Murukku

Murukku (or Muruku) is a crispy type of fried snack that originated in Tamil Nadu, and spread to the rest of the Indian subcontinent.

Murukku 1

 

Murukku is known as Chakli in Maharashtra and Chakri in Gujarat. Murukku is prepared during all auspicious events and gathering of friends and family. Being a traditional item, it is easily available all in snack shops over the state, and also in other parts of India. It is eaten and relished by both young and old. The basic ingredient is rice.

Cooking Time: 2 hours

Shelf Life: 1 Month

Ingredients:

1. Raw rice : 1 kilogram
2. UradDhal : 2 cups ( skin removed)
3. Sesame seeds -til (ell in Tamil) : 2 teaspoons
4. Cumin seeds : 2 teaspoons
5. Asafoetidapowder : 1 teaspoon
6. Butter : 75 Grams
7. Salt : 2 and 1/2 teaspoons
8. Cooking Oil : 1 litre (preferably sunflower oil)
9. Water : 4 and 1/2 cups (for kneading flour)

You need a “Murukku Maker” for making this item

Murukku 2

Method:

Soak one kg. raw rice in water for an hour and drain the water. Grind the softened rice in a blender, run it through a sieve and set aside 10 cups of fine rice flour. Roast the urad dhal in a dry frying pan till light brown in colour. Grind to a fine powder in the blender. Sieve and set aside 2 cups of fine urad dhal flour. Dissolve the Asafoetida powder in water.

Mix the rice and dhal flour together along with salt, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, butter and and the water with asafoetida, till you have a smooth dough with no lumps.  Heat the oil in a frying pan over high. Take a small ball of dough and in the murukku maker. Squeeze, moving the murukku maker in a circular to make small murukkus. Make 5 or 6 of these directly onto a wet cloth or in plate that won’t stick.Carefully drop the murukus one at a time into the hot oil. Turn them over until both sides turn a golden brown in color. Remove and drain the excess oil and store the murukkus  in airtight containers.

Optional: You can use coconut milk instead of water for kneading the flour into dough.  Murukku 3

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VAZHAIPOO VADAI – PLANTAIN FLOWER CUTLET

In a tropical place like South India, we get in plenty Banana flowers and fruits.So it is common here to make dishes out of Banana flowers. This Banana flower or Vazhaipoo Vadai can be eaten as a snack item or as a side dish along with rice meals.

Vazhaipoo (Banana flower) Vadai (Vada) 1
Vazhaipoo Vadai

 

COOKING TIME:  2 hours

SERVINGS: 2

INGREDIENTS:

1.  Banana flower: 1 cup (finely chopped flower)
2. Bengal Gram Dhal (Channa Dhal): 0.5 Cup or 100 Grams
3. Green Chilies: 2
4. Onion: 1
5. Curry leaves and Coriander leaves: 1 sprig each
6. Aniseed: 0.25 Teaspoon
7. Salt:  0.5 Teaspoon
8. Turmeric Powder: 0.5 Teaspoon
9. Oil: 200 ml

METHOD:

Soak Bengal gram Dhal in sufficient water for 1 1/2 hours and grind in a blender along with salt and aniseed to a coarse batter consistency. Take the Banana flower bunch and remove the outer layer and then the flowers individually first. Then remove the stamen and the membrane which are not edible  from each flower. Chop them finely and keep them in water with turmeric powder till they are added to the batter. This will help the flower to retain its color. Chop onion, G.chili and curry, coriander leaves finely. Mix the Dhal batter with the chopped flower, onion, G.chili, Curry, Coriander leaves and make small lime sized balls. You must squeeze and remove all the water completely from the chopped flowers before mixing with the batter. Flatten them and shape them like “vadais.”  Heat oil in a skillet and drop the vadais gently in to the hot oil 3 or 4 numbers at a time and deep fry. You have to turn it carefully so that both sides are well cooked to a golden brown color. Drain excess oil and serve hot.

Vazhaipoo Vadai
Vazhaipoo Vadai

TIPS:

  1. you will get approximately 10 pieces of vadais for this quantity of ingredients.
  2. In case the batter has too much water to make the vadai to the right shape, you can add 2 teaspoons of puffed Bengal gram dhal powder (Pottukadalaimavu)
  3. We can make “keeraivadai” replacing the Banana flowers with chopped greens.

