
 
Making the Dough
  • Sieve the rice flour and set aside.
  • Over medium heat, in a large vessel, bring the water to a boil.
  • Turn the heat to low.
  • Add sesame seeds, 2 tbsp sesame oil, red chilli powder, asafoetida and just enough salt to make the water taste salty (about 3/4 tsp) and mix well.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Add the rice flour immediately and mix well. Do not let the water cool.
  • Transfer the dough into a plate and wait for a couple of minutes for it to cool.
  • Grease your palm with a few drops of oil and quickly knead the dough till its smooth. If you need to add more water, use hot water and add just 1 teaspoon at a time.
Shaping the Palakayalu
  • Grease your palms well with oil.
  • Shape the dough into 1/2" balls. To ensure the dough does not dry out, cover the Palakayalu with a thin wet cotton cloth. If the dough or the shaped balls dry out, then will crack when you are frying them.
Frying the Palakayalu
  • In a wok or kadai, over medium heat, heat about 2 cups of oil. To test if the oil is hot, add a pinch of the dough. It should immediately rise to the surface and sizzle there.
  • Turn the heat to low-medium.
  • Add some Palakayalu to the oil and fry till they are golden brown. Do not increase the heat. If you do, the palakayalu will be brown on the surface but raw inside. It will take each batch about 10 to 12 minutes to fry.
  • Using a slotted ladle, keep moving the balls as they fry to ensure they fry evenly.
  • Remove the fried balls from the oil and drain any excess oil. If needed, place the Palakayalu on kitchen tissue to drain the excess oil.
  • Let the Palakayalu cool and immediately transfer to an air-tight container.
Keyword Palakayalu, Uppu Seedai
Tried this recipe?Do let me know how you liked it @aahaaram or tag #aahaaram!

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