Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Janthikalu (Murukulu)

I have seen cookbooks on lentils, rice and on vegetables but never a cookbook dedicated to flours. I am glad that Santhi of Me and My Kitchen, the host of Jihva for Ingredients for August chose a topic covering all types of grain flours to feature for Jihva.

Like Linda, I also had several ideas for JFI, but decided to go with old classic crunchy snack - Janthikalu (murukulu). For us, the best snack foods are made at home, so for our vacation trip last week and to munch during our travel, I had prepared janthikalu (murukulu), using rice flour, gram flour (besan) and moong dal flour. For seasoning I have added salt, chilli powder, cumin, ajwan (carom seeds), sesame seeds and mashed potato. Deep-fried in peanut oil (I find that peanut oil works best for deep-frying and tastes delicious) in batches, janthikalu are our favorite snack item and my entry to JFI~Flour.

Thanks Santhi for hosting JFI and looking forward to reading the recap.

Recipe in detail - Here.


Ingredients for janthikalu and cookie press with different discs to prepare janthikalu


Dough is ready for placing in cookie press and for deep frying


Deep frying janthikalu in peanut oil


Janthikalu - for JFI~Flour

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Gram Flour (Besan), Rice Flour, Moong Flour, Jihva For Ingredients (Tuesday August 1, 2006 at 7:44 pm- permalink)
Comments (25)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Mirchi Bajji ~ Hyderabadi Style

Some foods I cook for healthy body and some for mental health. Mirchi bajji belongs to later category for me. Cravings and nostalgia motivate me to cook this deliciously hot recipe. Hyderabad, the capital city of my home state Andhra Pradesh has a unique recipe for stuffed bajjis. I have already blogged about mirchi bajjis with different stuffing’s from different regions in India but thought this famous Hyderabadi style mirchi bajji deserves one more post dedicated to it.

Chilli bajjis, the popular street food are incredibly easy to prepare at home and make an excellent way to begin almost any special meal or they can be served as a light meal/snack on busy days. Because we remove the middle thick white vein that carries the seeds, these chilli bajjis are surprisingly mild and not that hot at all.


Reducing the spice kick of chillies by removing the white vein with seeds.

Recipe:
(for 20 chillies)

Preparing the filling to stuff the chillies:
Sesame seeds - 3 tablespoons
Dried coconut powder - 3 tablespoons
Coriander seeds (dhania) - 1 teaspoon (dry roast these 3 to pale gold color)
Salt - ¼ teaspoon
Tamarind juice - 1 tablespoon
Take them all in a blender or spice mill - make a smooth paste without adding water. Remove to a cup.

Mirchi (Chillies) Preparation:
Pick 20 straight, plump, healthy looking chillies. Wash and dry them in a kitchen towel. With a sharp knife make a vertical slit in the middle of chilli on one side. Keep the ends intact (see the photo above). Insert the knife tip and pluck the thick white vein in the middle along with the seeds. Usually it will come off nicely with a sharp knife. After preparing all chillies in this way, start stuffing. Fill the gap with the sesame filling nice and evenly one by one and keep them aside on a plate.

Preparing the batter to dip stuffed chillies:
Besan (gram flour) - 2 cups, sieved
Rice flour - ¼ cup, sieved
Salt, cumin and ajwan (vaamu) - ½ tsp each
Take them all in a vessel, mix to combine. Adding water, prepare medium thick batter of thick buttermilk consistency.

Deep-frying:
Take about 3 to 4 cups of peanut oil in a deep bottomed skillet or kadai. Heat the oil on medium-high. One by one dip the bajjis in batter and gently drop from the sides of kadai into hot oil and deep fry until golden. Remove to a paper towel covered plate and let cool a minute or two. Serve with some limejuice sprinkled and finely sliced onions and tomatoes on the side.
(I’ve dipped the bajjis in batter again and double fried them for that true taste.)


Mirchi Bajjis with Chickpea Guggullu and Watermelon Granita (Ice) with Cherries
Our Comforting Meal and My Entries to
Santhi’s JFI~Flour and also to Revathi’s FMR~Comfort Foods

Watermelon Granita with Cherries
Watermelon juice, limejuice mixed and frozen for about 4 hours. The ice is crushed (gently with a hammer) and cut cherries are added before serving

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Green Chillies, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Flour(Pindi), Gram Flour (Besan), Rice Flour, Cherries, Peppers, Jihva For Ingredients (Monday July 31, 2006 at 3:18 pm- permalink)
Comments (46)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Murukulu (Janthikalu, Chakli)

We created our own winter holiday custom; making murukulu, our favorite savory snacks. Vijay’s birthday comes during this month, and he loves murukulu more than anything. So, I make them in large quantity for his b’day and also for us, to snack all throughout the month of December, the traditional holiday season here.

Murukulu and hot tea, South Indian style, under the gorgeous golden rays of wintry Sunset.

Murukulu and Tea, served in a traditional Andhra way, on one fine evening

For the uninitiated, murukulu are India’s snack food. They are made with spiced up rice and lentil flour dough, pressed using a mold into beautiful round coils, then deep-fried in oil. Krum. karum is the sound they make when munched. Indian grocery shops usually carry several varieties of these snacks, try them out first, before trying out the recipe. For who know, love and want to try making murukulu at home, here is the recipe.

Recipe:

2 cups - Rice flour
1/2 cup - Gram flour (Besan)
1/2 cup - Moong flour (Pesara Pindi)

1/4 cup - sesame seeds
1 teaspoon each - cumin and ajwan/vaamu (carom seeds)
1/2 teaspoon each- red chilli powder and salt
Pinch of baking powder

Cooked Potato, Moong flour, Rice flour, Gram flour (besan), sesame seeds, Molds to make different shape murukulu and on the plate Red chilli powder, Ajwan seeds, baking powder, salt and Cumin

Some tips for good quality murukulu:

1. Boiled and Mashed Potato - a tip from my attamma for soft yet crunchy murukulu. One small potato will do for the above measurements. To make the dough more easy to work with, and as emulsifier, she substituted the ghee with the boiled and mashed potato paste. It is a great tip that works.

