Making murukus at home is synonymous with expressing love. There is no dearth of these crispy crunchy treats in stores and we regularly buy some. However, nothing really comes close in taste to their home made counterparts. They are pretty straightforward to make. If we are patient and fry them at the right temperature, using the right proportion of ingredients, they taste wonderful. There are numerous varieties of murukus, the ones below are made with rice flour and dalia split. The main advantage of anything home made is total control over ingredients, especially oil, when it comes to fried savory stuff like murukus. My mom made these lovingly for her grandson when he was two. He has loved them ever since.
Roasted channa dal / chutney dal/roasted dalia split - 1 cup (powdered)
Rice flour - 4 cups
Ajwain / carom seeds - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Softened butter - 5 tbsp
Oil for deep frying
Grind the dalia split to a fine powder along with ajwain seeds.
Add it to the 4 cups of rice flour.
Add salt to taste and mix well. The mix should taste salty. When we fry the dough, it tends to be less salty than the raw dough, so make sure it tastes salty.
If you want them spicy you could also grind some green chillies, ginger and curry leaves to a smooth paste and add it to the mix.
Add the softened butter and mix well. It should be nicely incorporated into the mix.
Now add a little water at a time and mix till you get a smooth soft dough. This is an important step and will determine how the muruku turns out. If it is too soft, the muruku might not get pressed properly in the press and will absorb more oil. If the dough is too stiff, it will keep breaking and you wont get long windy murukus. The dough should feel like soft playdough/ moulding clay.
Grease the muruku mould with little oil to ensure that the press works smoothly. Use the star plate in the mould to make these murukus.
Heat oil in a wide wok on medium to high flame. It should not be too hot. Make sure there is enough space in the wok for the murukus to sizzle. They tend to bubble up when frying,and if the wok is too full with oil, it will overflow and create a huge mess.
Place the dough in the mold and press into small circular shapes into the oil, let them fry till they are crisp, remove with a slotted spatula and drain on a kitchen towel. At first, the murukus will bubble a lot, after a little while , you will notice less sizzling and the murukus will get crisp, that is when we get them out of the oil. It is important not to over fry, they will taste burnt. These murukus will look light in color, do not wait for them to get dark.
When they come to room temperature, store in an air tight container.
Notes: The proportion of dalia split powder to rice flour is 1 : 4 . You can make a smaller quantity if you wish.