Thursday, April 14, 2022

Murukku and Manchurian

 My memories go back to the Deepawali festivals of my childhood. My mother would start preparing the sweets and savouries three or five days before. Her womens magazines would carry supplements for " 30 varieties of snacks for Deepawali" .  If you walked into the kitchen on those days, the aroma of heated oil and deep frying would invigorate your senses and trigger your cravings. It would be murukkus in the making. My mother's murukku especially is always perfect and top notch !  

The pic shows creations of yours truly last Deepawali.

Murukku is basically a fried snack made typically using rice flour or gram flour. An addition of different lentil flours bring variations ( and we have different names for each of those babies) . The Tamizh word "murukku" in verb form means to twist or swirl. They usually are in a twisted pattern like a complicated pretzel and may be thats why it got the name.

These are usually gluten free snacks as they have no wheat or sugar and can have a shelf life of more than a week. In India we have flour mills in every neighborhood where one can give a mix of the ingredients and they would grind it to a smooth flour.  Outside the country, we use readymade off-the-shelf rice and lentil flours. 

We mix water into the flour, add in salt, cumin seeds or sesame seeds, some butter and make a dough. When the oil is hot enough we start making the swirls with a kitchen equipment or funnel meant specifically for that. 

It is important to add butter or hot oil to the dough to the flour to make it softer and easy to bite. The murukku should not be soggy nor should it be super hard to bite. There are jokes about amateur cooks making murukkus that cause people to lose teeth! 

There is one variety of murukku called 'kai murukku' (hand murukku). The swirls here are created by hand through a dexterous handling of the flour. My mother is an expert in that and i am a beginner with a long way to go. 

The below is a you tube video I found (from Raks kitchen youtube channel) displaying the method. 

Food from other lands:

Manchurian. Anyone who has eaten at an IndoChinese restaurant would be familiar with Gobhi(cauliflower) manchurian. There is a variety of food that is basically based on Chinese cuisine, altered to suit Indian taste buds and this is now popularly known as Indo Chinese food. Cauliflower florets dipped in corn flour batter are deep fried and then stir fried in a mix of sauces with some spring onions thrown in. The taste is heavenly. One of those moments of self indulgence purely to satisfy ones taste buds is digging into a plate of steaming hot gobhi manchurian. The thought itself is giving me a lot of craving! 

Food for thought:

Since we have been talking a lot about food , the quote we see today is about food as well and an ancient one too. Thought would show what Tamizh script looks like too.

மீதூண் விரும்பேல்

Meethoon virumbel.

Oon or unavu - food

Meethoon - Food in excess 

Virumbu(verb) - desire or wish

Virumbel - do not wish or desire

 This quote also from Aathihoodi stresses the importance of being wary of the quantity of our food consumption. 

Do not wish or ask for excess of food.

 What modern health advisories say - Eat everything but in moderation. 


  1. Half way thru your post, I was thinking why you did not mention about kai murukku. And then, I read it about that. I love kai murukku. My wife, Lalitha, used to make it.

  2. Murukku yummm
    Manchurian yummmmmm

    It's a crime to read this post when u r think to hav a light dya with light food :-/ my mom's murukku r heavenly too. I never tried!

  3. I didn't know Murukku is a verb. Murukku and moderation--how does one manage that? They're so more-ish. Feeling very hungry now:)

  4. Those Murukku sound lovely. The joke we used to make about amateur bakers breaking teeth was with rock cakes - not that I could ever understand why they were called rock cakes when I was small, because they are soft and never looked like rocks to me 😂
    Tasha's Thinkings: YouTube - What They Don't Tell You (and free fiction)

  5. Going by the recipe it's very close rajasthani sev... we make it the same way but a little more spicy. I love Manchurian.
    That's cruel on your part, you talk about yum food and then even advice not to ask for second serving... lol. Loved the post

  6. Thanks for this. I have lentil flour but never used it for this.


  7. your cocktail titles simply cool .. enjoyed reading it .
    Murukku and Manchurian
    Laddu and lasagana

  8. Oh my goodness, everything in this post sounds so good it would probably be very hard to follow the final bit of advice!
    M is for Magic and Mutant

  9. I've never tasted it, but it looks delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe and the details about how to make the treat.

  10. Murukku is one of my fav!!! But nothing beats Kodbele!

    Hopping in from the A-Z community,