On the day I tried manoharam (sweet thenkuzhal), my daughter wanted me to make savory thenkuzhal for her. She is not a great fan of sweets (so unlike me.. now you know who she inherits that from :)) So, the very next day I decided to make savory thenkuzhal for her. And, my daughter was very particular about using the mold with 3 stars on it (she is so obsessed with shapes these days!!).
Urid dal flour - 1 tablespoon
Moong dal flour - 1/2 cup (optional)
Salt - to taste
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Hing - 2-3 pinches
Butter - 1 tablespoon (at room temperature)
Oil - for frying
Sesame seeds / Ajwain seeds - 1/2 tsp
Thenkuzhal achu - press & mold
Sieve the rice flour, urid dal flour and moong dal flour together. Knead the butter, hing, chilli powder, sesame seeds/ajwain (I used a very little mix of both. Too much of ajwain/sesame overpowers the taste) and salt together by hand. Add enough water to make a soft & pliable dough (Make sure dough is hard enough to put in the mold). Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot & ready, press the dough through the mold & make thenkuzhal.
Fry both sides until they are crispy & crunchy. Drain off excess oil and remove in a vessel. Crunch on few murukku while watching your favorite movie.
On a side note, I would have probably made one batch of 8-10 murukkus, and when pressing the last murukku I was all tired & sighing about having to stand in front of oil for the entire time. I still remember my (maternal) great grandma preparing different kinds of 'norukku' items (snacks) in batches and how she never complained about it. And, we never used to run out of snacks while she is around. My great grandma (Lakshmi 'patti' is her name, but we call her Geethamma) cooks with so much passion, love & interest in the hope of fulfilling her grandkids & great grandkids palate. She is known for her kindness, activeness & cooking abilities and whatever she prepares (right from every day samayal to tiffin varieties to snack varieties to sweet varieties to vathal varieties ... you name it and she would have cooked it for us) will simply be 'out of the world'. I am getting all nostalgic and its so overwhelming to think / write about her. She's so into everyone of us in our family that we still remember her & talk about her. She has truly touched our lives with her simplicity & hard-work. This post especially is dedicated to her. Patti, whatever I am cooking today is totally your influence (through my mom) and I am so proud to have inherited this talent of cooking from you! Thank you patti - We love you & miss you !!