Kodubale Courtesy: K.Raghunandana

This is one of the widely known snacks of Karnataka, perhaps also popular in other parts
of South India. It is fairly easy to prepare, but needs some initial patience and effort. A trial
on a week-end is suggested. KODU means Horn (like that of a cow) and BALE means
Bangle, the best one is made by grand-mother.
Ingredients
Rice flour (slightly coarse, gives more crispy touch)
red chili powder
Jeera (cumin seeds)
Hing (asafetida)
grated coconut
dried & crushed curry leaves
white sesame seeds
butter
salt to taste
Oil to fry
Proportion is for 500 gms of rice flour, put in a handful of each of the other ingredients
(except chili powder, ooh, just a table spoon of that would do).

Method
Mix the rice flour, red chili powder, salt, butter (one quarter piece of the commercially
available pack), and all the above ingredients in the dry form. Knead with hand to ensure
that butter gets uniformly mixed in the dry flour. At this stage some people prefer to put 1
or 2 red chilies in hot oil, take out after 1 minute, cool, powdered by hand and mix with the
dry flour. This gives a traditional flavor to KODUBALE. Also, freshly grated coconut
gives a much better taste than the dry coconut powder available in stores. If using fresh
coconut, save the coconut water, to mix the dough. This enhances the taste.
Frying procedure : The proper method is not to mix water to the flour all at once, but to
sprinkle, enough to make a handful of wet dough at a time, finish that and proceed again.
So, mix water to a portion of the dough (preferably at the centre), mix it to a semi-wet
paste (not as wet as a chappathi/bread dough – remember – rice flour does not have the
stickiness of wheat and stays together more loosely, held by ingredients). Take a lemon
sized ball and start rolling on a cutting board. The consistency should be sufficient to roll,
but not too wet/soggy. If the water is less, the rolled rod breaks. If this happens, add a little
water (coconut water if you have). Remember, do not put too much pressure on the semi-
wet dough, but gently roll to form a smooth natural rod, rolling sideways to get an even
thickness of about the small finger on your hand. When the rolled rod becomes 4 inches
long, slowly turn around the ends, join them to form a circle (like a bangle). The correct
consistency is that at the points of bending, small cracks may appear, but the roll will not
break. Carefully hold it at the circumference and slide it along Wok-edge into hot oil. Use
medium flame to heat the Wok (BaNale or Kadayi). Sunflower oil is preferable to others
since it does not have any odour of its own. Back home, the popular medium is unrefined
groundnut oil (coconut oil is popular in S. Canara dist).
Put in 5 to 6 Kodubale at a time and deep fry slowly till brown. Use the back of stainless
steel spoon or a wooden rod to lift them thro’ the centre hole.To test consistency, break one
after cooling; it must be crispy with crumbs at the center. If the butter is too much, the
KODUBALE breaks into pieces after getting into the hot oil. If the water is too much, the
KODUBALE becomes smooth and soft. Lack of butter makes it pretty hard, which, many
people do like. Adjust your proportion, Khara (chili powder) etc by tasting one, then
proceed with the further batches. It can be kept in bottles for 15 days to a month and eaten
at tea time (all the time – for kids :-), as experienced people will tell you). The right thing
to have on a rainy day; if it is a little on the hotter side (taste-wise) it will go very well
with beer 🙂
If you have a tough time/run out on your patience, beat the lemon sized balls into flat round
pieces like mini pappadums and fry. If you have decided to do this, add roasted groundnut
seeds and Purikadale (bhoonja chana) to bring a distinct taste. This is also called Nippattu
in Kannada (I know the Telugu people have a name for this, but can’t remember).
KODUBALE, KODUBALE, KAASIGONDU KODUBALE (Kodubale – for a penny each)
is a song of the good-old times. May not be as cheap now, but still is sold in all the
bakeries – isn’t it 🙂

One thought on “Kodubale Courtesy: K.Raghunandana”

  1. As said by you in preparation of ‘Kodubale “Proportion is for 500 gms of rice flour, put in a handful of each of the other ingredients (except chili powder, ooh, just a table spoon of that would do).” what about hingu? handful of hingu will make it horrible to eat.

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