I forgot all about this month's Indian Cooking Challenge until I saw Valli's post this morning. Thinking that I still had the rest of today to make it, I soaked sago in buttermilk in the morning. It fluffed up beautifully by evening and I was all set to make the murukku. That's when the trouble started. There were two packets of identical white flours in the freezer - one clearly labelled rice flour and the other with no label. The labelled pack contained about 3/4th of a cup of flour. I was quite sure the other one was maida though I couldn't tell. I decided to add some water to it to see if it was sticky, but that didn't enlighten me any further. Anyways, I decided that if it was maida, so be it....I was still going to make murukku with it. All the flours were duly mixed and I started squeezing the dough out of the murukku press. That was disaster no.2. I used the achu with three circular holes in it....and it was really, really hard to squeeze the dough out. I tried making it more watery, but that didn't help. The murukku kept breaking out in pieces. The end product does look quite good, though....reminds me of serial lights with little white bulbs at the end.
After 15 minutes of struggling with it, I decided to use another achu and used the one with three star shaped holes in it. I squeezed it into the oil fully expecting it to be just as difficult to squeeze out....but no, that seems to be the one thing I did right....it slid out of the press quite easily and in another 15 minutes, I'd used up all the dough and had a dabba-ful of tasty, crunchy murukkus.
The murukku felt chewy when it was just out of the oil, but turned perfectly crunchy on cooling.
Here is Valli's recipe:
What you need:
Rice Flour 2 cups
Besan flour 1/2 cup
Fried gram flour - 1/2 cup
Sago - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Curd - 1/4 cup
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp or as per taste
Soak Sago in Butter milk for 3 hrs, please ensure that you soak it enough else you may risk having the sago burst.
Mix all the flour together, heat 50 gms oil, mix to the flour along with salt and chili powder. Then add the buttermilk soaked sago slowly and knead to a chapati dough consistency
Heat oil for deep frying.In the murukku achu, add the dough. When the oil is hot, press down directly as as murukkus.
Cook on medium flame to ensure the murukku is cooked well.
Ensure sago soaks in buttermilk well and is soft or else it will burst when you press it down in hot oil.
Cook on medium to ensure even cooking.
Fried Gram flour is fried channa dal that is available commercially. It is general sold as the dal, we have to powder it at home. This is also referred as chutney dal as it is used in making coconut chutney.