Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Murukulu - Deepavali Treat

murukulu - all ready to be gobbleed up

Murukku is a Deepavali tradition in our house. My mom would make these a day or two before the festival but preperations for this dish would start atleast 3-4 days ahead of the actual murukku making day because everything was made from scratch i.e. the flours, I mean.

The rice would be soaked in water for about an hour or two then it would be air-dried on a cotton cloth overnight. The next day, it would then be slow roasted in a pan on the stove in batches, then cooled. The urad dal would undergo the same process, except the soaking bit. It would just be roasted on the stove, then cooled. Then came our kids' chore of taking it to the flour mill to get the rice and urad dal mixture powdered to make into flour. My mom would give us special instructions to relay to the flour mill guy, to not combine the murukku mixture with any other grains (like wheat, jowar etc). She would even send with us some raw rice so the flour mill person could pour that in the mill before the actual Murkku grains went in so it would "clean" out the mill so it is devoid of the afore mentioned other grains. Going to the flour mill was the chore I hated the most growing up. I would always find ways to pawn the chore off to my siblings but it hardly worked :).

For those who are not familiar with the "flour mill(s)" I mention, these are usually one room establishments (atleast where I grew up), where they powder whatever you take. Be it be jowar grains, lentils, rice, wheat, anything you name it, they powder it for you to make into flour. Since it was only a one room place, that meant that the waiting area where you waited for your grains to be pounded was right next to the big machine that powdered the grains which also meant you would be covered in flour by the time you walked out of there. Sure you could wait outside on the street but I always loved to wait inside where I could watch the flour mill operator operate the big machine which also meant I was keeping a close watch on the grains I took so they are not adulterated by anything else :). Sometimes, there would be a line of "dabbas"/"boxes" and you would set your box in line and wait. Sometimes, you would be the only person there. It all depended on the time of year and the time of the day. Festive season would always be a busy time where everyone would bring those "special grains" get powdered - chana dal (for besan), rice (for murukku, chakili etc). During non-festive season, it would just be atta grains - wheat, jowar etc.

Wow...that was a walk down the memory lane I never intended to write about when I started this blog post :). When I look back, if feels as to how less complicated life was back then or so it seems :).

To make murukulu, you need a special gadget called the "murku maker/press". There are a couple to three of varieties of these and I have the one below. I like find this type because I feeel it is much easier to use than the makers, you have to "press". This one you just rotate and the disc on one end of spring sort of thing pushes down on the dough that is in the cylinder!

muruku maker/press

  • 4 cups Rice flour
  • 3/4 cup Urad dal flour
  • 1/4 White Sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons Cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoons Ajwain seeds
  • 1 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter/shortening
  • oil for deep frying
  • One large mixing bowl
  • One small mixing bowl
  • Large deep fryer
  • Mix everything listed under the ingredients together in the large mixing bowl.
  • Now take about a cup of the flour mixture into the small mixing bowl, and by adding enough water make a dough that is not too tough or not too watery. It should be easily "pinchable".
  • Put this dough mixture in a Muruku maker and press or turn away (depending on what kind of press/muruku maker you are using) onto a clean cotton cloth or some aluminium foil into small disks as in the picture.
  • Meanwhile heat up the oil and deep fry the murkus in hot oil until well cooked and crunchy.
Tips and Techniques:
  • When making murukus in large batches, make sure that you do not make the dough all at once. Combine all the dry ingredients together and only make the dough when ready to put the dough into the mould.
This my second entry to Vee's Special Edition Jihva for Diwali Treats !


Manisha said...

Murukkus look scrumptious!

I have a chakli-maker that is very similar to yours. Except that yours is shiny. Mine has lost its shine and it is at least 50 years old, if not more! I can't use it though - my husband has to press the chaklis out for me! So I bought an Anjali press - the kind you press - about 3-4 years ago. I might just use it for the first time soon!

Thanks for the tip about not kneading all the dough. I used to knead everything but keep it covered with a damp paper towel so it wouldn't dry out.

KrishnaArjuna said...

Murukulu look delicious!
I have similar memories growing up, I always had to go to the flour mill since I was the youngest and was not even given an option of saying no. As I grew up our maid used to accompany me(a very little consolation if you ask me) :-)

Luv2cook said...

Manisha -

I love stuff that is old :) in regd. to your chakli maker. Mine is only about 3 years old. As soon as I am done using it, I wash it with a solution made out of of lemon juice and salt and wrap in a cotton cloth, put that in a plastic bag and store in the pantry.

Regd. the dough - mom says that if you knead the dough all at once, the murukku becomes unusually brown and hard.

Arjuna - Cool. I was hoping someone would say that the memories were similar :).

wheresmymind said...

I can almost picture you walking out covered in flour :)

Luv2cook said...

Jeff - very funny hehe...the guy who milled the flour was completely covered in flour, from head to toe..it is a funny image in my head hehe...

mandira said...

Murrukus look delicious. I want a bite...

Ashwini said...

L2C those look absolutely crunchy :-)
Was reading your previous posts too and I really appreciate your creativity in making first the Ganesha idol and then the diyas...way to go!!!
Diwali wishes to you and your family

Gudiya said...


Even I remember the days we used to go to flour mill!! The pindi just sticks to the hand because of the sweat (being fan-less during making the flour..)

At the end offcourse you get lots to eat!!

Thanks for reminding my childhood!! I'm from kurnool..


Krithika said...

Looks delicious !

Shankari said...

I used to love taking my cycle and going to the mill, felt all important and all while my older sisters might have laughed at me.
Great looking murukkus

Praveena said...

Belated Deepavali Shubhakankshalu! Nice Murkulu! I like hearing about your stories growing up :)

Foodie's Hope said...

Beautiful classic Murukku maker you have ! My grandmother had those kind. I have the high tech one which is okay!:)
Chaklis are delish!

shammi said...

Wow, I love your murukku maker! That handle bit must make it really easy to press down even if the dough is a bit stiff :)

Actually I loved going to the flour mill - it was just 3 minutes walk from my grandma's house :) All those flours and the maamis sitting there gossiping while waiting their turn! :) My grandma would also get her sambar powder etc ground there ofc on a different machine! ahhhh that aroma! Nice memories!

vee said...

murukku, murukku, everywhere bu at my home!!

Well, maybe next year!!

Looks very authentic and scrumptious!!

Thanks for participating!!!

Linda said...

I really enjoyed reading about the flour mill! Next time I try these will follow the dough tip, too -- thanks for that. Your murukulu look so tempting, am hungry for a little taste :)

Prema Sundar said...

Murukku maker is very shiny and attractive..enjoyed reading ur post and ur homemade diyas look lovely

Sanjana said...

Murukku, can't wait till Diwali to try this recipe of yours. Thanks for sharing the photo of Murukku press. Is it available here in US, which store?
Chk this recipe of Ribbon pakoda another favourite South Indian snacks