Festival Special

Murukku – Kai Murukku


Kai Murukku

Kai Murukku

Did you have those small competitions at home when you were a little kid? “Let’s see who finishes homework/dinner first, you or Avinash (my younger brother), whoever does, will get

to watch TV

the last piece of chocolate

to sit in the front seat in the car when we go out in the evening

an extra hour of computer play

These were standard bribes offered to me and my brother to order to ensure we did. Now I seem to be doing similar stuff with my 18-month-old boy.  “Finish this (tiny) spoon of applesauce and I’ll let you cycle outside.” Funnily, he understands it all but agrees/disagrees to that spoonful of baby food depending on his mood.

Krishna Jayanthi pooja 2013

Krishna Jayanthi pooja 2013

During Janmashtami/Krishna Jayanthi, my grandma used to organise these little contest for us cousins too. Each of us got to help make our favourite bhakshanam (sweetmeats and savouries) and whatever quantity we made, we’d get to keep it all for ourselves. Seedai, thattai and murrukku were (and are) standard fare for this festival. The kids would normally help shape the dough for the seedai (tiny marble sized fried balls of rice dough) and thattai (deep fried flat disks of rice flour about 2-3 inches across).

Thattai - Fried ones

Thattai – Fried ones. You can see the seedai in the background

I learnt to twist and shape murukku when I was in class 10 or so. The murukkus I refer to here are different from the ones made with a murukku press. We refer to those as thenguzhal or mullu thenguzhal. Murukku in Tambram coinage refers only to hand-twisted ones. It’s been ages since I made these. So, for Janmashtami this year, I decided to make some. Being out of touch, I had to rely on my memory in shaping these. Hence murukkus without any hole in the centre! Try making these. Once done, it gives such an “I did it!” feeling 🙂

kai murukku


Kai Murukku


Raw rice – 1 cup

Urad dal powder (ullutham paruppu) – 2 tbsp (see Note 1)

Butter – 2 tbsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

White sesame seeds – ½ tsp

Asafoetida – ¼ tsp

Oil to deep fry


Also a clean big sheet of plastic/banana leaf to shape the murukkus before frying them


Wash rice and spread out on a clean sheet of cloth

Once it seems dry, grind to as fine a powder as you can. Pass it through a fine sieve and discard the larger particles that get caught in the sieve (I skipped the sieving part and it became very difficult to shape the murukku

Take both powders in a large bowl. Add all the other dry ingredients and stir

Add softened butter and rub into the flour mix

Add enough water to form a soft dough

Heat oil in a wok/frying pan

Keep the plastic sheet ready. Lightly grease the palms of your hands

Take a lemon (rounded tablespoon) sized ball of dough and make it rope-like and thin from one end

With the fatter end of dough in your palm and the thinner end between the thumb, index and middle fingers twist the rope and lay it out into concentric circles

Carefully drop as many murukkus into the hot oil as you can without them overlapping

Using a slotted spoon turn them over when the bottom turns a golden brown

Remove from oil when golden brown on both sides and insides seem cooked and lay out on absorbent paper till cool


  1. Dry roast urad dal and grind to a fine powder. It is difficult to powder such a small quantity. So, you could powder 4-5 tbsp of urad dal. Use 2 tbsp of the powder in this recipe and keep rest for later
  2. If the oil’s too hot, the murukkus will turn brown too soon and not cook properly inside. If not hot enough, they’ll absorb too much oil and stay greasy and oily. So keep the flame on medium high. If oil seems too hot, you can reduce the heat for some time and then increase if required
Baby Krishna idol from Mathura

Baby Krishna idol from Mathura


This post is for Day 13 of the A-Z series Blogging Marathon for the month of Sept. Alphabet – M, Theme – Regional. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32


Logo courtesy : Preeti


17 thoughts on “Murukku – Kai Murukku

  1. Making kai murukku is an art for me, am yet to learn this from my mom, she makes fantastic swirls and i tried couple of times but still i couldnt succeed it.. Beautiful looking kai murkkus.

  2. This is surely an art and needs loads of patience and practice! Looks nice Nandhini.
    And I just can’t get to bribe my lil one. He doesn’t fall for bribes and does things the way he wants!

  3. That’s so nice reading about your competition Nandini..guess though I was never subjected to that, I do that now with my kids..it doesn’t work out much cos the one who doesn’t do, ends up crying and we then have a bigger problem to handle..lol..:)..I love everything you have on display, this year we didn’t do any of these..and missing them badly..everything looks so tempting!

  4. Wow murukku looks so delicious , crispy and falvorful. I always want to make but don’t have the maker. Now I know how to do that without it..

  5. Pingback: Baked Millet Thattai for Krishna Jayathi | foodiliciousnan

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