Strange Snacks of the World--Chakli
Behold the hypnotically delicious chakli--the tastiest cracker I know of. These spiral fried snacks (also called murukku) from India are made from a mix of rice and/or besan (chickpea) flour, very heavily spiced with chile powder, turmeric, sesame seeds, cumin, ajwain, asafoetida, enriched with ghee to make a batter, and then extruded into the bubbling oil. Many families make chakli at home for Diwali, but buy them at stores the rest of the year, to crunch on with tea.
You can find them at most Indian groceries, or check out the many varieties at Patel Brothers.
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