The fact that food bloggers are expert cooks is a common misconception. At least in my case, I can say that I am a good cook. But I am far from being an expert. If I was really an expert, then I would have posted the recipe for chaklis ages ago. It's sad that it took me several attempts to master my favorite snack. I had tried making this dish at least five times previously. And each time I ended up with a disastrous mess. I never got the perfect spirals. The dough would just break into small bits. I had almost given up on making this. But then, all those diwali recipes on the blogosphere made me want to try making chaklis once again.
Chakli or murukku is a traditional snack that is prepared during any auspicious occasion. Be it marriage, or baby shower or festivities like diwali or Ganesh chaturti, you are sure to have chaklis on the menu. So you see, this savory, crunchy snack is a part of every auspicious menu.
I have always loved murukkus with black lentils in them. But I could not get hold of the urad dal flour in the super markets near by. And my mixer is not in such a good shape that it can powder lentils. I was looking for some alternatives when I came across the murukku recipe on Deepthi's blog. Her recipe used cooked urad dal to make the murukkus. It sounded perfect. So there I was, trying to make my favorite snack again. This time, the chaklis came out perfect without any breaks or mess. To me, this recipe is a keeper.
To make these delicious spirals, the murukku press is required. Since I wanted my murukkus like mother's I used the old fashioned wooden press to make the murukkus. Although, the murukkus came out great, my poor arms had to pay the price. My arms were sore with all the pressing and they ached for the rest of the day. To prevent this, you can use the press where you can turn the dough into spirals rather than pressing it.
Do not fret if you do not get perfect spirals the first time. Even if the murukkus are shapeless, they will still taste delicious!!
Benne chakli or murukku recipe:
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 30min
Makes- approximately 25-30 chaklis
Rice flour- 4cups (my cup measured 80ml)
Urad dal- 1 cup
Salt-1tsp or to taste
Asafetida or hing- a large pinch
Paprika powder- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Butter- 2tbsp, melted
Oil to deep fry
- Pressure cook the urad dal in 1-1/4 cups of water for 3-4 whistles or till completely cooked. Mash the dal and keep aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the rice flour with the salt, paprika powder, asafetida, cumin seeds and butter and mix well.
- Add the cooked urad dal and mix well. Add water little by little and mix to form a soft but firm dough. Divide the dough into 4-5 equal portions and keep aside.
- Grease the insides of the chakli or murukku press with a little oil and fix the plate with one star.
- Place one portion of the dough in the press and place the other potion of the mould through the other hole one the top and press the dough onto a greased plastic sheet. Slightly rotate the murukku press round and round to get the spirals.
- Remove the pressed dough from the plastic sheet and drop it into the hot oil. Fry the murukku on med high heat for a min. Reduce the flame to low and fry for a min more till golden brown.
- Remove the fried murukku from hot oil and drain them on paper towels. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the dough and serve with hot coffee or tea