Friday, August 19, 2011
I decided to do a trial run since this is the first time I am doing it and I did not want to get disappointed on gokulashtami. I am glad I tried this out, it really made my day and though not perfect, I am very happy with the way it turned out.
I did not follow the traditional method - soak rice in water, drain, dry it in sun, grind it in a mill. I did not do any of these. My mom had got store bought kozhakatta mavu from India. It is basically processed rice flour. ( I guess they have already done the soaking, drying, grinding part).
Rice Flour - 1 cup
Urad Dal flour - 1/8 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Butter - 2-3 TBSP
Jeera - 2-3 tsp
Oil for frying
coconut oil for greasing the hands
* Dry roast urad dal flour. Alternatively, you could dry road urad dal and grind it in a mixer grinder and sieve it to avoid lumps.
* I used the store bought rice flour directly but you could soak the raw rice for 2 hours, drain and let it dry in the sun or under the fan (spread it out in a cloth). Once the rice is dry, grind it into a fine powder. Sieve it to avoid lumps.
* Mix the rice flour and urad dal powder.
* Add in hing,salt, jeera, butter. Mix well.
* Add water little by little, knead well and form a pliable dough.
* Grease you fingers with oil and take a lemon size ball of the dough.
* Place a water bottke cap on a butter paper and keep doing the murukku turns around it. This will ensure all the murukkus have the same size hole in the center.
* Heat oil, once hot carefully lift the murukku using a steel spatula (dosa thiruppi) and drop it in the oil. You fry many murukkus at the same time but ensure that they don't stick to each other
*After sometime the murukku will float on top. Flip the murukku and fry.
* Drain and take out the murukkus using a slotted spoon after both the sides are nice and golden.
* Drain on paper towel.
* Keep the butter immersed in a bowl of water. This is to ensure that the butter does not melt
* If you add too much urad dal, the murukku will not be crunchy. I did a batch with 1/4 cup urad dal and i found them to be a bit soft.
* If you add too much butter, the murukkus will be oily.
* The main thing that helps in making turns is the consistency of the dough. Knead well. It should not be like a chapathi dough, If it is hard you will not be able to make turns. At the same time if it is too soft, the turns will be a bit easier, but you will not be able to take it in one piece. The tuns will stick together and will not retain shape.
* Fry on medium heat. If the oil is too hot the outside will brown quicly, but the murukku will not et cooked properly.
* Some say the murukkus will be crunchy if you add hot oil while making the dough. I did this for one batch but did not see any difference because of that.
* Solid hing works better. Dissolve it in warm water and use the water. I used solid hing, but you could use the powder too. Add 1/4th tsp.
* I found taking the murukku from the butter paper more difficult that doing the turns. I had to get the help of my mom to take it out without breaking them. Next time I am going to reduce the water just a little bit so that lifting the murukku becomes easier.
* Do it in batches. Do not mix the flour all at once. Try a batch, check if the consistency is OK and then do the rest.
* Murukku gets crunchier with time and tastes even better the next day,
Yesterday when I was making murukku, my son camke and asked me for some dough to play with. I was reminded of my school days and my Patti. She used to make murukku seedai etc for gokulastami. She used to wait until I came back from school to do it. She used give me a bit of dough to play with (but i was not supposed to touch whatever she was doing) Apart from seedai, thenkuzhal, she used to make small strings(koladai) and tear drop like shapes (sirpi) using the same dough.
She used to first form a pillayar with the dough and then start doing the murukkus. I used to just do the pillayars:)
Once you enter the house itself you will know that seedai murukku is hapenning. The entire house will be filled with the aroma of freshly ground flour, smell of roasted urad dal. We used to take the rice to the near by mill for grinding. I still remember the days when I was asked to sit in the mill to remind the person who grinds, not grind some other flour before grinding the rice. Else it will spoil the taste of murukku and seedai.
She is no more but I think she will be happy if she knew I made kai murukku and her great grandson liked them. This is my little one doing his bit:)
Some day I want to do the murukku using the traditional method and check what difference it makes to the taste.
Sending this to Krithi's serve it fried and Saffron Streaks Monsoon Medley and to Flavors of South India
On the whole, murukku making was a good experience. It is a bit tricky, but not something that can't be perfected with practice. At the end of it, it made me feel good. Go ahead, give it a try, irrespective of the outcome, you will feel happy about trying something challenging.