Besan (Gram flour) - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - Melted - 1 tbsp
Cold Water - to knead the dough
Oil for frying
For the sugar syrup:
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup
Sift the Besan, rice flour and salt, until well mixed. Add cold water and knead the flour into a dough gently. Do not knead hard, else the murukku turns out hard and chewy. Add the heated ghee into the kneaded dough and keep aside.
In a heavy bottomed kadai, heat oil for a few minutes. Test the oil by just dropping a pinch of the dough, if it rises immediately and gets fried golden brown, then the oil is at the right temperature. If the dough stays at the bottom of the kadai for a few seconds wait for some more time before trying again. If the dough rises and gets browned too quickly, then lower the heat and wait before trying.
Have the dough filled into a murukku kozhai and ready to go.
When the oil is ready, start piping out the murukku into the oil directly. Use long straight strokes across the kadai. When the murukku turns golden brown, then sieve it out of the kadai and leave it in a utensil to drain out the excess oil. Break the murukku into manageable length pieces. Once the dough is all consumed, get started with the sugar syrup.
Combine water and sugar in a heavy bottomed kadai and heat on medium flame. Slowly start stirring, until the syrup falls in a long string when poured from a height. We call it Kambi Padham in tamil. If your fingers can take the heat, take the syrup in a laddle, use your thumb and fore finger to pick up a pinch and try to stretch the liquid by pulling your fingers in opposite directions, if the syrup does not break and stretches into a thin line, then it is done. Else let it cook for some more time.
When the syrup is ready, drop the murukku bits into the syrup and working quickly, mix them well so the murukku is covered with syrup on most sides.
Let it cool down and you can see the syrup crystallizing as it cools down. We call this process, "Paagu pookarthu".
When you see the whitish crystallized sugar on the murukku, they are ready to be devoured.
Verdict: This one is a regular item at home for festivals. This is simple and quick and turns out very good.
Tip: If making large batches, do not make the dough at one go. Make a little dough, finish frying that, make the next batch of dough and so on. If the dough is mixed for too long, before it gets into the oil the murukkus do not turn out crisp. They become chewy and do not taste good.