Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Diwali Snacks - Chakli / Murukulu

Chakli, also known as Murukku or Murukkulu in Southern India is a very popular savory snack item traditionally made during DIWALI . Every part of India has its own version of this delicious fried snack. There is absolutely no other snack that I enjoy more with a steaming cup of coffee than this one. I have made chaklis for every Diwali since I got married. My SIL's MIL is a great cook and I really admire and adore this lady. At 75, she is still active and I’m amazed to see her enthusiasm in the kitchen. I tasted her chaklis for the first time after I got married and have made chaklis using her recipe ever since. This is a simple recipe that uses only rice and all purpose flour and is less complicated than the more traditional Maharashtrian Bhajani Chakli.

In the future, I do plan to make Bhajani Chaklis from scratch and also few other south Indian chakli varieties that I have book marked over the years. So stay tuned ….

Ingredients -
4 cups rice flour
1 cup maida
3/4 cup ghee/ unsalted butter
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp dhana jeera powder
1/2 tsp turmeric porwder
1/4 tsp hing
2 tbsp white sesame seeds
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

Method -
1. Mix 4 cups of rice flour and 1 cup of maida together.
2. Use room temperature ghee/ butter without melting it. Apply ghee/ butter evenly to the mixed flour.
3. Add red chilli powder, dhana jeera powder, turmeric powder, hing, white sesame seeds and salt to it.
4. Make a soft dough by gradually adding cold water like regular chapati dough.
5. Take a small portion of the dough and form a cylindrical shaped log and drop it in the chakli/ murukku mold.
6. Heat oil in a deep frying pan/ kadhai.
7. Using your hands, press the chakli mold to form concentric circles either on the back of a slotted spoon (called "zhaara" in marathi) as shown in the picture. You can also lay old newspaper flat on the kitchen counter and form several chaklis on it. (I love the zaara method as it is much easier to drop the chaklis in hot oil without losing its shape).
8. Deep fry the chaklis in hot oil on medium flame. Fry both sides till they turn golden and take them out on paper towel or old newspaper to drain the excess oil.
9. Allow them to cool and store them in an airtight container.

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