2. Peanut oil for deep frying - I find it that murukulu tastes great when deep-fried in peanut oil. I tried canola, corn oil… They go rancid only after 15 minutes on high heat and murukulu also taste almost bitter.

Muruku maker with discs - You can buy it in almost all major Indian grocery/appliance shops here in US, or you can try online stores. Cookie press like Sawa or Cookie guns are also good for muruku making.

Prepared dough for murukulu making cylinder shaped log with the dough and dropping it into the muruku maker

Preparation:

Sieve and mix together the flours. Add the sesame seeds, pureed potato paste, red chilli powder, baking powder, salt, cumin and ajwan seeds. Make a soft dough by adding the water gradually. Dough shouldn’t be too stiff. Take small portion of dough and make a cylindrical shaped log and drop it into the muruku mold, like shown in the photo above.

Pressing the dough into muruku shape using muruku maker into hot oil Making of Murukulu- after 5 minutes in hot oil

Deep Frying:

In a wok like deep, sturdy vessel, heat the peanut oil to hot. With your hands, press the muruku mold over the hot oil, making concentric circles, so that the coils of dough come out and drop into the hot oil in circle shape. When you are practiced at making them, you can get two to three circles of dough coils, successfully. My level of expertise at making these beautiful circles is a hit and miss. Anyway you make them, they will turn out, one tasty, crunchy snack, so don’t stress out too much about circles and technique, I don’t.

Fry both sides till golden, and then remove. It takes approximately 5 minutes to fry one batch. Repeat till all the dough is used. Let them cool and store in an airtight container.

During frying, always keep the stove heat on very high. Just by changing the discs, one can make several different shaped murukulu. Shammi of Food in the Main, made recently ribbon shaped muruku for Diwali. I usually use medium round holes disc and star shaped holes disc. The ones photographed here are made using the star shaped holes disc.

Golden Murukulu - Photo taken in evening Sun light
A plate of Murukulu

Recipe Source: Attamma (MIL)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Sesame Seeds, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Gram Flour (Besan), Rice Flour, Moong Flour (Monday December 5, 2005 at 2:28 am- permalink)
Comments (53)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Stuffed Green Chilli Bajjis (Mirapakaya Bajjilu)

Stuffed green chilli bajjis - whole green chillies are filled with different kinds of mixtures then dipped in gram flour batter and deep fried in oil. They are often served as accompaniment to a main meal in South India, but they are delicious as an appetizer/first course with a cup of yogurt on the side or with a glass of water:)-.

Besan Batter, Slit and deseeded green chillies floating in salted water, 3 different stuffings and green chillies filled with stuffing

Recipe:
(For 10 to 15 green chillies)

Green chillies - Special type of green chillies are used to make stuffed bajjis. You can find them usually in Indian grocery shops. Select straight green chillies, wash and dry them first. Take a green chilli, make a slit lengthwise in the middle, keeping the ends intact. With a knife or a spoon remove the seeds, clean the insides and make space for stuffing. Put these slit, cleaned green chillies in bowl of salted water. If you are sensitive to green chillies, it’s better to wear gloves, take heed of Mrs D and Chopper Dave advise.

Stuffing: I’ve prepared three different kinds of stuffing. (I’ve had them already in my kitchen, what I did was just put them together).

First one is my favorite, traditional Raayala Seema fare that my mother prepares at home:

Half cup of roasted chana dal(dalia), 2 tablespoons of dry coconut powder and tamarind juice, 1 tsp of cumin, 1/4 tsp of salt - powder them together.

The second type of stuffing is what one can find in bajjis from street side stalls in Hyderabad. Very famous and long lines in front of these stalls for bajjis, particularly during monsoon season.

Half cup of sesame seeds, 1 tsp each of coriander seeds and cumin (all three roasted), 3 tablespoons of coconut powder and tamarind juice - mixed and made into thick paste.

The third variety is more of a North Indian fare, learned from a friend.

I had some leftover potato curry - (Fried potato and onions seasoned with garam masala powder) - I reheated the curry in microwave and mashed the potatoes into thick paste.

Batter: One cup of gram flour (besan), quarter cup of rice flour, pinch of baking soda, salt to taste and half to one glass of water - mix them all thoroughly into thick batter (more like dosa/pancake batter consistency).

Oil - Peanut oil for deep-frying.

green chillies filled with different types of stuffing - all ready for a dip in the batter and fry in hot oil
Green chillies filled with 3 different kinds of stuffing

Fill up the gap with stuffing of all the green chillies one by one and keep them on a plate. Again, one by one, dip them into the batter, drop them gently into hot oil, deep-fry them until golden, turning frequently. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain well on absorbent paper towels.

If you want your bajjis more like street stall bajjis, what you have to do is, first dip each green chilli into batter fully, slide the side opposite of slit side onto edge of vessel, so that side of green chilli has no batter covering it and will be in direct contact with the hot oil, when deep fried. That exposed green chilli will taste crunchy.

But for an authentic taste of street food, double dip and fry again. (Dip the fried green chillibajjis in batter, this time coating them all around and deep fry in hot oil till golden. You can see both varieties in the picture below.)

Stuffed Green Chilli Bajjis (Mirchi Bajjis)
Stuffed green chilli bajjis - both, single and double dipped and fried.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Green Chillies, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Gram Flour (Besan), Rice Flour, Peppers (Wednesday November 2, 2005 at 8:44 pm- permalink)
Comments (35)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org