Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Murukku made by madness

Murukku cocka-doodle-do! That's almost the sound of my alarm clock in the morning (cellphone actually). Just before Deepavali recently, the Hindu festival of lights, I was inspired to make Murukku, a semi-spicy and savoury snack of Indian origin. During the festival period when I was living in Malaysia, Hindu colleagues and friends would ply me with the wonderfully aromatic snack. One can't eat enough of it!

Crazy enough to stink up the flat with deep-frying, I used a recipe from, pressing the dough out from a cookie pump (another round of eye-gouging cleaning, I tell you) directly into the hot oil. Dangerous work, this. However, I did not have bean flour at hand, so I used only rice flour added with a couple of tablespoons of wheat flour. It was pretty nice and crispy but oily.

A couple of days later (having recovered from an almost sore throat after eating too much deep-fried Murukku), I toyed with the idea of baking Murukku in the oven.

Here's the recipe I ended up with:

Oven-Baked Murukku

200g rice flour (sub with all-purpose flour)
2 tbs wheat flour (sub with cornflour)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp aniseed
1 tsp powdered cumin
1/2 tsp powdered coriander or fennel
3/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
4 tsp dried chopped curry leaf (optional)
1 tsp ground Himalaya or kosher salt
4 tbs gently melted butter
120ml coconut milk or half cream (more might be necessary depending on absorbency of flour)

Celtic Murukku, anyone?

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
In a medium bowl, mix rice and wheat flours, baking powder, spices, curry leaf and salt. Drizzle melted butter over the flour mixture. Slowly add coconut milk and stir with a fork. Add a bit more coconut if necessary to achieve a consistency that enables you to pipe the dough out of a cookie pump with a small serrated nozzle.
Line an oven tray with a baking sheet. Pipe coils or long strands as your fancy takes you. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the Murukku is lightly browned and crispy when cooled on a wire rack.

Rorscharch test Murukku - what does your Murukku pattern say about you? ;-)

Camouflaged Murukku - hiding from voracious snackers!


Kak Teh said...

Argus! Muruku? Oh my goodness..there's no stopping you. I have finished my two big packets of muruku that my sisters sent for hari raya and now looking at your murukus, I am so tempted...wait for it..... to ask for more!
I have blogged once about muruku - but it is "As I was Munching Muruku"

OK - am going out to earn some money. Been locked up for too long.

Argus Lou said...

My dear munching Kak Teh,
has the pantun-ing not bought its way?
And now you have to work?
says Argus who tries to shirk.
To me cooking is a joy,
also good for catching boy.

Life for Beginners said...

Rorscharch test Murukku? I see smoke rings and smoke dreams... some vacation time for me... or is it just a fantasy? :(

Queen Of The House said...

Oven-baked murukku? Now that's a first! I've often become 'lazy' when cooking requires frying with lots of oil (yuck, the smell that sticks to your body!), so this looks like a good recipe to try. Does it taste as good? Tell me honestly ...

My Food Safari said...

That's creative. I'm curious too. Does it taste the same as the deep fried ones? I love muruku. If I use bean flour (besan?), is it same measurement?

Argus Lou said...

Kenny, only you can make your dreams come through. :) Different folk make different strokes/murukku, just like the roti jala a few friends made at my place on Tuesday.

Queen, it tastes different, not worse. You can adjust the oil/butter and spices (more chilli and cumin!) to suit your taste. Rice flour is 'drier' and denser than wheat flour.

MyFoodSafari, thanks. We're supposed to use 30 percent bean flour and the rest rice flour. I've also done it with wheat flour plus a bit of cornflour, which made it 'softer' yet crispy. Instead of coconut milk, you can also use cream or half cream - as long as you can push the dough out of the pump! Experiment and let me know how it goes.

Tunku Halim said...

Aiyo, like your Muruku la. Reminds me of my school days at St John's buying kacang putih and muruku in rolled up cones of newspaper.

fatboybakes said...

REALLY? muruku in the oven? HOW HEALTHY! how did it fare vs the evil deep fried ones?
i always snigger at ur description of cleaning a cookie pump

Argus Lou said...

TH, at 10 sen a cone full of those crunchy munchies, those were the days, lah. :) Maybe it was 20 sen in KL?

FBB, it wasn't so healthy as I added more butter to compensate for 'loss' of oil. Not to mention the coconut cream, heh heh. But certainly nice to snack on. ;P (Ya lah, you know how you've to stick in the last finger to remove the yucky dough from the cookie nozzle under a running tap.)

Jenna said...

Looks delicious. I will have to try Muruku, I have never had it.

PureGlutton said...

Oven-baked shd be healthier than the fried version! Have never tried this version before though. I like how you innovate & modify the traditional recipe/method!

Jude said...

so that's what they're called.. I mainly know these through free samples and they're addictive.

Argus Lou said...

Hi, Jenna. Only if you like semi-spicy and savoury snacks. :)

PureGlutton, thanks for coming by. Need to experiment just to get a taste of home - without stinking up the flat and running out to buy expensive bean flour.

Jude, oh yes, they're addictive all right. Rice flour gives it a harder crunch. You can buy them or something similar (called Omapodi or something that sounds like that) at Indian shops.

Life for Beginners said...

On cleaning the cookie nozzle, I can see a short story from it oredi... "The Final Finger", anyone?


Argus Lou said...

You're nuttier (and spicier) than my mad Murukku, Kenny. :)

Aparna said...

I'm not sure how I came here, but your murukku post caught my attention.
Why? I'm south Indian and from the land of murukku!
I love your twist (ingredients-wise too) on this snack and loved the way you managed to bake it too.
We use chickpea flour. Its rice flour and butter that make it crisp usually.
Happy New Year.

Argus Lou said...

Happy new year, Aparna! Thanks for coming by and for your kind comments. Yes, murukku in Malaysia, my homeland, is also made with chickpea flour plus some rice flour, and deep-fried.

Aparna said...

Thanks for dropping by. Do try out the burfi. The coconut-cardamom variety is my favourite burfi after cashew burfis.:)

I just saw a reference to Omapodi in your comments. Yes, that's what it is called. The Oma refers to carom seeds in the crispies.

I just realised you're a fellowDB. :)
I think I saw your comment on another blog and discovered the murukku here.

Argus Lou said...

Aparna, it's hard to stay slim from trying out all these wonderful goodies found in blogs and recipe sites. I love that yours features so many fabulous Indian yummies so authentically.

My old living-room

My old living-room
In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

A cherished dream

A cherished dream
To live on a pale beach by a crystal clear sea. (This was taken on the east coast of Johor state, Malaysia.)