South Indian Snack ~ Murukulu with a cup of coffee
Murukku was part of our Sankranti festive food preparations this year. Murukku, also known as Chakli, Murukulu and Jantikalu, is a favorite savory snack in our home. A traditional and classic snack that is crunchy and addictive with a cup of coffee or masala chai. Perfect to serve guests and works great as an after school Indian snack for kids. You can never stop with one or two of these gluten free delights.
There are a few variations to the Murukku recipe that has rice flour as its key ingredient. Either urad dal flour, chickpeas flour or roasted chickpeas flour goes in and adds color and flavor along with cumin or carom seeds or sesame seeds. You have unlimited variations in flavor or shapes to chose from and as a newbie you will need a little practice to make the concentric circles. A janthikalu press with a single star shaped disc is essential to prepare this culinary gem among South Indian recipes.
Rice flour - 4 cups, home made (refer 'tips' below)
Roasted chickpeas powder - 1 cup (dalia, putnala pappu)
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp, optional
Butter - 3 tbsps, melted
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil for deep frying
Method for making Murukku
Heat 2 cups water and a tsp of salt in a stainless steel vessel. Bring to a boil and reduce flame. Slowly add the rice flour and mix to form a gooey paste. Place lid and keep aside to cool.
Once the rice flour paste cools, add roasted chickpeas powder, cumin seeds, red chili powder, asafoetida powder and melted butter. Mix well to make a smooth dough. If required add a little more rice flour to form a smooth dough. Alternately, if you feel that the dough needs some water to form a dough, sprinkle some warm water and mix to form a smooth dough. Ensure that the dough is not too soft or hard, It should be just right to come through the press to form murukkus.
Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed vessel. While the oil is heating prepare the murukkus for deep frying.
Place a single star shaped disc in the murukku press, grease the insides of the mold, fill the mold with some of the prepared dough and make concentric shaped murukkus on a wax paper/greased banana leaf or a greased plastic sheet. This helps to easily transfer them into the hot oil. Prepare 6 to 7 for each batch based on how large the vessel is for deep frying.
To test if the oil is hot enough for deep frying, drop a small ball of the dough into the oil. If it sinks to the bottom of the vessel with a sizzle and come right up. The temperature of the oil is right for deep frying.
Reduce flame to medium and place 5 to 6 of the prepared murukkus and deep fry to a golden brown shade. Do not deep fry on high flame.
Remove onto absorbent paper. Once cool, store in air tight container.
To prepare rice flour at home. Soak 3 to 4 cups rice in water for 4 hours. Drain water and wash thoroughly. Drain water completely and spread on a thin cloth or paper. Dry overnight indoors. Next day grind the dried rice to a fine powder. Sieve to make a fine powder. Store in an air tight container upto 2 months.
Ensure that the dough is not too soft or hard, It should be just right to come through the press to form murukkus.
Always keep the unused dough covered while the rest of the murukkus are cooking.
While one batch of murukku is frying, start pressing the concentric circles/murukkus for the next batch to be fried. Do not prepare all the murukkus at once as they will dry out.
Do not fret too much if the murukku breaks while pressing into concentric circles. With practice, you should be able to make perfectly shaped murukkus.
By Sailu Published:
Murukku, an evening snack recipe made with rice flour and roasted chickpeas flour. Addictive South Indian snack that goes well with a cup of tea or coffee.