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A behind-the-scenes look into the making of this much-loved Deepavali snack.
Deepavali embodies the spirit of victory - light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance. A celebration filled with lights and colours, it’s a triumphant proclamation of the best within ourselves. It is typically celebrated over five days with colourful decorations, oil lamps, kolams, fireworks, and of course, food and snacks. Deepavali is a vibrant, colourful, joyous celebration expressed through the medium of food. Sweets and snacks play a significant part in Deepavali; they’re shared and exchanged among family and friends as a form of blessing.
Murukku is probably the most common and recognisable Indian snack in Malaysia. With origins from the Tamil Nadu state, its name is derived from the Tamil word for ‘twisted’ which refers to its unique shape. Murukku is typically made from a base of rice and urad dal (mungo bean) flour, which is then mixed with water, salt, butter and sesame seeds. The mix is then gently kneaded into a dough, before being pressed through a mould. The twisty spirals are then deep fried in vegetable oil until golden brown.
Auntie Mutu has been making Murukku almost her entire life. Every Deepavali, she makes a variety of snacks and sweets for family and friends; snacks such as Nei Urundai (Ghee Balls), Achu Murukku (Rose Cake), Coconut Candy, Oma Podi (Snack Mix), and of course, Murukku. Auntie Mutu’s variation of Murukku includes a generous sprinkle of cumin seeds and carom seeds for a little spice with each bite.
Speed and consistency are vital in making good Murukku. “You can’t wait too long between steps as the dough dries up easily, especially in a hot kitchen.” She advises, “... and a firm hand is required, from the kneading to the pressing.”
By Chris Lim
Photos by Chris Lim
Video by Shaun Ng
Special Thanks to Auntie Mutu
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