Janmashtami and Diwali are two major Hindu festivals when almost every-household in the country is busy making a variety of sweet and savory snacks. There is excitement in the air and a defiance to calorie counting as who can resist these crunchy snacks and after all festivals come once in a year so a little indulgence is expected.
According to the regions , people both In North and other parts have somewhat similar snacks too.
Some popular recipes we have from south is that of chaklis, murruku and thenkuzhal.
The ingredients and their proportions vary slightly but each is unique in taste , some with hints of pepper, cumin and sesame seeds. Some with aromatic caraway seeds/ajwain , the variety is endless.
The simplest that we can make absolutely no fuss , with even a beginner being able to make, is this crunchy crispy thenkuzhal. All you need are some simple ingredients found easily in the kitchen and a murruku press which is usually made of steel or even wood , having a choice of different plates with different shapes which you can use to press the dough into the oil.
Here is the recipe for this simple thenguzhal or murruku as it is also called.
1 cup rice flour ( any good brand from store )
1/4 cup roasted fried gram dal powdered ( called pottukadalai in Tamil )
1 /2 tsp ajwain or only 1 tsp white til can be added instead of ajwain.
Pinch of asafoetida powder
salt to taste.
1 tbsp melted ghee or oil
Oil for frying.
( Chakli Press required with the thenkuzhal/murruku plates to make thenkuzhal.)
Powder the gram dal in a mixie, sieve it well.
Measure the rice flour, powdered gram dal, and other ingredients and in a bowl, make a soft dough by adding water carefully.Add water in tablespoons so that you do not add excess water. The dough will come ttogetherto a soft firm ball.
Keep oil for frying , when oil is heated, pinch off a small ball of dough, put in the thenkuzhal /murruku pres, and squeeze directly into hot oil , or squeeze on a sieve and place it in hot oil.
Fry on medium flame till pale golden colour.
Store when completely cooled.