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The birth of Kannan(a.k.a. Krishna) is popularly celebrated as Gokulastami in the south. Baby foot prints of rice flour are drawn from the...

Vella Cheedai & Uppu Cheedai - Kamsa's Crunch Kanna's Munch

The birth of Kannan(a.k.a. Krishna) is popularly celebrated as Gokulastami in the south. Baby foot prints of rice flour are drawn from the entrance into the homes. Crunchy snacks like cheedais and murukkus, and sweets like avil kesari or payasum and appam are prepared. Evening prayers are performed and prasadhums are offered to everyone in the household. Cheedais and murukkus are very delicious savories that kids and adults enjoy. In fact, most people look forward to this festival just to enjoy these munchies.

The last few days I have been surfing the Internet, trying to seek answer for a simple question. Why do we make cheedai and murukku for Gokulastami? The common answer was that Kannan liked it a lot.That had been the obvious response, but I was sure there was more to it then that. At last, with the help of my sister and our family vadhiyar's (priest) wife I found one reason. I am sure there are more explanations, so if anyone in your family has a clear answer, please do send me an e- mail. My entry to Indian Festive Food event: Ganesh and Krishna Chathurthi hosted by Purva's Daawat

Kamsa was a evil demon king of Mathura. He is known to have imprisoned his own father to become the ruler. He spread terror in his kingdom. Kamsa, was however very fond of his cousin Devaki who had married Vasudeva. Soon after their wedding a voice from the heaven informed Kamsa that the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva would kill him. With great anger he imprisoned the couple and demanded that every child that is born to them must be handed over to him in exchange for their life. Devika's six children met their end in Kamsa's hands. However, Devaki's seventh child Balarama and her eighth child Krishna escaped death from the hands of Kamsa.

When Kamsa heard that Devaki was about to have her eight child he was extremely anxious and paced up and down and ground his teeth. The myth is Krishna could hear this crunching sound  when he was about to be born and therefore to mark the birth of Krishna, people celebrated by preparing crunchy, salty, savory and sweet cheedai and murukku

Cheedai (Savory):


Wok for frying
Paper towel


Rice flour- 2 cups
Udad flour- 1/4 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp
Cumin - 2 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds (white) - 2 tsp
Asafoetida ( L.G Block) - a small piece
Water - 2 cups


1. Soak asafoetida in warm water.

2. Roast udad dhal to golden color, cool and grind to a fine powder or roast store bought udad dhal powder.

3. Mix rice and udad flour, cumin and sesame seeds and pepper powder.

4. Mix salt in some water and add it to the above mixture.

5. Add the asafoetida water to make a medium textured dough.

6. Heat oil in medium high.Make small balls (do not press or make tight balls) and fry.

7. Taken them out when the cheedai reaches golden brown color.

NOTE: Watch out when you fry the cheedai. Stand far from the stove why cheedai is frying.They might burst if there are stones in the dough or air gets locked.

Vella Cheedai(Sweet)

This recipe was given to me by my Vanaja Athai, my fathers cousin. I am always nervous when it comes to making the vella cheedai. If the dough is not prepared right the cheedai when fried might disintegrate. This recipe was awesome. Cracks did form on the top of the cheedai but the taste and the texture was amazing. So please take your time and prepare this cheedai, it would be worth your time.


Cutting board
Serrated Knife
Wok for making jaggery liquid
Wok for frying
Wok for roasting
Paper Towel


Rice Flour - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup
Udad flour - 1 tsp
Butter - 1 tsp
Cardamon - 3 pods
Water - one fist full
Coconut (fresh) - 2 tbsp ( cut into small bits)
Oil for frying.

Note on Jaggery
: There are many types of Jaggery available in the market. For example they may be shaped like a ball, small squares or pyramids. In the south you would find round ball shaped jaggery which could be light colored or dark colored. The dark colored jaggery is what is used mostly. It is sweeter than the other kinds. In case you don't find the dark variety use the lighter colored ball jaggery but check for its sweetness because sometimes they have no sweetness and the recipe might need additional jaggery.


1. Roast the udad dhal to redish/ golden tone and grind into a fine powder.

2. Using a serrated knife slice into the jaggery and add it to a wok. Taken one hand full of water and sprinkle on the jaggery. This must cover the jaggery with enough water. Heat the wok and let the jaggery melt. Allow it to cool.

3. Transfer this liquid into another bowl and remove the sediments in the bottom.

4. Dry roast the rice flour until it changes color (reddish). Allow it to cool.

5. Mix udad flour and rice flour. Add coconut and cardamon to the jaggery.

6. Mix the flour mix to the jaggery and make a dough. Cover and set it aside for some time. For best results rest them for one day.

7. Make small balls the size of a quarter and fry them in very low flame oil. This is very important else the dough would disintegrate.

8. Fry them until they turn a dark brown. Cool and munch away.


  1. What an interesting story! Thanks for sharing it. Those munchies do look yummy!!

  2. Outstanding Chedai. Wish I could taste some.

  3. Both the cheedais have come out perfect. Making vella cheedai is really an art. I am yet to try that.

  4. nic eone,...i will be postin soon on jamasthmi and the food prepared...in north...waitin for another [ost like this good job,..:-)

  5. Happu Gokulashtami Srimathi. Enjoyed readind this post, including the story and the smart title as well! :-)

  6. Awesome seedai.. Thanks Srimathi for the recipe. I tried the salt seedai and it was out of the world. I offered them to Krishna and hope he too liked it :)

  7. Wow cheedai looks awesome, I am sure Bal gopal must have loved these delicious offerings.
    Thank you for yummy entries
    I just loved the title ;)