Monday, September 14, 2009

Muthusarai or Magizhampoo thaenkuzhal

This recipe is probably one ancient that I know. I have known it to be followed by my grandmother and before her, her mother-in-law. The same recipe features in the Samaiththu Paar by S.Meenakshi Ammal which was first printed in 1951 and is being re-printed on and on to date. The only alteration in my recipe is addition of cardamom powder which is not in the book. Many people have been intrigued about adding cardamom in a savoury snack. They love it when they try it :)

4 standard cups (240ml cup X 4) raw rice, heaped cup measure - 1000 grams
1 & 1/2 of a cup moong dhal -225 grams
3/4 th of a cup channa dhal - 110 grams
100 grams butter
4 teaspoons cardamom powder
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
500grams oil for deep frying
Wash the rice well until water runs clear and soak in water for about two hours.
Drain water, spread the rice on a clean cloth to dry in shade.
Once dry, but still moist, powder in a mixie. Sieve to a fine powder. Repeat these steps until all soaked rice has been powdered.
Spread a sheet of paper and a cloth over it. Spread the powdered rice on this. It will be best to use the moist flour right away for best results. Otherwise allow to dry thoroughly, thus spread and store in airtight containers until required.If the quality of rice is good, you will get 2&1/2 to 2&3/4 cups of rice flour per cup soaked rice.
The murukkus tend to turn out hard and brown in colour if the flour is not used this way.
I usually make murukkus the very same day as pounding the flour.
Roast the two dhals separately until they are golden taking care not to over heat them. Cool and powder them to very fine consistency.
The author of the recipe book suggests that you can pound the rice in a mill, but do the dhals at home for best results.
Mix the rice flour and dhal powders. At this point the floue mix will look as yellow as custard powder and the aroma of roasted moongdhal will be invitingly strong.
In a big bowl mix the flour, cardamom powder, salt and sesame seeds. Gradually rub the butter in with tips of your fingers to evenly mix with the above.
If you are making a large quantity (anything above 2 cups of the mixed combination), divide the mix in smaller portions. Add water to one divided portion to make a soft dough that can hold shape and can be pressed into shape with a mould. Divide this dough into smaller portions that will fit into the cylinder of the murukku press.
Heat oil in a kadai until just before smoking point. To test the optimum heat of the oil,drop a small portion of prepared dough in the oil. It should dip in first and quickly bounce upwards to the surface of the oil.
Fit the murukku achchu (murukku press) with the plate that has pores in the shape of three stars. Place some dough into the press and pipe out directly in the warm oil.
Do not crowd the murukkus in the oil. Allow them space to float and fry. Turn them over using a slotted ladle. Fry both sides until they are golden brown. Remove from oil and place on an absorbent tissue. Cool and transfer to store in airtight containers until required.

These muththusarais are just pure indulgence. They feature in all Seer bakshanams in South Indian Hindu brahmin weddings and functions in counts of 31, 51 or 101. The aroma of the roasted dhal and cardamom give this a unique taste.
The dhal flour can be made and stored for few months also. Just add 3 parts of rice flour to 1 part of dhal flour by volume and make these anytime. The muththusarai is one sure savoury in my diwali bakshanam list. That is one time I use the whole of the above recipe. Otherwise I use 1 cup rice and proportion the dhals and butter for some weekend snack.
I am sending these delectable murukkus to
MLLA 15th helping currently hosted @ Sia's Monsoonspice an event initiated by Susan The wellseasoned cook.

to Sweets and Savouries Event held @ Sara's Corner.


  1. Thenkuzhal looks too crispy and gorgeous...yumm!

  2. Wow...that's an crunchy and yum Thenkuzhal...

  3. looks so yummy, crunchy and tasty!!

  4. yummy crispy eats Lata :) wow you are posting wonderful eats one after another cool!

  5. This looks yumm.. mom makes a similar one and I tried it a week back. It has been there in my drafts since then.. sure to post it soon.. I just love this murukku :)

  6. That looks yumm to me...nice and crispy..shall try and let you know...

  7. wow superb delicious Lata.
    Kindly Please collect ur award from my blog ...

  8. My grandma makes thenkuzhal in the same way. Yours looks perfect and crisp!

  9. Thenkuzhal has a beautiful flower name, card. is certainly new ingred for murruku!

  10. Lata,

    looks yum...we call this mullu murukku at home. looks yummy.

  11. Nice and crispy, my little daughter just loves these. Will try making it at home.

  12. Delicious... Love muthusaram. somehow this was not made very frequently at home and as u said we prefer this over murkku in the bhakshanam give away pkts after marriage.

  13. love the name and recipe too looks so crisp and tempting.Perfect snack

  14. Thenkuzhal is a good recipe for diwali.. thanks for sharing lata!

  15. looks delicious, never tried with cardamom powder !! , we call this mullu murukku,

  16. hello Lata,
    my mother too, used to add a pinch of cardomom powder in the mutthusram,she would be 87 now, ahe learnt it from her mother and in-laws!so itis truely ancient!
    the proportions that i learnt were slightly different; it was equal parts of mung and chana dal powder, at the same ratio 3:1; plus a wee bit of roasted udid dal powdwer, if one wished;I must try yours too; perhaps the udid dal can be dispensed with , then!!

  17. Thank you Rama. I have noted these proportions and will try the same soonest. Sounds nice.
    And surely must be something authentic as ancient you tell me it is!

  18. I'm a big fan of Meenakshi ammal's books and my dad gifted me all 3 volumes (in Tamil). However, I tend to take shortcuts (due to laziness!) such as using store-bought rice flour, etc! Your htenkuzhal/mullu murukku looks so yumm! Making it the authentic way would definitely yield best results:)

  19. Dear Ms. Lata

    My 4 yr old daughter wants it immediately. It's reminding her of my mom who makes exactly the same kind. I'm just going to make it 2moro for this diwali. Thanks so much for sharing my all time favourite Meenakshi Ammal recipe.


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I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.