“Can you crunch murukku?” is one of the commonly asked questions when oldies meet each other during the festival of Deepavali. It is regarded as a blessing (or as a sign of good health) if one could relish crunchy murukku even at an old age. There is an old saying in Tamil “norunga thindral nooru vayathu vazhalam” (meaning crunching ensures longevity). It is considered healthy to take crunchy snacks for 3 reasons: It takes longer time to chew them, thus it makes us feel full (even with fewer calories), and hence greater satiety.
Our grandparents and great grandparents snacked on such homemade crunchy savories like thenkuzhal, thattai, etc. daily. In those days crunchy murukku were sold even in theatres to make the movie watching experience more enjoyable. Nowadays we prepare these traditional goodies only during Deepavali, you can check out my other Deepavali recipes here:
Generally, we use urad dal flour, but I cooked the urad dal and added it into my dough. This is useful to add the delightful aroma of urad dal and also to make them crispier & whiter. Here I share a unique infallible recipe which I have been following for the past few years:
|Rice flour (I used store-bought idiyappa maavu)||2 cups|
|Black gram (urad dal)||1/3 cup|
|Asafoetida powder||½ tsp|
|Cumin seeds||½ tsp|
|Butter (or coconut oil)||½ tsp|
|Cold pressed peanut oil (kadalai yennai) for deep frying||500 ml|
- A large mixing bowl for dough
- Murukku press with necessary chip(s)
- Baking sheets
- Frying pan
- Frying ladle
- A plate (or bowl) lined with kitchen papers
How to make murukku maavu:
- Wash & soak black gram for 30 minutes.
- Pressure cook lentils after adding water in the ratio of 1:2 by simmering for 15 min when it reaches high pressure.
- Mash cooked lentils with potato masher into a smooth dough.
- Add rice flour, cumin seeds, salt and butter in a mixing bowl.
- Mix them with fingertips until butter is incorporated.
- Knead into a smooth dough after adding cooked lentil and water (1 cup) into the flour.
- Grease the press with coconut oil.
- Place the desired chip at the bottom.
- Fill the press with enough dough.
- Squeeze out the dough by rotating the lever at the top and also move the press in circular motion to form murukku on the baking sheet.*
*It may require a few attempts to make the perfect shapes.
- Heat a frying pan with oil in medium flame.
- When the oil is hot remove murukku from baking sheet (by slightly lifting the sheet & placing it onto the fingers) and drop it carefully into oil.
- Repeat the same to fry a batch of 3 or 4.
- Turn them over to cook the other side also.
- When the sizzling sound begins to settle, remove them using frying ladle.
- Place them on a plate lined with kitchen papers to drain excessive oil.
- Repeat the same procedure to fry the remaining.
- Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- For old people who find it difficult to chew these savories, we can make them thin crispy as below.
- We can also make these crunchy specially for children.
Tips & Tweaks:
- Some like to use sesame seeds in place of cumin seeds, but I used cumin seeds for the authentic flavor.
- Asafoetida powder also adds a delightful aroma, so we need to add it without fail.
- It is important to heat the oil steadily in medium flame so as to make each & every batch crunchy. It is not advisable to increase or decrease the flame between each batch. So it is better to form murukku on the baking sheet using all the dough before heating up the oil.
- If you want to make it in large quantity, you can prepare dough in batches of small quantity (as above) and prepare approximately 25 pieces in each batch.
- We can replace rice flour with any other flour made of millets or traditional rice varieties. Here I have followed the same recipe using red rice (mappillai samba rice) flour.
- We can prepare crispier flavorful thattai using the same dough. I have prepared 50 thattai using the same volume of dough. You can refer the recipe for traditional thattai here.