Deepavali is just round the corner ... Hhhhmmmm, just to think about the festival I can't help wondering how things have changed in the past decade or two ...
U know, the way the festival is celebrated especially when you are residing outside India. My childhood celebration is different to how my daughter celebrates ... Most of the time I long for all the family gatherings, waking up early in the mornings for the oil bath, new clothes, trays of sweets and savouries waiting for God's blessings, boxes of crackers and the general celebration mood...
Now a days it has become inevitable but to spread our wings and explore outside our own boundaries leading to a life style very much different from our parent's working years which carries its own "pros and cons" ...
Of course, I miss the closeness of family members but being in a foreign country has led to a different type of gathering to celebrate festivals which mostly includes friends....
Seperation from family has led to finding closeness with friends in a much more stronger way ... community forming strategy in a foreign land..:) It doesn't mean that we are a closed group.
In fact most of work colleagues are very interested in finding out what we do during festival times and it is such a learning experience for them and they absolutely relish our food ...:))
So now coming to the recipe, it is quite different from the usual murukku recipe by my MIL's sister. I am very much in the learning stage when it comes to traditional savouries but it was a good learning experience. This murukku has a wonderful spicy flavour from the chilli and garlic and I bet no one can stop with just one murukku.
For the murukku:
Rice flour: 1/2 kg.
Roasted gram [pottukadalai]: 50 gms.
Curd: 3/4 cup.
Dried red chillies: 3.
Garlic pods: 3.
Asafoetida powder: 1 tsp.
Butter [unsalted and melted]: 2 tbsp.
Salt : as required.
Water : as required to make the dough.
Coconut oil: 2 tbsp.
To fry the murukkus:
Equal quantities of cooking oil and coconut oil roughly measuring around 1/2 litre each.
1.Dry roast the roasted gram [pottukadalai] for 1 minute and cool. Grind to a fine powder and seive. Keep the powder aside.
2.Soak the red chillies in a little hot water for 15 minutes. Grind the soaked red chillies and garlic to a fine paste. Drain the paste through a fine seive to seperate the juice and any large bits. Reserve until later use.
3.Beat the curd until smooth.
4.Mix the dry ingredients first - rice flour + roasted gram flour [pottukadalai maavu] + salt + asafoetida powder.
5.Add the beaten curd, the chilli garlic juice and melted butter. Mix thoroughly. Add water little by little to make a soft pliable dough. Cover with a lid and keep aside for 5 minutes.
6.Meanwhile place the oil for frying in a deep heavy bottomed vessel on medium flame.
Fix the murukku maker with the mullu murukku plate [achu - அச்சு] and oil the insides with the pure coconut oil.
7.Apply some coconut oil on your palms and take a small amount of the dough into the murukku maker.
8.Place the top part of the maker on the dough filled bottom portion of the murukku maker and press either directly onto the oil or onto a small oiled plate and then slip it into the oil.
9.Fry until both sides are golden brown in colour and remove the murukkus from oil once the sizzling stops.
10.Drain on paper towels. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.
Once all the murukkus are completely cooled, store in air tight containers. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea but they do taste delicious just as they are...:))
Notes: If you are an amature cook like me when it comes to making traditional savouries, then here are some tips for you.
Make sure that all the ingredients are as fresh as possible because snacks especially fried ones tastes best when its ingredients are fresh.
Coconut oil imparts a wonderful aroma and flavour to the savoury items but feel free to use the usual cooking oil if you prefer. If using salted butter, then be careful about the amount of salt added to the dough.
Home made rice flour works best but I use shop brought rice flour. So it is your choice to use which ever flour you want.
Substitute dried red chilli with chilli powder and fresh garlic pods with garlic powder. If garlic powder is unavailable, then omit the ingredient completely.
It is important to seive the flours as it helps remove the lumps - so don't forget to seive.
The oil should be at the right temperature - visit this link on how to check the temperature of the oil.
Enjoy and happy deepavali..
Scribbled by Reva