One of the traditional Tamil cookbooks I have recommends to practise making kaimurukku at leisure in small quantities to perfect them. Every year on the day of gokulashtami I vow myself to try them again. I never get around making them often. I was having lunch with a friend last week and she had mentioned that her husband is very fond of adhirasams. So I decided to make a few for them. I had wanted to take a savoury dish along with them. So decided to make kai murukkus. They were very welcome, needless to say.
I have posted the kai murukku in my gokulashtami bakshanams among other snacks. This is a more detailed post.
I follow recipes from my cook book, my aunts and my own notes written as a foot note below these.
It is best to have the raw rice which is not aged for these savouries. The yield while pounding will be more this way. I used Ponni Raw rice purchased in India. For two cups of rice I got around 4 cups and 1/2 of a cup of powdered rice flour.
Raw rice 2 cups
Split black gram/ Urad dhal (split) 1/4 cup
Butter 75 grams to 90 grams ( I use 90 grams)
Asafoetida powder 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds 2 teaspoons
Sesame seeds 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Coconut oil few teaspoons for greasing the tips of the fingers while rolling the murukkus
Wash and soak the raw rice for two hours.
Drain the excess water and spread on a clean cloth to absorb extra moisture. ( I usually skip spreading over a cloth as I drain the rice well and pound immediately in my mixer).
Pound this rice to a fine powder, seiving after each round of pounding.
Dry roast the urad dhal in a heavy pan until golden. Powder this in a mixer and seive to a fine powder. ( 1/4 cup of roasted urad dhal will yield nearly 1/3 cup of powder).
Mix the flours, salt, asafoetida powder, cumin seeds and sesame seeds well. Rub the butter in using tips of your fingers to incorporate the fat well.
Add water to the above gradually and knead to a soft dough. Cover with a lid, not allowing the air to dry the dough.
Spread a clean cloth on the counter or on the kitchen floor.
Take a small ball of the dough in your palm. Grease the tips of your fingers with coconut oil. Roll the dough between your fingers to a small rope. Fixing one end of the rope as the starting point, twist simultaneously like a chain. Turn your hand in a circular motion, dropping the twisted rope on the sheet. Go two or three rounds thus. Seal the other edge to the chain.
Repeat with few more.
Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is very hot, but not nearly smoking, drop gently the prepared murukkus using the spatula, into the oil. Drop as many as the oil will hold, yet the murukkus can move freely in the oil and cook.
Deep fry until the murulkkus are golden brown. Remove from oil and drain in a colander.
While one batch of murukkus are frying, you may roll out some more. If you find that difficult, roll enough to fry in two batches. Once they are ready, switch the heat off. You may prepare some more and reheat the oil to deep fry the rest.
Once the murukkus are ready allow to cool and store in airtight containers.
For best results the murukkus shall be made while the rice flour is moist or the flour should have dried atleast for three days, devoid of all moisture.
Most books give the ratio of rice flour to urad dhal flour as 9:1, but my friend told me even lesser urad dhal powder will work well. If urad dhal flour is more the murukkus will be hard.
The butter should also be mixed well. Otherwise, the portion where the butter is present might pop open.
If making larger quantities, mix all the dry ingredients and the butter. Divide this in batches and mix the dough adding water to each portion. If the mixed dough is kept for long, the murukkus will tend to become brown.
Sometimes the salt may not mix well and as a result the murukkus will shoot out while frying. To avoid this, you may boil the water that you will use to mix the dough, dissolve the salt in this and mix the dough with the salted water.
Though all of the above seem intimidating, you can make crisp and delicious murukkus, with some practice and patience.