In a shallow pan , add oil for deep frying. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Add the butter and water little by little
until the dough is pliable. - Nor too tight nor loose. Also make sure to fry them as soon you prepare the dough. This will help to avoid oil retention.
Take the Murukku press and use the plate that has 3 smooth round holes in it.
Drop a lemon size dough in it.
You can now deep fry it in 2 ways. One safe way - esp. for beginners - would be to press the dough in a circular motion on top of a ladle.
Now place the ladle inside the hot oil. Keep the flame Med-high. Too hot will burn the outside and too low will make these retain lots of oil.
There will be lots of bubbling actions and in few seconds you will find that shaking the ladle a little will help to dislodge the dough into the oil. You can otherwise grease the ladle a little for the first murukku to help it to slide smoothly into the oil.
Once the hissing and bubbling action subsides, you know the thenkuzhal murukku is done. Remove and set aside on a paper towel. Do not crowd them while frying. Add 1-2 at a time (or couple more depending on the size of your murukku and vessel used for deep frying). Too many will bring down the temperature of the oil making the thenkuzhal soggy.
The other method that my mother usually follows, is to place the filled murukku press right on top of the hot oil,
and squeeze the dough in a circular motion right on top of it. I would advise the beginners to avoid this since there is also a risk of oil bubbling out of the vessel if you press down too much dough into it. Also another reason is you might not make neat rounds (although taste wise it really doesn't matter if its in bunches or separated ).
Turn it until its light golden yellow. I personally prefer the cream color while the better half likes it dark (like dark red!!!). I refuse to deep fry until its get that deep red, hence fry mid way to reddish yellow! But traditionally you will find Thenkuzhals are mostly light creamy yellow.