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A plate of vella seedai from Store bought flour, with a bowl of smaller uppu seedai all on a pink silk fabric with a purple flower in the background and small silver lamps just behind the plate
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Vella Seedai from Store Bought Flour / Gokulashtami Sweets

Step by step detailed instructions for making Vella Seedai/ Cheedai from Store bought flour. Guide to making the dough correctly and to help reduce risk of cheedai splitting while frying
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert, festival, naivedyam, palaharam, sweet
Cuisine: Indian, south indian, Tamilian
Keyword: Gokulashtami, Krishna Jayanthi, Vella seedai
Servings: 20 units
Author: Sujata Shukla

Ingredients

For Vella Seedai Dough

  • 2 cups Rice flour 480 ml
  • 1 cup Jaggery 240 ml pounded into powder/ soft pieces
  • ½ cup Water 120 ml as required in instructions below
  • 2 teaspoons Urad dal flour/ Black gram lentils flour 10 ml
  • 2 teaspoon White sesame / ellu / til seeds 10 ml
  • 1 pinch cardamom powder 1/16 teaspoon or from 2 cardamoms
  • 1 pinch salt 1/16 teaspoon
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or softened unsalted butter 10 ml
  • 3 teaspoons coconut pieces 15 ml sliced very thin and small

For Frying Vella Seedai

  • 2 cups oil 480 ml as required

Instructions

To Make Vella Seedai Batter

  • Do read the post above before you start, as it has a guide to making the seedai without it going into pieces or becoming rock hard.
  • Sieve each of the flours separately and roast each separately in a warm pan (rice flour for about 2 minutes, urad dal flour about 1 minute), until the raw smell has gone. The trick to roasting is to stir frequently, keeping the heat on low/ medium, but remove from the heat and transfer to another bowl, before the flour changes colour/ browns.
    Soften the butter/ melt the ghee. I used unsalted butter, and microwaved it for just 20 seconds till it began to melt.
    Slice coconut into very thin slim slivers. Slivers/shavings are better than grated fresh coconut as they add texture to the seedai.
    Roast the coconut slivers in a warm dry pan for about 1 minute, stirring and keeping the heat on low/medium so that the coconut does not brown. You are just getting rid of excess moisture, not roasting it.
  • Pound/ Powder the jaggery and place in a small saucepan, adding water just sufficient to cover it. Use minimum possible water, and not more than ½ cup. Reserve any balance water out of the ½ cup to add to the dough as required in instructions below.
    Heat the jaggery, stirring so that it just dissolves in the water. Remove from the heat once you have checked there are no lumps. Filter it to remove any impurities. Remember, you are not making jaggery syrup, you just need to dissolve the jaggery well in the water.
  • In a large, clean, dry mixing bowl, add all the dry items - most of the roasted rice flour, reserving ¼ cup to mange the consistency of the dough in case it has too much water, all of the roasted urad dal flour, cardamom powder, sesame seeds and salt. Mix well. I usually sieve them all together into the bowl (except for the sesame seeds which I add and mix) just as if I were baking. This mixes the ingredients nicely.
  • Make a well/ hole in the dry ingredients and pour in just half the jaggery water you had made. Add the melted ghee/ softened butter and coconut shavings.
    Stir the liquids into the dry flours, adding the rest of the jaggery water one tablespoon at a time, so that you don't add more water than required. Once you have used up all the jaggery water, add the remaining water you had reserved earlier, one spoon at a time just till you get the required consistency for the dough. The lesser water you use, the better the seedai will turn out. The dough should form coarse breadcrumb-like bits. If you don't get crumbs, you may need to add just a little more of the reserved roasted rice flour - maybe one or two teaspoons at the most.
    Roll the crumbs into a ball of dough, adding only just enough jaggery water to get the dough to hold together and not break into pieces. If you find the jaggery water and reserved water insufficient, add warm (not hot) water, just 1 teaspoon at a time, till the dough holds together in a rough ball.
    Cover the dough and let it rest for about 15 minutes. I let it sit on kitchen paper so that any moisture is removed.

To Roll the Vella Seedai balls

  • Roll the dough into balls, each about the size of an Indian gooseberry/ amla, or a large marble. The balls should not be patted smooth but be rolled briefly into a ball. Nor should they be pressed into tight little lumps as this will make the vella seedai too hard. Cracks on the surface are fine, good actually, as they will help steam to escape during frying and prevent the seedai from splitting.
    Let the seedai balls rest on a kitchen towel for 15 minutes.

To Fry the Vella Seedai

  • Heat oil in a medium sized frying pan/ bandli/ kadai and add a few of the dough balls gently. Fry on medium heat. After about 30 seconds, turn them over with a slotted spoon. I prefer to keep the heat on low, once the oil has heated well. My first batch usually takes 15 minutes. I turn each seedai over every 3-4 minutes.The bubbles formed will show the steam escaping.
    When the seedai begin to darken to brown and the bubbles almost stop, the centres would have been cooked. Remove immediately using a slotted spoon to gently hold the seedai against the side of the pan, so that excess oil is drained. Place the seedai in a colander to drain. As it cools, it hardens and darkens in colour.
    Proceed to fry the next batch.
  • I normally test the first batch, removing the seedai to a colander and waiting for at least 5 minutes. If the seedai has cooked (I check by pressing it with a spoon), I will use the same cooking time for the remaining batches. As the vella seedai is usually made as Naivedyam for Shri Krishna, I do not taste it while making it.
    Once the seedai have cooled, store in an airtight box. They taste better a day after they are made, so ideally make the vella seedai the day before Krishna Jayanthi.