Heat a small frying pan or kadai. Keep the heat to its lowest and add urad dal.
Begin to roast urad dal and keep stirring often when roasting the lentils.
Roast urad dal till they become aromatic or are light golden. Do not make them brown. Remove in a plate and let the roasted urad dal cool at room temperature.
Take the roasted urad dal in a small dry grinder jar or a small chutney grinder jar. Grind to a fine flour. Keep aside.
Meanwhile, spread oil on the murukku disc. Also spread some oil on the part of the murukku maker where the dough will be placed.
Making murukku dough
In a fine sieve, take rice flour. Also add the urad dal flour to the same sieve.
Next add red chilli powder, asafoetida powder and salt.
Sift the dry ingredients twice.
To the sifted flours add sesame seeds, carom seeds and ghee.
Mix everything very well. Then with your fingertips mix the ghee in the flour evenly. The mixture should resemble breadcrumbs.
Hold a small portion of the murukku mixture in your palms and it should hold itself together. It should not break or fall apart. If it breaks or falls apart, then add 1 to 2 teaspoons more of the ghee. Mix again very well and then check.
Now add water in parts and begin to mix and knead.
Keep on adding water in parts and knead very well.
You will need about 10 to 11 tablespoons of water. The amount of water needed will depend on the quality of rice flour. Check the taste of dough and add more salt if required.
Knead to a smooth and soft dough. Also keep the dough slightly moist, but do not make too moist or wet as then the murukku absorbs more oil.
Murukku has to be made as soon as you knead the dough, so keep everything ready before you shape and fry them.
Now divide the dough in two parts and add first part in murukku maker. Cover the second part of dough with a kitchen towel.
Before you begin to shape the murukku, keep oil in a kadai (wok) or frying pan to get heated. Keep the oil on a low or medium-low heat, so that it does not become very hot. Use any neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point.
Use butter paper or parchment paper squares. Cut them in squares and keep ready before you make murukku.
Press the murukku maker and move in rounds to get the concentric circles or spiral shape on the paper squares. Break the dough towards the end and press it to the last concentric circle of the spiral.
Tip 1 – If the murukku breaks while forming them, this means that the dough does not have enough moisture. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and knead the dough again.
Tip 2 – If you are not getting proper shape, this mean that the dough is too moist. Add some rice flour and knead again.
Make a batch of murukku. E.g make 3 to 5 murukku that you will be frying at a time.
Next test the hotness of the oil. Add a small piece of the murukku dough in the oil and it should come up gradually. If it comes up fast, the oil is hot, so reduce the heat. If it sticks or is at the bottom or comes up slowly, the oil is not hot enough, so increase the heat.
Take the butter paper with the murukku in your hands. Then take a small to medium sized wooden spatula and place it on the murukku gently.
Then gently turn over the spatula. The butter paper will be facing you. Lift the butter paper gently.
The murukku will be neatly placed on the wooden spatula.
Now gently tilt or place the spatula in oil, so that the murukku slides in the oil.
Add the remaining murukku also in this manner. Fry on a medium heat.
When they turn light golden, then flip them gently. Fry the second side.
Fry the murukku till the oil stops sizzling or till they become crisp and golden. Do not brown them too much. Turn over as needed for even frying.
Tip 3 – Check the first batch of murukku. If it looks like that the murukku has absorbed oil or breaks in oil, then add some rice flour, about 1 to 2 tablespoons and knead again. This happens if too much fat has gone in the dough.
Remove with a slotted spoon draining extra oil in the kadai or pan itself.
Place them on kitchen paper towels to soak extra oil.
Once they cool at room temperature, then store murukku in an air-tight box at room temperature.
Serve murukku as a tea-time snack.
Make sure the dough is of the correct texture and consistency. If it is too pasty or wet, you won't be able to shape the dough into the concentric spiral rings. To correct add a few tablespoons of rice flour and knead again.
If the dough is dry, it will break or tear while shaping. Add a few tablespoons of water. Mix and knead.
To make a spicier murukku, add about 1 teaspoon green chilli paste. You can also add about 1 teaspoon garlic paste together with the green chilli paste.
While deep frying, keep the heat to medium. Fry the murruku in batches in a moderately hot oil having about 180 to 190 degrees Celsius. The oil must not be smoking hot or warm. A very hot oil will burn or brown the murukku too quickly. A warm temperature will make them absorb more oil.
This recipe can be scaled to make a smaller batch or a larger batch.
Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 small murukku.