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Wikimedia Commons

Murukku coils made from rice flour

Be it Deepavali or Christmas, in southern cities, late at night, a savoury aroma wafts into the streets. This is usually from the hot oil in which rice flour is dipped into. Out come golden, crunchy snacks, and the whole neighbourhood knows about it.

Originating from the Tamil tradition, 'murukku' is a staple. Even if it is not a festive occasion, it is always welcome on the table. The word murukku comes from the Tamil word that means 'twisted'. It derives its name from the coils and twists it is shaped into while frying.

The primary component of murukku is rice flour Rolling out coiled shapes from the dough Image credit: Wikimedia commons

The primary component of murukku is rice flour. Like most festive treats, rice is soaked for a certain number of hours depending on how crunchy or soft the murukku has to be. It is then ground with spices and mixed with butter to keep it soft. A clean, white cloth is used to absorb moisture and act as a piping bag. The shape of the murukku is formed by pressing hard and swiftly turning. This shape is placed on a ladle and fried.

The aroma involved in the process of making murukkus comes mostly from the mixing and the frying. Frying the murukku Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The aroma involved in the process of making murukkus comes mostly from the mixing and the frying. It doesn't last very long. The crispy fried end product is placed in a dry container and either distributed to other households or eaten at every possible opportunity. Each household has a unique way of making murukku. Some of them use more spice, some use less; some add in cumin seeds, some add colour, sometimes, the shape varies, and the crunch is different. On festive evenings, the women of the house do the rounds around the neighbourhood exchanging wishes and snacks. Murukku is sure to be a part of the platter.

Keywords: Deepavali, Snacks, Murukku, Savoury, festive occasion.


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