I am a coffee lover and always start my day with fresh filter coffee my husband makes every morning. Very rarely on cold winter evenings, I make myself a cup of hot tea and relax with some munchies. This time it is some home-made 'Mullu Murukku'. Murukku is a traditional south Indian snack and is made back home during almost every festival. It is not very difficult to make, as many people think. You need a 'murukku press', which is a mold to press out the dough into the shape as in the picture. I got my press from India, it may be available in Indian stores too.
This is how I (or my mom and grandma) prepared it.
Uncooked raw rice - 2 1/2 cups
Lightly roasted, ground and sieved urad dal - 1/4 cup
Ground and sieved dalia (pottu kadalai) - 1/4 cup
Butter - 25 grams (about 2 1/2 tbsp) Butter makes the murukku softer. You can use less, then it may end up a little hard to bite into.
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Oil for deep frying
Murukku tastes best if made from home-prepared rice flour. But if you are pressed for time, or just not in the mood, you can use store bought rice flour (which I do once in a while).
To prepare rice flour, wash and soak uncooked raw rice for about 2-3 hours in water. Drain all the water and spread the rice over a clean towel and let it dry. When the rice is about 3/4th dried, powder it very fine. In India, we would take it to a mill for powdering. But, here in the US, I just used my dry grind attachment in my blender. Cool and then sieve the flour through a fine sieve. It can be stored in an airtight container for about a week. This preparation is common for all the traditional fried snacks that use rice flour.
Dry roast the rice flour lightly over low heat. If over roasted, the murukku will turn out darker and would not look very appetizing. In a large bowl, mix the rice flour, butter and all the other dry ingredients with water to make a stiff dough. This would require about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water. If you add more water, the murukku will end up being oily.
Heat oil for deep frying in a pan. Oil a plastic bag (like ziplock - In India, we would use banana leaf). Using the murukku press, make spiral shape on the plastic bag. When the oil is hot enough, flip the shaped dough from the plastic bag into your palm and drop it in the oil. Fry until the sizzle subsides and murukku turns golden brown. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Cool and store in an airtight container. Enjoy whenever you want for the next 15 - 20 days (if it stays that long).
This post is my entry to 'Monthly Mingle' hosted by 'My Diverse Kitchen' under the theme 'High Tea Treats'.