Kai Murukku is a classic South Indian Snack recipe made with rice and urad dal flour and is shaped by hand. This is a classic Tamil recipe and made during Deepavali or other festival occasions.
The rice flour used for all these snacks are homemade rice flour and roasted urad dal. While there are many Murukku versions with different proportions, this Kai Murukku was always left out because of the way it is made.
Amma who is an expert in making different murukkus, never attempted this because it has to be shaped with hand, twisting the spiral with 3 fingers, so the consistency is paramount.
The main focus of this September BM#104 Sweets & Snacks was the mandatory week recipes that we all agreed upon. I had suggested Kai Murukku from Tamil Nadu and it was dropped for various reasons.
However, I thought it was high time I took up this challenge and attempted all those we thought we couldn’t make. I picked up a Saturday and the whole morning was spent making this. The whole process was fantastic and such a learning curve!
The shaping surely needs more practice and patience. I followed this recipe and saw a couple of videos to know how exactly it is twisted between the thumb and the index finger. For a moment, you wouldn’t know if you have to twist it anticlockwise or clockwise!
Amma had ground a huge batch of rice flour at home for me and I was happy I had the fresh flour on hand. While I may not attempt at this again, it was surely a wonderful experience and learning was surely there.
While I was talking to a colleague about this, she was asking how our moms would always know when to take out the murukkus made with raw rice and urad dal, as those are always white in colour. So while frying these, I asked Amma how she knows when it is done. So she made me listen to the sound that comes out when the murukku is fried.
This typically presented a chemistry lesson to me. I am known for my science explanation for every action infamously in my office. While they may or may not like it, I love analyzing and thinking up reasons why food reacts in a particular way.
The sizzling sound you get when you drop food to be fried in hot oil, makes a typical hissing sound. When the water is all evaporated, the protein dehydrates and forms a chemical bond, a tunnel is created in the center and hollow sound gives a galaga sound. If you can imagine glass bangles banging softly and the sound that comes out. Anyway, I was made to listen very closely to the sound and it’s not a sound I would forget anytime soon!
Anyway, I know the post has become too long, please bear with me! So we are starting the third week in the BM#104 Sweets & Snacks, this week is our own choice and I decided to make traditional deep fried snacks from south. These snacks are Rice flour based and typically made for festivals and other important occasions.
If you are keen to know what I am doing in Spice your Life! Its all about Vadas. Do check it out.
Week 1 – Sweets (Indian Halwas)
Week 2 – Snack from the same State (Rajasthan)
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Step By Step Pictures to make Kai Murukku
Kai Murukku ~ South Indian Deepavali Snacks
3 Cups Raw Rice (about 6 Cups after ground)
1/2 Cup Urad dal whole, (about 3/4 Cup after ground)
5 Tbsp Butter – (softened at room temperature)
2.5 tsp Salt
1 tsp Asafoetida / Hing – 1 tsp
1 tsp Cumin Seeds /Jeera
3 Tbsp Cooking Oil Hot
Water as needed
Cooking Oil For deep frying
How to make Kai Murukku
Homemade Rice flour is best for making Kai Murukku.
This also needs roasted urad dal, that is then ground to a powder.
Both the flours must be sieved to remove coarse powder.
Sieve and measure the finely powdered rice and urad dal and take it in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients like soft butter, salt, asafoetida, jeera and hot oil and mix well until combined. When you gather the flour and press in your fist, it should form a ball as I have shown.
Sprinkle sufficient water and knead it into a smooth dough.
Place a plastic bottle cap in the center of a cloth (you could use parchment paper/plastic paper as well).
Grease your hand with oil and take a small portion of the dough. Roll it out using your index and thumb fingers and stick it to the cap. Then gently using a twist and turn motion, roll out the dough into the shape of murukku. This is in a clockwise direction, and you will have to make about three lines, ending at the same spot you began.
Continue with the rest of the dough and have some ready for deep frying.
Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai for frying. Once the oil is hot turn the flame to medium. Slide the murukku dough into the oil and fry until nicely golden.
Store it in an airtight container and enjoy.
The urad dal should be roasted until golden brown. Take care not to burn it.
The dough should be soft, smooth and pliable. It should not be dry or else you will not able to shape the murukku. It should not be wet or else the murukku will absorb oil. If needed, keep the dough covered.
Fry in a medium flame or else the murukku will change color quickly but will not be crisp.
The butter should be softened at room temperature to get the right texture for the murukku. Do not melt and add. Adding more butter will make the murukku break, so just add enough.
If the dough dries out and you are not able to shape the murukku, sprinkle a little water and knead to make the dough pliable again.