Sunday, December 23, 2007
Isn’t it a beautiful word? Muthucharam in tamil means string of pearls. Why this name was given to this crispy savory I cannot understand, as it definitely doesn’t resemble a string of pearls. Actually it is not called Muthucharam but called Muthuswaram which again doesn’t make any sense, so I thought Muthucharam atleast makes sense. Its common name, Mullumurukku is the apt word to describe this crispy as it has an exterior resembling thorns(Mullu). As I always say, a rose by any other name ……. And yet when we start analyzing the meaning of some of the words in common use, we start doing research.
The recipe here is very simple.
Raw rice: 3 cups
Chana dal: 2/3 cup
Whole moong : 1/3 cup
Urad dal: 1 tbsp.
Gingelly seeds: 1 tsp.
Butter: 50 gms.
Hing: slightly larger than a pea
Salt to taste
Oil to fry
Wash and dry the rice. Dry roast the chana, moong and urad dal until nice fragrance emanates (the dals turn a light pink in color). Grind them all together to a fine powder. Grind the rice also to a very fine powder. I still have the privilege of getting it powdered in a flour mill. In many places I am told that flour mills have become a thing of past. Sieve the powders with a fine mesh to remove any coarse particles. Mix both powders thoroughly.
Soak the hing in little warm water atleast 1 hr before the actual preparation. Beat the butter and salt vigorously in a large kadai or thali. Dissolve the hing thoroughly in water. Add the prepared powder to the butter mixture and add the hing solution and make a soft and smooth dough by adding more water if necessary. This takes some effort. Usually I get it done by hubby dear who is only too willing to oblige. He likes to be part of everything that happens at home. If I make murukkus, he will knead the dough for me. If I make halwa he will stir the mixture for me. Anyway, today I am in Hyderabad and he is in Bangalore and my shoulder muscles get sore if I put a little strain on them like kneading murukku mavu or stirring the halwa. That’s when I remembered about the atta kneader attachment that comes with the table top wet grinder. If it can knead atta, why not murukku mavu, I thought. I gave it a try and was rewarded with a smooth and soft dough without any pain.
When the dough is done, heat oil in a kadai. When the oil comes to smoking point, press the dough through using the star shaped plate. Fry on both sides until done. Remove from oil and allow to drain, spread on a paper towel to remove all the extra oil.
NJOY your mullu murukku.