How to Make Sun-Dried Lentil Fritters or Kumbalakai Shandige
This Summer I Made Ash Gourd and Lentil Fritters:
Ash gourd and lentil fritters are versatile flakes that can be used in many ways. The other names for theses fritters are "Boodu kumbalkai shandige" and "Uddina shandige." They are yummy and healthy too. Made properly, they are crispy and awesome. Normally, these fritters are not deep fried. They are roasted in a pan and a few drops of oil is sprinkled on them. They are spicy and crunchy. They are used as a side dish for any meal to make the food more enjoyable. People also make curries using roasted fritters just like vegetables. This curry also comes out very tasty.
Making these fritters or shandige takes quite a bit of time and energy. But remember that we are making a whole bunch of them. You'll be able to use them on multiple occasions because you'll have so many. Whenever you desire, take a bowl of these fritters and roast them in a small hand pan, use as a dish, or side dish. Eating hot rice with these roasted fritters is a meal itself.
They are made of split black lentils, raw mango, ash gourd, green chilies, hing/asafetida, and salt. Look at the ingredients! All of them are good for health. So, try to make these fritters on a sunny day. Making these will take you most of the day. Here's the recipe.
Word of Caution:
Ash gourd fritter batter needs to be too spicy. Hence, you may get burning sensation if you touch the batter continuously with your fingers. For this reason, you can't lessen the spiciness of the batter. Once dried, these fritters loose spiciness to some extent. Hence, you have to keep the batter more spicy.
How to prevent burning sensation: Apply some oil on your fingers and palm, or wear a glove before touching the batter.
- 2 big cups de-husked split black lentil, washed and soaked in fresh water for 3-4 hours
- 1 big cup raw mango, skin removed, finely chopped
- 1 big cup ash gourd or white pumpkin, skin removed and grated
- 25-30 green chilies
- a peanut size hing/asafetida, or hing powder
- 3 tsp salt, or as per taste
- 1 tsp oil, for greasing the plastic sheet
- 4 tbsp butter milk or curd, for wetting the plastic sheet
Step-By-Step Guidelines and Images for Making Sun-dried Ash gourd and Lentil Fritters( Kumbalakai Shandige)
- Wash de-husked split black lentil. Pour fresh water and soak for 3-4 hours. I did this in the morning about 5.00 am.
- Keep all other ingredients handy.
- Strain black lentils. Grind them in a wet grinder, adding very little water. Add water only if needed. In the last rounds of grinding, sprinkle a few drops of water to make the batter fluffy and light.
- Grate ash gourd flesh. Keep aside.
- Grind chopped mango and green chilies together in a blender or mixer to get a smooth paste. No need to add water while grinding. Keep aside.
- When the lentil batter is smooth, add hing/asafetida, ground chili-mango paste, grated ash gourd, and salt. Grind it 1-2 rounds only. Otherwise, the lentil looses the fluffiness due to the ash gourd and mango sourness. To avoid this, either you have to grind just to mix them or you have to pour the lentil batter into a container and mix other items.
- Check for taste. It should be a more spicy batter. It will loose spiciness after drying. These fritters won't shrink much after drying. Hence, use proper portion of salt.
- I finished making the fritter batter at about 10 am and immediately started making them under the sun.
How to Make Ash gourd Fritters on a Plastic Sheet and Sun-dry them:
- Mix oil and butter milk in a glass. If you are using curd or yogurt, add water to make it thin. Sprinkle this mix on the plastic sheet. This process makes the fritters detach easily from the plastic, once they are dried.
- Place the plastic in a sunny area. Start pouring a tea spoon full batter on the sheet, one near the other. You can make them using your fingers. Refer the pic. For the entire day, it should dry under the sun.
- By evening, you can observe that at least a few of them detach from the sheet. Don't force detach. Keep the sheet under the fan at night. Next day, once again dry them under the sun. In 2-3 days it dries completely and becomes crispy.
- After first day of drying under the sun, next day on wards you can try to dry them under the fan. However, sun-dried fritters can stay fresh for longer time. They will stay fresh for years!
- Whenever you desire to eat spicy side dish, roast some of them and sprinkle some oil or butter. They are yummy, healthy, and flavorful. They go well as a side dish with any type of meal.