South Indies: Thenkolalu/Thenkuzhal

Sunday, September 16, 2012

So, What's cooking for Ganesh Chaturthi?  Like every year, there's going to be a wide array of sweets & savories made as an offering to Lord Ganesha. Afterall he loves eating. We already made a huge batch of Kodubales & they are safely stored away so that no one eats them before they are offered to the Lord.
We also made some Thenkolalu/Thenkuzhal today. Thenkolalu ( in Kannada ) or Thenkuzhal ( in Tamil ) is a traditional deep fried savoury snack made during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi/ Krishna Janmashtami & even Deepavali. Okay, you can even make it on other days, just to munch on something with your Filter Coffee ( if you have the patience to deep fry ) There are several versions to this recipe,  where the proportion of Rice Flour: Urad Dal flour differs slightly. Here's how we make it at home
You Will Need:
  • 3 cups Rice flour
  • 1 cup Urad dal
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp hot oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • A generous pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil to deep fry ( I used refined Groundnut Oil)

How To:

In a skillet, dry roast urad dal on low flame for about 5-8 mins until aromatic. Do not allow them to change colour. Allow them to cool. Once cool, grind into a smooth powder using a mixer/food processor

In a dry bowl, add all the dry ingredients together. Add melted butter. Now add water little at a time to form a soft pliable dough. Set aside

In a heavy bottomed Kadhai, Heat oil to deep fry. Once the oil is hot enough, take out a tbsp of oil, add it to the dough & knead again.

Fix the 3 round attachment into the chakli maker/murukku press.  Take a small amount of dough & place it inside the murukku press. Keep about 3-4 steel ladels handy. Grease them with oil. As you press the dough into each ladle, rotate the murukku press into circles.

Quickly slide them into the kadhai & deep fry until the the bubbling & hissing action subsides. Flip them once or twice in between, like say a couple of mins after they go into the oil. Deep fry till it turns slightly golden yellow in color. Once done, remove with a slotted spoon & drain on paper towels. Allow them to cool completely & transfer into an air-tight jar.

  • Fry 4-5 Thenkokalus at a time, depending on the size of your frying pan. You don't want to over crowd the pan.
  • You can replace cumin seeds with Sesame seeds if you wish to.
  • Do not knead the dough well before time & allow it to rest. It tends absorbs more oil as you deep fry.
  • You can press the Thenkolalu directly into the kadhai, if you are used to it. But if you are a novice, do not try it. I prefer pressing the Thenkolalu onto a ladle & sliding them into the oil. It's much safer this way

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