A snack has no shape, no occasion, and no reason to eat! It is welcomed and enjoyed at any time of the day or year. And here, we have a beloved and crunchy snack from the rich cuisine of south India. Yes! We are talking about Murukku. The thick batter, when twisted into a spiral shape and allowed to turn golden brown in hot oil, is worth relishing. It will be very interesting to explore fun facts about Murukku and the age-old equipment used to prepare the same. With a number of changes taking place in our tradition, one thing which has remained intact is the love for Murukku and its taste.
What is murukku?
The name itself says “twisted.” It is a crunchy snack, particularly well-known in the southern part of India. Its popularity has eventually travelled to western side along with people trying out different recipes in north India as “Chakli”. The foundation being rice flour, besan, and urad dal, Murukku has been uniform throughout these years. Even after years, people love the same old crunchy texture of this snack. The only thing which has evolved is its shape. However, some small modifications are made such as the addition of certain spices, flavours, etc.
History of murukku
Apart from being famous all over India, its magic has spread to Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Singapore too. Did you know that things made out of rice flour, urad dal, and chickpea flour (besan) were always considered as auspicious? This is the reason behind rangoli made from rice flour is still an unbeatably auspicious ritual. Earlier we had the custom of mixing rice flour and urad dal with jaggery to make a lovely sweet. Then we started grinding them into a semi-solid dough to make flat paapdi like snacks. Slowly it was accompanied by crushed pepper, roasted cumin seeds, and what not! And finally, we have murukku with us in the most amazing form.
Nutritional value of murukku
As far as the nutritional value is concerned, you will find that all the staple ingredients are used. All the ingredients are easily digestible and healthy from the nutrition point of view. Although rice flour and urad dal have less fibre quotient, murukku made out of chickpea is rich in fibre. Apart from that, it is loaded with carbohydrates and calcium. Talking about vitamins, this snack has vitamin C in small quantity which is very useful for skin and gums. So overall if you analyze, it is a healthy snack to buy.
Occasions where murukku is served
Be it the festival or any other occasion like house warming ceremony, murukku has become an indelible part. We have seen in marriages that it is a part of return gift too. Deewali, Pongal, and even Christmas are incomplete if you didn’t share few murukkus with your friends and relatives. Even in birthdays and parties, there is a special place for this snack and other south Indian savouries. It is amazing that this one ancient snack can fit into any occasion without making people feel bored about it. Even the 10 minutes of tea break becomes wonderful when it is served along with the hot beverage.
Types of murukku
We have come across different murukku recipes which include different ingredients in varying proportions. After exploring the history and nutritional value, let us ponder upon the types of murukku we have at present.
- The first of its kind is kai murukku which is prepared with a stiff dough. It is twisted and made in the form of a large coil with the help of hand only.
- The famous Mannaparai murukku is named after the town in Tamilnadu. It is dark golden in colour because of the spices added to it. Also, it has roasted cumin seeds which enhance the taste and makes it much better.
- There is a special kind of murukku for Gokulashtami which is made in the special steel apparatus with a perforated plate at one end and piston on the other. The semi-solid dough is filled up to brim and piston is pushed. The dough oozes out of perforation in small string-like shape. It is coiled and directly allowed into hot oil for deep frying. Apart from the coiled form, it also has a usual stick like shape with spiny texture too.
- There are different chakli recipes too which are prepared with chickpea flour. It is steamed and made into a dough by adding roasted cumin seeds and some amount of spices. Chakli is also prepared like coiled murukku but with the help of steel apparatus and different plate with a single slit. Chakli is more prominent in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
- Thenukuzhal murukku, on the other hand, is something which is little spicier and also has white sesame seeds.
- And then, comes the most special murukku from traditional cuisine of Kerala. It is none other than Achu murukku which resembles the shape of the flower and is sweet to taste. It has a special flower like stencil which gives it the shape.
Thus, after looking at all the facts and murukku types, it is evident that it is one of the most favourite snacks. And we are sure that it will continue to amaze our taste buds for next few centuries too. As a kid, we all waited eagerly for our moms to make this delicacy in special occasion. But now, we all have the privilege to buy murukkus online by just sitting in our homes. So make use of this opportunity and share your unique murukku recipe with us. We are all ears when it comes to snacking!