Mullu Murukku / Manamkombu

South Indians usually make this Mullu Murukku on special occasions.

Mullu Murukku Recipe - Iyengar Manangombu / Manamkombu | Chakli recipe | South Indian Murukku - step by step pictures - Foodomania.com

I never cease to marvel at the number of unexplored traditional recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation in every cuisine. While I do appreciate modern cuisine, I find myself going back to my roots more often these days. How did my ancestors live? Were they fit? How did they get their source of protein? And most importantly – what did they eat?

To get my questions answered, I often pick my father’s brains. He grew up in a tiny village in South India with a family of around 20 people. Money was scarce and children were many. Cooking for that many people was no easy task. But his grandma did it anyway, graciously. As I’m uncovering stories from his past, I’m discovering many traditional south Indian recipes (Iyengar recipes, to be specific) that he has grown up eating.

This deep-fried snack is one such classic delicacy. A quick search on Google will reveal a few different variations of the same and even different names for the same snack. The snack derives its name from a ‘thorn’. Mullu is a Tamil word which literally translates to thorn. And because it has a thorny texture, it is called a Mullu Murukku.

To make these, you will need a Murukku Achchu or a murukku maker. It is a tool used to make the murukku. However, if you don’t make these kinds of dishes often and don’t want to buy one, I’ve also mentioned an easy alternative you can use to try this recipe. If you are a south Indian, you probably already know how delicious this snack is. And if you aren’t familiar with this – think of it like a spicy rice based crispy pakoda with an interesting texture.    

Mullu Murukku – Printable Recipe

Mullu Murukku / Manamkombu / Manangombu / Magizhampoo Murukku
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Thorny Snacks made in India
Author:
Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 40-50 small murukku
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (800 grams) Raw Rice Flour
  • 1 cup (200 grams) Moong Dal Flour (Pasi Paruppu or Payathamparuppu Flour)
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon Hing / Asafetida / Perungaayam
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds (jeera) or Sesame seeds (til)
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • Water, as required
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
Tools required
  • Murukku Achchu (Maker) with star attachment
  • Ziplock bag or Pastry bag with a tiny star nozzle as an alternative
Note - Raw Rice Flour (4 cups of Raw Rice will give around 5 cups of Flour)
  • It is best to use Rice & Dal flours that are freshly prepared. To make the flour -
  • Wash the raw rice 2-3 times, drain the water completely. Spread it on a cloth and dry it in the shade or under the fan. Let it dry completely.
  • Add it to a strong food processor or grinder (or if you have access to a flour mill) and grind to a fine powder
Note - Moong Dal Flour (1 cup of Dal will give around 1 and ¼ cup of Flour)
  • Dry roast moong dal until hot to touch. Let it cool. Then grind to a fine powder
Note - Flours Alternative
  • If you cannot make the flours at home, then feel free to buy them. But make sure it is fresh.
Note - Water
  • The exact quantity of water cannot be specified. You need to add as much of water required to make a soft dough. Keep adding 1-2 tablespoons at a time until the dough comes together and holds its shape
  • If you are making a large batch, it is advisable to keep making dough in parts so that it is soft and retains a golden color when fried. Making the dough ahead of time can make the snacks too brown too fast
Note - Butter
  • The more butter you use, the crispier is the murukku. But using too much will make it too fatty and leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Moreover, too much butter can make the snack so crispy that it may disintegrate.
Instructions
Murukku Maker (Achchu) & An Alternative
  1. To make this, you need the Murukku "Achchu" or the murukku maker. It is a tool which has various attachments that can be fitted to the bottom of this tool. Basically - the dough is stuffed into the lower half which has the attachments in the bottom. Using the upper half, the dough is squeezed out to form the murukku.
  2. If you're not familiar with this tool or you don't want to buy one, you can try another easier alternative - Buy a small star shaped nozzle to fit into pastry bags. You can fill a zip lock bag or pastry bag with the dough (which has the star nozzle fitted at the bottom). Then you can squeeze the murukku like you would any frosting. Kind of like squeezing out Churros.
Making the Murukku
  1. Heat the oil for deep frying in a wok or pan
  2. Sift together the 2 kinds of flours - raw rice flour and moong dal flour
  3. Add red chilli powder, cumin or sesame seeds, butter and salt. Mix with fingertips to form a coarse mixture. This ensures the butter is evenly distributed.
  4. Add water little by little and start mixing. Add enough to form a smooth dough that is soft to touch but not sticky.
  5. Fill the murukku achchu (maker) with the dough. Fit the star attachment to the bottom. Lay a clean kitchen cloth on the counter and work on it. Once you are confident, you can directly squeeze out the dough directly into the hot oil. Hold the tool with both hands. As you start gently pressing the upper half of the tool, move your hands in circular motion. You can do it as big as as small as you want.
  6. Gently lift off each Murukku with a ladle and drop it into medium hot oil. Fry on medium flame for 3-5 minutes or until the Murukku is golden brown and crisp.
  7. Remove onto a plate lined with tissues. Let it cool completely.
  8. Enjoy it at any time of the day!
  9. You can store this in a clean, air tight container at room temperature and it will stay fresh for almost a month.

