Murukku: My Favourite Snack
MURUKKU is a savoury, crunchy Indian snack. And that’s my favourite snack comes Deepavali or any Indian festivals.
Wait, to be totally honest, it is one of my favourites snack throughout the year as and when I can grab a hold of it.
Apart from Indian festivals of Deepavali or Diwali and Thaipusam, murukku is also featured prominantly during Eid-il Fitri (Muslim’s celebration to mark the end of fasting month Ramadan).
You see that’s one many great thing living in multi-racial societry as a Malaysian. We get to enjoy the best from each other.
You might be wondering why I am writing about this snack since Deepavali is long way to go. The truth is I am in the midst of writing about Thaipusam, one of Malaysia’s national holiday, which was just celebrated a week ago on January 24.
According to sources, murukky originated in the Tamil Nadu state, and its name derives from the Tamil word for “twisted” which refers to its shape. Murukku is popular all over India, and also in other countries where Tamil diaspora is present: Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia.
Murukku is typically made from rice flour and urad dal flour. It is sometimes called “chakli”; chakli is a similar dish, typically made with an additional ingredient, bengal gram (chickpea) flour.
Typically made from rice and urad dal flour. The flours are mixed with water, salt, and sesame seeds or cumin seeds. The mix is kneaded into a dough, which is shaped into spiral or coil shapes either by hand or using a mould. The spirals are then deep fried in vegetable oil.
The dish has many variations, resulting from the types and proportions of flours used. The Kai Murukku (literally, “hand murukku”) is made by hand using a stiffer dough. Pakoda murukku is another ribbon-shaped variety of the snack.
Manapparai, a town in Tamil Nadu, is known for its unique variety of murukkus, known as Manapparai murukku. In 2010, the Tamil Nadu government applied for a geographical indication tag for Manapparai Murukku.
While we all love to eat these delicious gram-flour snacks, http://www.hungrygowhere.my/ liated out a little dummies guide to the different kinds of murukku you’ll be sure to enjoy during this festival of lights.
These inch-long millipede-sized crisps boast a distinctive curry leaf aroma and flavour. Shaped with a ragged edge, they are characterised by the sight and aroma of fragrant cumin seeds dotting its surface.
This is the only sweet murukku available, and is also known as “kuih ros” because of the shape of the mould which is used to make this snack. This is also the only murukku which has egg in its recipe, and as such may not feature in the offerings of a strictly vegetarian household.
Named for the star shaped nozzle which the mixture is piped from, this comes closest in taste to Ommapodi, but without the spices.
Seval uses more gram flour in its making, which results in a rough-textured murukku that comes in the width of a broad ribbon.
It is generally piped to the length of a small finger, but they curl in on themselves in the oil, so not all pieces are flat. Flavoured Seval is distinctively thinner than the original variant and is also more orange in colour as it contains flavouring (usually of a prawn or crab variety). It’s also saltier than plain Seval.
Pakoda is the jaw-breakingly hard but spice-fragrant nuggets which are probably the greasiest snacks in the line-up of murukkus. Good Pakoda is packed with dried red chillies which give it a hot but sweet, lingering taste. Bad ones reek of stale oil and too much MSG.
“Kkara” means “spicy” in Tamil and this snack is really salty, with raised flavour granules on the surface. They are also more orange than typical murukkus because of the addition of chilli powder.
Possibly the most popular murukku at Deepavali, these come in Spicy and Original (sounds like a chicken franchise!) variants. This fine murukku is speckled with fried green peas, nuts, flour drops, and lovely deep-green curry leaves.
The flavour of the spicy variety, when done well, is an amazing mélange of heat, spice, sweetness and saltiness, made even more exciting with the different textures of the flaky curry leaf, creamy groundnuts and crunchy peas. The absence of chilli also enables the glorious fragrance of the curry leaves to soar.
The great thing is, this special mixes and a few other typyes or Murukku are readily available if you look around hard enough, especilaly in town area. There’s always an uncle who is riding a motobike parked at a corner of a street or opposite a restaurant selling all sort of murukku to suit your tastebuds. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for Deepavali and other Indian celebrations to enjoy this delicious snacks. A