Gavvalu: The Sweet & Spicy Snack
Gavvalu is a delicious snack from Andhra Pradesh, made both as sweet and savoury. Gavvalu literally translates to Cowrie Shells. Kids are really attracted to the shape of it, and they associate this shape to something very tasty. The popular version is the Sweet or Teepi Gavvalu and mostly made during Janmashthami and Diwali. Sweet Gavvalu has two popular variants, Teepi Gavvalu which is made out of sugar and Bellam Gavvalu which is made out of Jaggery (Gud). The sweeter version is basically where the white flour is made into dough, rolled up to the shape of Gavvalu, deep fried, and dipped in sweet sugar or jaggery syrup. While in the spicy version, the high quality authentic Indian spices are added in the dough itself, where the Gavvalu after deep frying is not dipped in any syrup. Gavvalu is known to be one of the favourite snacks of Lord Krishna.
You need to have a Gavvalu Peeta (Chekka) which is a serrated wooden board, specifically designed for this purpose. But even if you do not have the board, you can either use a new comb, or the back side of a fork. The process of making getting only the shape right is a long process. Rolling them into small round flats and then rolling them again on to the Gavvalu Peeta to attain the shape, is a tedious process. Patience is the key or some help from one of the friends or family members can make the process easier. Depending on the flour, the Gavvalu gets its texture. Gavvalu made from all purpose flour or Maida is soft and a little crispy, while Gavvalu made from Semolina turns out to be brittle and very crispy. It is a favourite during tea-time and to serve when the guests arrive, or while bursting crackers or flying kites. Kids love to put them in the pant pockets and run to the ground to play, while the adults enjoy it during their favourite past time with the best tea.