Pepper Murukku

pepper murukku2

The weather in Seattle is quite predictable – it either rains or it doesn’t. 🙂 This Saturday was the former kind. It is said that even if you walk in the Seattle drizzle for 10 minutes you hardly get wet, and true locals hardly ever carry umbrellas. That’s not what happened… It rained like crazy – and it just poured. All plans of going out ruined, we sat by the window watching the rain slash against the windows.

It was a perfect time for a crunchy deep fried snack. I also wanted something that I could store and use as an after school/work snack over the course of the week. I decided I would make murukku and was inspired by one of my childhood favorites ‘Pepper Thattais’ to flavor the murukku with just pepper and salt. I coarsely ground the pepper using a mortar and pestle and added the fresh pepper flavor to the murukku flour. By the time the rain stopped, we sat there munching on these tasty murukkus.

I kept the pepper flavor fairly mild, as my son loves murukkus and munches on them every evening for an after school snack. If making purely for adults, you can use up to 2 tbsp of pepper.

pepper murukku5

Ingredients:
2 cups rice flour
3/4 cup pottukadalai/dalia/fried gram dal
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black sesame seeds
2-3 tbsp butter. softened
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

Method:
Process the dalia/pottukadalai to a fine powder and sift the powder to get rid of any big pieces. Measure out 1/2 cup of the pottukadalai maavu/dalia flour and set aside.

Place the black pepper and cumin seeds in a mortar and crush to a coarse powder. You can also use a tsp of coarsely ground black pepper using a pepper mill. The key here is to freshly crack the pepper for optimum flavor.

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In a bowl, take the rice flour, fried gram dal flour, asafoetida, crushed pepper and cumin seeds and black sesame seeds. Add the butter and salt and mix everything together until the butter crumbles into the flour. Slowly add cold water and make a soft dough. Taste for salt.

pepper murukku1

Heat oil in a pan and fill the murukku press with the dough. I used the thenkuzhal achu for this. Press directly into the oil making a large murukku. Let it cook, using a slotted spoon, gently turn the murukku and let cook the other side. Drain on paper towels. Let cool and break it up into pieces. (You can choose to make shaped thenkuzhal murukkus or any other shape murukku. I chose this, as its free form and very easy to make.)It is important to have the oil over medium heat, so that the murukku cooks all the way through.

Store in an airtight container. It lasts up to 2 weeks, if you don’t finish it off by then. 🙂

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Verdict: A super quick, easy and tasty snack that is crunchy and munchy. The pepper added a very different dimension to the taste of the murukku. These are very addictive, I am even munching on these as I write this post. 🙂

Sending this to ‘Whats with my cuppa’, event series by UK Rasoi. Also sending to ‘Kids Delight – Back to Hostel’ food, event series by Srivalli. Also sending to Bon Vivant – Kid’s Delight and ‘Lets Cook – For Kids’.

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