Thenkuzhal Murukku

By DK on Aug 26, 2011
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
My mother until recently always wondered why I was doing this thing called "Blogging". "As if you don't have enough on your plate!" - she quipped. Words like passion, hobby, wonderful readers did not hit a home run. She was unconvinced - until she visited me last year. She was awed at the amount of work I put in behind every recipe (One photo session behind Mysore Pa did it!). She was also impressed at reader's response. It  made her realize why I do this inspite of a job and now a baby. After that, the amount of support she lends me is mind boggling. She keeps sending me easy recipes that I can blog to fit the miniscule time I now have thanks to the ever increasing demands of a little one. She reads the comments, queries of my readers in the blog (& facebook) and sends me answers to them even before I can think of asking her. She corrects my recipe errors, offers suggestions to rectify possible issues with recipes etc. I have to add that even before they knew the work behind this blog, my father esp.collected a bunch of Tamil magazines with recipes in them and bought it along just for the fact that I seemed to have passion for cooking. What else can I say, except that I am blessed.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
This thenkuzhal recipes comes along the same way. Our conversation went something like this last week
Mom: "Hey, why don't I see Thenkuzhal recipe in your blog. I thought you have made them before?"
Me: "yes Amma, I have. But I did not make them recently. And the last time I made them I did not take a photo"
Mom: "Oh you should. I saw someone asking for the recipe, I think in your facebook page."
Me: "Ya, I remember too. But will post it some other time amma..I have the recipe written somewhere. Have to search in that huge clutter I have!"

(other blah blah(s) for next 5 minutes)

Mom: "Check your email now...."
Me: "Why....one sec...Oh..You sent me the recipe......(grinning)"
Mom: "yeah - don't waste time searching. I have written it. Ask me if you have any doubts..."
Me: "Mom - You are the BEST!!! :) :)"

...and so couple of days later, I made them and took photos this time. I mean how can I NOT! Love you mom :) Thenkuzhal is a famous crispy South Indian snack made of Rice flour and lentil flour (black gram) enjoyed not only during festival season (Diwali and Krishna jayanthi) but also year round. Countless have been the times when my mom on a regular day would fry them up in batches and store in a huge air tight (stainless steel) container. The plan would be to make them enough to last a month, but needless to say, it used to get over within a week ( or two max) with all of us sneaking one with every single visit to the kitchen :). Simple to make, extremely crunchy and addictive.
Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 8+ people
Yield: Around 20-25 thenkuzhals depending on the size and shape
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Rice Flour (sifted)
  • 1 cup Urad Dal flour (sifted)
  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds (See Tips)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • salt to taste
Tips
Instead of Cumin, you can use Sesame seeds. My mother mentions that some proportions use 4 cups rice flour to 1 cup urad flour. That work great too.
Method
1
In a shallow pan , add oil for deep frying. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
2
Add the butter and water little by little
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
3
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.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
4
Take the Murukku press and use the plate that has 3 smooth round holes in it.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
5
Drop a lemon size dough in it.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
6
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.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
7
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.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
8
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.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
9
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.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
10
The other method that my mother usually follows, is to place the filled murukku press right on top of the hot oil,
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
11
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 ).
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
12
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.
Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
Crsipy Thenkuzhals are ready! Cool them and store them in air tight containers so that they remain crispy. These keep well for months, although I assure you, it wont remain longer than days! Festival Recipe | Diwali Thenkulal Murukku Recipe
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19 Responses to “Thenkuzhal Murukku”
  1. Thahira

    :wink: Thank you very much for your recipe. Very tasty and easy to make.

  2. Krithika

    Hi DK, I have tried this recipe (some times with variations) many times and it tastes really great but it is very hard to press in the muruku press. What am I doing wrong here? Is it kneading the dough or flour brand I use? I have tried adding more butter which resulted in broken pieces. Pls help me :(

  3. Ram Ravindran

    Yes it is Ram. After I retired I have taken up the fun of
    cooking. If you go to most of the Indian grocery stores in the US you find the chaklis, or murukkus have some chilli powder. I have been used to eating Murukku prepared like the way you have described. Yes the way you have stated is easy to make and tastes good as well. I would like to add a few more pointers.

    Instead keeping the ladle like the way you have shown keep it inverted. when you do that, it slides easily without causing splattering of oil.
    I would highly recommend using “fry daddy” frying pan. It maintains uniform temperature.
    When you fry the murukku wait for 1:30 minutes and then turn it over. Fry the other side for another 1:30 minutes and do the same for another 30 seconds each side. When it is done the bubbling of oil will stop
    If you include sesame seeds ( my MIL tells me ) dry roast it before you include it in the mix. Otherwise it will create minor explosions as it gets cooked.
    You should encourage your mom to watch the classic movie
    “Julie and Julia” then she will appreciate what you are attempting to do with your blog. sharing with others the joy of cooking
    Keep the good work going
    Ram

  4. sonniyo

    hey i made murukku every1 lykd it….
    dey were yummmyyyy…. :)

  5. sarada

    I tried to do murukku earlier. with 4:1 ratio. But it broke into pieces when I press the dough from murukku press. Is there any specific reason for it. I used readymade rice flour. what is rice flour sifted means?

  6. its yummy to taste and so simple for freshers to make :)

  7. Harini

    I made these and they were yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Just made these for gokulashtami!,I too took photos this time :) , still not blogged about it! with few other savouries, I have lost my thenkuzhal bille, I just have the murukku one, next time when I visit India I have to search in the attic, I love this old style press rather than the new one I have. lovely clicks

  9. Simran

    Thnx for sharing, Where can we get the Murrukku press in Gurgaon.. Really keen on making this.. :roll:

    Since I do not live in the area, I personally cant help you there. But you can post your query in my Chef In You Facebook Page ( https://www.facebook.com/ChefInYou) where many of my readers are from Delhi and they might be able to help you with details –DK

  10. Sujatha

    Great Recipe….love it

  11. shyamala

    Thanks for the recipe. Will defintely try this recipe for Ganesh Chaturti. You have mentioned butter in this recipe. Can we use Amul salted butter or does it have to be white unsalted butter?

    I have personally not used salted butter but I am assuming that if you do, you need not add additional salt to the recipe.

  12. NTH

    WOW! looks like a delicious & healthy option for all at home to avoid outside food snacking…like all moms i also would like to opt for it for my kid when she grows older (she’s just 6mths old now)…thanks!!!

  13. Crispy beauties looks prefect and irresistible..

  14. Wow :) It is so wonderful to make all these things at home, right?
    I hope I can do this soon! I have had it enough with all the bought stuff… It just lacks that freshness!
    I need to equip my kitchen with so many things now… to be able to make all these things!

  15. Aud

    I LOVE Murukku, it’s one my childhood fav snacks! Back then, our Indian neighbors made the best Indian food/sweets during Deepavali. My neck stretched long waiting and hoping they brought the goodies soon enough to our home as a sign of good gesture and neighborly. I am going to give it a try soon. What’s the alternative to not having the tool to press out the dough? Thanks for the wonderful recipe. P/s yes, your mom is awesome! :)

    I am thinking cookie press, ziplock bag with little corner cut off, piping bags etc etc might help

  16. Yummy thenkuzhal .. love it.

    Vardhini

  17. Perfect and tempting chakli.. looks awesome :)
    Indian Cuisine

  18. Makes me realize how much Moms of our generation cooked these types of snacks to keep us kids from eating out. :-D My mom did too and i love them. But i have never made these yet, maybe i will when i become a mom 8-O

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