Kai Murukku – A famous traditional crispy snack of tamilnadu that is shaped with hand.
Kai Murukku recipe with video and step by step photos. I have not come across a person who doesn’t like murukku. It is really hard to resist this famous traditional tamilnadu snack. It is enjoyed by people of all ages. Murukku gets the name from the tamil word ‘murukku’ meaning ‘to twist’. These are called kai murukku because they are shaped with hand. For tamilians, celebrations like marriage, baby shower, diwali are incomplete without murukku. Murukku in the above photo is called 3 suthu murukku as it has 3 coils. Bigger kai murukku with 5 or 7 coils are made especially for marriage or baby shower.
Making these murukkus is a skill that comes with practice. Today I am happy and excited to share the recipe of my grandmother for making murukku. According to me, murukkus made by my grandmother and my mom are the best in the world with elegant swirls. It is a pleasure to watch them shape it beautifully as fast as they could with their hands. ‘Press and twist’ – fast execution of this function until the dough gets over 🙂 It is like watching two robots programmed to make murukkus 🙂 In our home, murukkus are made in bulk whenever there is a family get-together. Everyone in our family loves the murukku made by my mom.
This is a recipe for making murukkus from scratch. It involves soaking and grinding rice. Urad dal is dry roasted till a good aroma comes out. My mom usually grinds this in flour mill with kal thiruvai (where milling is done using stone crushers). She says that urad dal ground in kal thiruvai makes the best murukku. You can also grind it in a normal flour mill or mixer grinder at home. As we can’t grind less quantity in flour mill, you will have to grind more and use the flour as and when required. This long process demands more patience but the taste of murukku is unbeatable.
Pay attention to every detail and you will definitely master the art of making murukkus with practice and patience. I clicked these photos during my recent trip to India. While my mom was shaping the murukkus, my aunty was frying them. Sometimes they take out the half-cooked murukkus. These are chewy and are called pachai murukku or vegadha murukku. Murukkus that I shape with my hands are not decent enough to click. This is something that I need to practice and perfect. Here goes the much sought after recipe of delicious and crispy kai murukku 🙂
Kai Murukku Recipe:
Cuisine : Tamilnadu
Category : Snacks
Preparation Time : 2-3 hours (for soaking rice) + 1.5 hours (for grinding and frying)
Cooking Time : 5 min for each batch
Click the below video to learn how to shape kai murukku.
- 4 cups Parboiled Idli Rice or Idli Pulungal Arisi (heaped)
- 1 cup Urad Dal Flour (heaped)
- 100 g Butter
- 2 – 3 tsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Black Sesame Seeds
- Salt as required
- A small piece of Asafoetida (Katti Perungayam) or 1/2 tsp Asafoetida Powder
- Oil for frying
1. Wash the rice well and soak in water for 2 hours.
2. Dry roast the urad dal till a good aroma comes out and the colour changes slightly. Do not roast more than that.
3. Let this cool down.
4. Grind to a fine powder in a flour mill (if possible grind in a flour mill using stone crushers) or mixer grinder.
5. Sieve this powder and store in an airtight container. You may use it as and when required.
6. Take salt and a small piece of solid asafoetida in a small bowl. Pour water till they are immersed. Once the asafoetida piece has become soft, rub it with your fingers so that it dissolves in water.
Making the dough:
1. After 2 hours, drain the water from the soaked rice and transfer the rice to a wet grinder.
2. Grind to a very smooth paste by adding as little water as possible.
3. Spread this on a clean dry cotton towel.
4. Cover with the same towel and keep it for 10 min so that excess moisture is absorbed.
5. Take the dough and spread on another clean dry cotton towel (Skip this step if you are able to gather and roll the dough). Cover with the same towel and keep it for 10 min. Repeat this until you are able to gather and roll the dough.
6. The dough should not be very thick. If it is too tight, you will not be able to shape the murukku. If the dough is very tight, sprinkle some water and mix it well to get the right consistency.
7. You should be able to shape the murukku easily without breaking. Dough should not stick to your hand while shaping. That is the right consistency.
8. Take this dough in a large bowl. Add the urad dal flour, butter (should be at room temperature), coconut oil, cumin seeds, black sesame seeds, salt + asafoetida dissolved in water.
9. Now everything should be mixed well. Gather the dough to make a single mass. This is the murukku dough. Keep this bowl always covered.
Frying the murukku:
1. Take a small portion of the dough.
2. Press and twist to make swirls. Refer the above video for shaping the murukku. It comes only with practice.
3. Take the murukku carefully with a dosa spatula and drop in hot oil. The oil should not be smoking hot.
4. Fry in medium flame. Do not adjust the flame at any point while cooking. This ensures even cooking and uniform colour. Flip the murukkus once in between.
5. Fry till the bubbles stop. Note the following while frying.
- Do not drop many murukkus at a time. If the oil is overcrowded, the temperature of the oil comes down and frying doesn’t happen properly. Also the murukkus do not become crispy. There should be some free space around each murukku.
- Oil should be hot. If you drop a small piece of batter, it should come up with a sizzling sound.
- Do not let the oil smoke. If you drop the murukku at this point, it turns dark soon.
- Fry till the bubbles stop.
- After taking out each batch, give some time say 20-30 seconds, for the oil to attain the right temperature again. Do not drop the next batch as soon as you take out the previous one.
6. Drain the fried murukkus from oil. Usually a thin, long rod is used for collecting the murukkus in oil and taking them out.
7. Let it cool down. Store in an airtight container. Same dough can be used to make thenkuzhal. Fill the murukku achu with this dough. Press the dough on a dosa spatula and drop the thenkuzhal gently in oil. You may press directly in oil if you are comfortable with that. Crispy, delicious murukkus are ready to be enjoyed.