Mullu Murukku Recipe – Step by step pictures

Sift together the flours and add the chilli powder, cumin, salt, red chilli powder and butter. Mix with your fingertips to form a coarse mixture. This ensures the butter is evenly distributed.
Mullu Murukku Recipe - Iyengar Manangombu / Manamkombu | Chakli recipe | South Indian Murukku - step by step pictures - Foodomania.com

Add water little by little and start mixing. Add enough to form a smooth dough that is soft to touch but not sticky.
Mullu Murukku Recipe - Iyengar Manangombu / Manamkombu | Chakli recipe | South Indian Murukku - step by step pictures - Foodomania.com

This is an “Achchu” or the murukku maker. There are various attachments that can be fitted to the bottom of this tool. Basically – the dough is stuffed into the lower half which has the attachments in the bottom. Using the upper half, the dough is squeezed out to form the murukku. If you’re not familiar with this tool or you don’t want to buy one, you can tru another easier alternative – Buy a small star shaped nozzle to fit into pastry bags. You can fill a zip lock bag or pastry bag with the dough (which has the star nozzle fitted at the bottom). Then you can squeeze the murukku like you would any frosting. Kind of like squeezing out Churros.
Mullu Murukku Recipe - Iyengar Manangombu / Manamkombu | Chakli recipe | South Indian Murukku - step by step pictures - Foodomania.com

This is what it looks like when you squeeze the dough trough the murukku achchu. For Manamkombu (Mullu murukku), you need to use the star shaped attachment. Lay a clean kitchen cloth on the counter and work on it. Once you are confident, you can directly squeeze out the dough directly into the hot oil. Hold the tool with both hands. As you start gently pressing the upper half of the tool, move your hands in circular motion. You can do it as big as as small as you want.
Mullu Murukku Recipe - Iyengar Manangombu / Manamkombu | Chakli recipe | South Indian Murukku - step by step pictures - Foodomania.com

Gently lift off each Murukku with a ladle and drop it into medium hot oil. Fry on medium flame for 3-5 minutes or until the Murukku is golden brown and crisp.
Mullu Murukku Recipe - Iyengar Manangombu / Manamkombu | Chakli recipe | South Indian Murukku - step by step pictures - Foodomania.com

Remove onto a plate lined with tissues. Let it cool completely.
Mullu Murukku Recipe - Iyengar Manangombu / Manamkombu | Chakli recipe | South Indian Murukku - step by step pictures - Foodomania.com

Enjoy it at any time of the day! You can store this in a clean, air tight container at room temperature and it will stay fresh for almost a month.
Mullu Murukku Recipe - Iyengar Manangombu / Manamkombu | Chakli recipe | South Indian Murukku - step by step pictures - Foodomania.com

Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to fill the mold and make the mullu murruku (apologies for the horrible quality! I used my mobile to record it)

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