How to Make Sun-Dried Finger Millet Fritters (Ragi Shandige)
Sun-Dried Fritters (Shandige)
Summer is the perfect time for making these sun-dried flakes. You can make many varieties. They are called "Shandige" in Kannada. The most popular versions are:
- rice flakes (Akki Shandige)
- finger millet flakes (Ragi Shandige)
- ash gourd flakes (Kumbalkai Shandige)
- sago flakes (Sabakki Shandige)
- flat rice flakes (Avalakki Shandige)
People make dried flakes in large quantities and store in air-tight containers for future use. They fry them whenever desired. Fried flakes is a yummy side dish during meals.
There are two ways to make finger millet flakes. The difference between these two methods is that in the first method, millet flour is used instead of millet juice. This is an easy method. Taking out millet juice takes some time and energy. However, flakes made using millet juice (second method) is better in quality than the one prepared using the flour. The millet flour has tiny husks in it, so the flakes turn blackish when dried. Otherwise, the methods are the same.
I will show you to make finger millet fritters by taking out the juice from it. Instead, if you want a quick method and can compromise with the quality, you can use the millet flour. Here's the recipe.
Make Finger Millet Flakes Only on Sunny Days
These flakes are to be dried in hot Sun at least for the entire first day. Normally after a day in the Sun, they detach on their own from the plastic sheet. Don't force detach. Once dry, they will detach. Next day spread them a few hours in the Sun; and third day, they are almost dry. Alternatively, after the first day, you can dry them under the fan. However, drying under the Sun makes them very crispy.
- 750 grams finger millet, or finger millet /ragi flour
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or as per taste
- 2 cups curd or butter milk, sour
- 1 cup flattened rice powder
- 1 teaspoon oil, for greasing the plastic sheet for making the flakes
Instructions for Making Sun-Dried Millet Flakes
- Wash finger millet in water and soak in fresh water overnight.
- Next morning, grind it adding sufficient water till you get a smooth liquid.
- Strain this milky solution by pouring it through a thin cotton cloth or through a porous vessel. Collect the millet water. Discard the husk.
- Cover the vessel and rest for 8-10 hours. During this time, the fermentation takes place. Adjust the consistency by adding water. It should be thin.
- Mix the batter. Add red chili powder(optional), and salt. Keep ready the flattened rice powder.
- Pour it into a thick bottomed vessel. Cook it on low fire, stirring continuously, until it starts boiling. Add sour buttermilk or curd or yogurt and flattened rice powder. Mix and allow it to boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the fire. Keep it for cooling. I did this at night and the mix was cooling whole night.
Be Careful While Adding Salt to the Millet Batter
Sun-dried fritters shrink during various stages of drying. Finally, they reduce in size. So, use less salt for the flake batter. If you use normal quantity of salt, it will be saltier when dried. Though they shrink, they puff up when deep-fried in hot oil.
Drying the Fritters on a Plastic Sheet
- The next morning, the batter should still feel warm. It would have become thicker. Add warm water and bring it to the moderate thick pouring consistency. You should be able to drop a teaspoon-sized batter on the greased plastic sheet. Adjust the salt. Refer to the pic.
- Mix 1/2 a teaspoon oil with an equal quantity of water. Grease the plastic sheet with this mix. This will make easy to remove the flakes after sun drying.
- Take some batter in your fingers and drop 2-3 flakes at a time(approximately a teaspoon batter for a flake). Repeat it until you finish dropping the entire batter. Drop them one near the other on the plastic sheet.
- These flakes are to be dried in the Sun. If you make the flakes in the morning, by evening they dry 75%. The portion exposed to Sun will be dry and the inner side will be still wet like.
- At night, keep it under the fan. The next morning, once again, spread them in the Sun. This way, dry the flakes till crisp. It may take about 3 days.
- Once completely dry, store them in an airtight container for future use. Fry them whenever you desire. They are light and crunchy when fried. Use them like a side dish during meals. Enjoy!!