Ari Murukku is a famous crunchy snack made from lentils and rice and is very popular with kids as well as adults. There are many versions of it and Ari murukku is the most common one amongst them. Made of Urad dals and rice, these are served along with tea as snacks or just to munch. Back home it is always found in small street side shops where they sell it in huge jars. They have a characteristic odour that it attains from the roasted Urad dals and the whole spices added into it. Special equipment called ‘Sev Nazhi’ is used for preparing murukku, at least at homes. It is a cylindrical shaped kit with room to stuff the dough, a handle and several template discs to squeeze out the dough into desired shapes. Dough is stuffed inside the ‘Sev nazhi’ which is fitted with template discs, and then handle is rotated to squeeze out the dough. It is similar to a pastry bag function wise, where different nozzles are fitted to the bag to pipe out different patterns. Check out the picture below.
These are normally not prepared at homes probably because they are very cheap to buy and if preparing in huge batches, they consume a bit of time and effort. I just wanted to try to make them at home since my family love them and these are not readily available here. My first two attempts were not really good. Even though the taste and flavour was perfect, there was something wrong in the mixture. It was brittle rather than crunchy. It took me yet another trial which gave me the same result as the previous one to make out where it had gone wrong! I had written the recipe slightly wrong and hence ended up using wrong kind of rice. In my first two attempts, I used parboiled rice (Puzhukkalari) instead of raw rice (Pachari) and it was too hard to grind it with the given amount of water mentioned. I ended up adding so much of water to keep my motor running and then ended up adding so much or urad flour and other ingredients as well. Took long time to get cook and I lost my patience. But it kept me wondering where it had gone wrong and all I could think of was changing rice. Tried it for the third time without much hope and just by switching to a different rice and there you go! Perfectly made Murukku, crispy and crunchy, just the way I wanted it to be.
¾ cup Raw Long grain rice (Pachari)
¼ cup Urad dal (Black Lentils)
2 Tbsp Coconut Milk Powder
½ cup hot water
Almost 1 tsp salt or slightly less (Add according to taste)
2 tsp soft butter
½ tsp crushed black pepper (optional)
½ tsp cumin seeds
¾ tsp black sesame seeds
1. Soak rice in normal tap water for 3-4 hours.
2. Make coconut milk by mixing hot water to coconut milk powder. Stir well to get smooth milk.
3. Drain rice and grind it to smooth paste by adding the prepared coconut milk.
4. Dry roast urad dal on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until it turns golden. Let it cool down and then grind it to fine powder.
5. In a bowl, tip in the ground rice and add salt, black pepper, cumin seeds, sesame seeds and butter. Stir well. Add in ground urad dal, mix it and knead to form a soft dough that is neither too tight nor too runny.
6. Fill ‘Seva Nazhi’ with the dough. In an oiled polythene sheet/baking paper/banana leaves, press out the dough in spiral motion to make it in shape of Murukku. Tuck two ends by pressing it slightly to the sides so that it does not open free while frying.
7. Heat a frying pan or kadai to medium and add oil up to 2- 3 inches high. When the oil is hot enough, slide the prepared murrukku in the oil and fry these murukkus until it turns golden by flipping once or twice in between (about 3 minutes). When it is cooked through, it will stop sizzling or sizzle very minimally.
8. Drain on kitchen towel and store in air tight containers. This can be stored infinitely.
1. One thing I would like to put into notice is that, if the dough is too tight, you may end up with a hard Murukku and if it is too soft, you will end up with murukku that is less crunchy. So feel free to add little water to loosen it up and urad flour to tighten up the dough. I roast an extra Tablespoon of urad dal to add in if necessary
2. Make sure the oil is heated to medium. High heat burns the murukku. For checking the temperature of oil, drop a small ball or murukku dough and drop it in oil. If it pops up sizzling after 40seconds, oil should be heated to the right extend.
3. You can add several murukku to the oil at a time depending on the size of the pan and kadai used.