Whole Wheat Murukku

Murukku, or Chakli, is a south Indian snack that is usually prepared during Diwali. It is normally made with rice and various lentils like bengal gram, green gram etc. But when I saw this recipe from Rajeswari of rakskitchen, I got curious and interested. So, I gave it a try and the result was a very nice textured, melt-in-the-mouth Chakli that the whole family loved. The only problem is that my pictures don’t do justice to the actual taste of these curly wonders. Anyway, I’m still in the initial phase of my blogging journey and have to get many things right. Cribbing aside, let’s have a look at the recipe.

Ingredients:

– Whole wheat flour – 3 cups
– Cumin (jeera) seeds – 2 tsps
– Asafoetida(hing) – 1/2 tsp
– Butter / hot oil – 1 tblsp (to mix with the flour for crispness)
– Salt – to taste
– Oil – for deep frying

Pack the whole wheat flour tightly in a cotton cloth and steam in a pressure cooker / steamer for 15 minutes. See to it that you place this cloth bag on a raised stand (or vessel) inside the cooker / steamer; otherwise water will enter the cloth while steaming. Once done, take it out and allow it to cool.

Now, sieve the flour through a fine strainer so that you get fine powder. At this stage, lumps would have formed, and you will have to break them with your hands for the flour to pass through the strainer.

Add jeera, oil / butter, salt and hing to this flour and mix thoroughly. Add water little by little and make a firm but soft dough. Heat oil in a pan. Take a big ball of dough and press it through the Chakli mould into the hot oil.

murukku mould

You can actually direct the mould to form any random shape and not necessarily into coils like this.

whole wheat murukku

Fry them till golden brown. Once they are cool, store them in airtight containers. They stay fresh for more than a week.

 

Masala Peanuts (Microwave)

Masala Peanuts

Crunchy Peanuts

4 pm is tea time, or snack time, in most homes. But for us, it is fruit time. Because, exactly at 4 in the evening, we (mostly D & D) will be peeling the bananas?! Initially, they used to wail and hate the very thought of eating fruits.

But, they have now got so used to it that little D, if not given a fruit at that time, comes and asks me “where are the fruits”? Such nice kids have to be rewarded, don’t they? What can the reward be? Anything that is crunchy and great to munch on… Just for the sake of getting their hands on the snack they will finish their fruits faster.

I saw the recipe on a website and tweaked it, and voila! It turned out just right! A quick snack that is tasty, healthy, and nutritious. Perfect for me as well as for the kids.

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Ingredients:

  • Raw peanuts/groundnuts  – 2 cups
  • Bengal gram flour (besan) – 1 tblsp
  • Rice flour – little more than 1 tblsp
  • Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp or more
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds (dhania) powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin (jeera) powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)  – 1/2 tsp
  • Oil – 3 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

Take the peanuts in a bowl, and add all the powders, masala, ginger garlic paste, kasuri methi, oil and salt. Sprinkle water lightly and mix well. Add besan and rice flour to this so that they just coat the peanuts. For people who don’t like such intense flavours, its best to omit the spice powders except salt and a pinch of chilli powder and go ahead with the recipe as it is. Spread it out on a greased microwaveable plate and set microwave on high for 3 minutes. Mix well (you might want to seperate the nuts which are sticking together) and microwave again for 2-3 minutes. You can check if it is done and if needed put it back in the microwave for a few more minutes as required.

To check if the peanuts are done, you have to wait until they are cool.

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Tasty and crunchy masala peanuts are right here on the table. Gonna grab some before it gets over. Promoting healthy eating is rather easy with this recipe (or so I feel). Do let me know how it turns out for you.

Colour Rangoli

This festival season, the one thing I can say I’ve mastered is the colour rangoli. Initially, the thought of decorating the entrance with a colour rangoli didn’t seem to be good, since it would mean a lot of mess with the kids stamping it and spreading the colours inside the house. Then I started using the place just in front of our gate which doesn’t have any footfall. (I would always suggest a place which doesn’t have any footfall but in case you just want it to be in front of the door, leave some space in the entrance and do it a little farther from it. This way, you can enjoy the rangoli for a few days at least.)

There are two ways to do the rangoli:

  • Drawing lines (either with or without dots) and filling each area with colour by dropping them using your fingers
  • Filling the colours first and drawing the patterns on top of these colours

In the second method, we use a small sieve and fill small areas at a time. I have found the second method to be much better. This is because even as a kid I was never good at drawing! So the very first outcome of a colour rangoli using this method got me inspired.

colour rangoli

Here’s my first attempt at a colour rangoli (I drew the lines first and filled the colours by dropping them with my fingers). You can see that the finish isn’t great. But this one took me a little more than 2 hours. So, I felt I have to somehow tweak the process so that it can be done faster. And I knew there was a method using the filter. But I had to try it to really understand how it works.

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You can see the result. The colours are bright because I didn’t have to add marble (white) powder to make it droppable and hence the finish is much better. So here’s the process I followed.

Items Required:

  • Colour powders
  • Marble powder (white)
  • Cloth rag
  • A sieve (tea filter)
  • A chalk piece

Start with a design which is easy. Draw an outline with a chalk. Starting with one small area at a time, fill the colours using the tea filter.

  • Pour the colour powder onto the tea filter by holding it above the area you want filled
  • Slowly shake the filter over the designated area

Note that any extra powders on it sides can either be cleared with the cloth rag or can be merged with the next colour for a beautiful effect. After filling one portion, draw free hand designs over it using the marble (white) powder. Ensure your hand doesn’t touch the floor while doing this. You can make the rangoli as big as you want. I take 30 to 45 minutes for a decent sized one. Just try and enjoy the “wow” feeling once you finish it.

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Thattai

This is one snack which has impressed me not only with its taste but also with the ease of making it in bulk. The secret lies in the way you press the thattais. So whenever there is a need for a snack in large quantities, thattai wins hands down. So when it was time to make Diwali sweets and snacks, I couldn’t resist including this one in the list 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • Raw rice flour – 2 cups
  • Urad dal powder – 2 tbl spoons
  • Fried gram powder – 2 tbl spoons
  • Channa dal – 4 tsp (soaked for about 1 hr)
  • White til seeds – 2 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1/4 tsp (or as per taste)
  • Asafoetida – 2 pinches
  • Butter / hot oil – 1 tbl spoon
  • Salt to taste

Make a soft, firm dough with the above ingredients.  Turnover a plate and spread a clean, wet cotton cloth over it.

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Take small balls of the dough, keep them on the cloth and press with your hands into thin thattais. Poke the thattais with a fork so that they don’t puff up too much while frying (which spoils the crispness).  You can also wet your hands as well as the cloth often to ensure easy patting and handling of the thattais before sliding them into the hot oil. Fry them until golden brown.

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This way, by using a cloth, you can make huge batches and therefore the possibility of a making a large number of thattais at one go. You can also use a polythene sheet instead of a cloth, but you will have to use oil instead of water and it might get messier than the cloth method. I feel the use of a cloth makes the thattais a lot easier to make and healthier to munch on.

So, why don’t you go give them a try? Let me know how they turned out.