 

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PAAL Kozhukattai – Milk Sweet

Paal Kozhukattai is a sweet made out of milk, as the name suggests and it is called ” Modak” in Hindi. It is prepared on special occasions at home during festival days mainly in Chettinad areas. It takes some time to prepare this sweet but it is worth all the trouble and time we spend in the preparation.

PAAL (Milk) Kozhukattai 1
Paal Kozhukattai

 

 Cooking Time: 1  1/2 hours

Servings: 3

 

Ingredients:

  1. Rice Flour :  1.5 Cups or 200 Grams
    2.  Sugar : 1 Cup or 175 Grams
    3.  Coconut : 1 medium size
    4.   Water : 1.5 Cups
    5.   Milk : 0.5 Cup
    6.   Salt : 0.25 Teaspoon
    7.   Cardamom : 4

Method:

Boil 1/2 Cup  water and remove from fire.   Add the salt along with the rice flour to the hot water and knead it well without any lumps to a smooth dough. Take  small  portions out of the dough and form  small ” kozhukattais” of  any shape of your choice like smooth round balls or spindle or cylindrical. keep them aside.

Grate Coconut and keep a tablespoon of grated coconut separately. Now put the remaining Coconut gratings in to a blender and extract thick Coconut milk.

The first Coconut milk extract is thick. Add one cup of water to the Coconut and take the second extract. This milk will be thinner in quality. Powder the Cardamom.

PAAL (Milk) Kozhukattai 2

In a broad skillet boil the milk along with the Coconut milk extracted the second time (as Second quality which is thinner) over high flame. When the milk is boiling, drop the “kozhukattais”  gently into it.  Allow them to cook for 5 mins over medium flame and they start floating.

Now add the sugar with the cardamom powder and wait for a couple of mts till the sugar dissolves.  Finally add the thick Coconut milk extracted first time to the preparation and wait for a few seconds. This sweet can be consumed either hot or cold.

Tips:

  1. If you are making rice flour at home, raw rice should be soaked in water for half an hour.  Grind it to a fine powder ( after completely draining water from the rice).  Then the wet rice flour should be fried lightly in a vessel (without adding oil ) for a few mins.
  2. Sugar Can be replaced with Jaggery ( unrefined sugar or brown sugar)  for this sweet.

3. To get a thick consistency,  You can add one tea spoon of rice flour to the boiling milk.

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Vadagam (Fryums)

Vadagam is a crisp and tasty side dish that goes well with any rice based meal, just like chips, crisps or French fries.It blends well with the main dish. It can be eaten as a snack along with coffee, tea, etc in the evenings or in-between meals.Rice vadagam is made with rice flour and sago which is called “javvarisi” in Tamil and “sabudana” in Hindi. Sago is processed from Tapioca (Cassava). Normally making vadagam is a time consuming process but here in this method I have given a simple & uncomplicated way of making this dish.

Vadagam
Vadagam

 

Cooking Time:  3 hours (over 2 days)

Ingredients:

1. Raw rice: 500 grams
2. Sago Pearls- “javvarisi” (Big variety): 100 grams
3. Lime: 1
4. Salt: 1.5 teaspoon
5. Green Chilies: 6 nos

You will need a “muruku maker” for making vadagam

Vadagam 2

Method:

Clean the rice and along with sago pearls get it ground to a smooth powder preferably in a rice flour mill. As it is a bit difficult to grind the sago in a blender to a smooth consistency, it is better to get it done in a rice flour mill. Grind the green chilies to a smooth paste. Now measure the rice, sago flour and take double the quantity of water in a big pressure cooker. When the water is boiling well, add the salt and green chili paste and remove from the stove. Now start adding the rice sago powder to the water, slowly stirring it.

After adding the entire rice, sago flour, close the cooker with the lid and weight. This mixing of water and rice sago flour can be done in the night and left overnight.  The next day early morning, squeeze the lime over the mixture and stir well. Now the dough is cold, smooth and easy for handling and pressing. Add a handful of this dough to the “muruku maker” and squeeze it over a clean plastic sheet for drying in the hot sun. This can be dried 3-4 days in the hot sun continuously and store it in airtight containers.

Tips:  Vadagams can be easily stored for a year.

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