Murukku is a savoury spiral snack prepared with rice flour, urad dal flour, plain flour and spices. Murukku is also known as murukulu, chakralu and jantikalu in Southern India and in Maharashtra it is called chakli. The name ‘murukku’ is derived from a Tamil word and means ‘twisted’. There is a slight variation in the ingredients used to make the chakli and the South Indian variation.
Give me a bowl of murukku and I can devour it in no time as they are so delicious and addictive. There are many variations of murukku, and every home would have their own version or family recipe that’s been used for generations.
I usually tend to buy them ready from the shops as they are so easily available in India but this time, I decided to try them at home as nothing can compare to the home-made version (plus I love experimenting new recipes at home). My children love murukku and believe me, they were gone as quick as I was frying them.
To make murukku at home, you would need a murukku maker (easily available online) or you can use a piping bag. The murukku maker has specific disc that have a star shaped hole through which the dough is released when we press down the murukku maker.
The recipe is a lot simpler than it reads. Just get the right consistency of the dough and voila- you will have the perfect murukku prepared at home.
1 cup rice flour
4 tablespoons urad dal (black gram dal split)
2 tablespoons plain flour
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons oil
Oil for greasing and deep frying
Roast the urad dal on low heat for about 5-6 minutes or until it turns slightly golden in colour. Turn off the heat and keep it aside to cool.
Once cooled, grind the dal into a fine powder and sieve it to remove any small residue (we need very fine powder for this recipe as if the flour is coarse the murukku will not be as crunchy or will break while shaping).
In a bowl, mix the rice flour, sieved gram dal powder, plain flour, salt, sesame seeds and oil. Add 3-4 tablespoons water and knead it to a firm but pliable dough. The dough should be non-sticky but at the same time it should not be crumbly or dry.
(If the dough is sticky, add a little flour and knead again and if it is too dry, crumbly then add a few drops of water and knead)
Knead the dough in the shape of a log.
Grease the murukku plate with the oil. Fill it with the prepared until it is ¾th full.
Press the murukku maker to release the dough and shape the dough into spirals using circular hand motions on greased plate/parchment/muslin cloth or aluminium foil. I find it easier to start from the inner center and moving my hand in clockwise direction to make a spiral.
(This comes with practice so don’t be too hard on yourself if they don’t come out perfect in the first attempt. If the dough breaks while forming the murukku that means the dough is dry so add some more water to it. Similarly, if you can’t get the shape then the dough might be too moist so add some more flour)
Heat oil in a pan for frying. To check if the oil is hot enough to start frying, add a pinch of the dough to the oil and if it bubbles up immediately then you know the oil is ready for frying.
Gently slide the murukku in the oil. Flip them once and turn the heat to medium. Fry them until they turn crisp and golden in colour.
Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil. Drain them on a kitchen roll/absorbent paper to soak excess oil.
Cool them to room temperature before serving!