Murukku

Making this snack by twisting the dough with hand is rather tricky and time-consuming, but using a metal snack press is an easy alternative. This recipe makes enough to fill a four-quart bowl. It is a great snack with a cold glass of beer.

3 cups rice flour
1 cup urad flour
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons sesame seeds (preferably brown or black)
¼ teaspoon asafetida powder
6 to 8 cups vegetable oil (for deep-frying)

Combine rice flour, urad flour, salt, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, and asafetida, and mix thoroughly. Using just enough water, make a soft dough. Knead well. Heat the oil to 365°F in a heavy saucepan or a wok. Fit the metal snack press with a five-holed disk, and fill with dough. Press the dough directly into the oil. As the dough falls, move the press around in a circular motion so that it is distributed evenly in the oil. Deep-fry until the murukku is golden and crispy. Remove it from the oil, and drain. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let it cool to room temperature. Store murukku in airtight containers.

AMMINI RAMACHANDRAN