Monday, August 18, 2014

Thenkuzhal (Crisp Rice Spiral Snacks)

Thenkuzhal is a delicious crisp snack made from rice and urad or mung dal similar to another favorite, murukku.  In the old days people did not buy snacks from outside; the ladies of the house prepared them for the family. After the midday meal was served and cleaned up and everyone had a little rest, snacks were prepared. Although these snacks are especially made for special holidays, they are often made as teatime snacks also :D.

The Indians have a special machine made just for the purpose of preparing delicious noodle-like snacks from grains and legumes just like the Italian pasta machine which is used to extrude pasta in different shapes. The machine has many plates with different sizes and shapes to make different types of snacks. The dough is pressed through the machine into the hot oil and fried until crisp. As children, we loved breaking thenkuzhal to pieces to find the letters of the alphabet, shapes, or numbers!

NOTE: As always, please be careful when cooking with hot oil. Water and hot oil do not mix at all and can cause major injury if even a drop falls into the hot oil - with hot oil spattering with explosive violence!! It is best to concentrate on deep frying without any distractions. Please be safe!

8 - 10 Servings


2 cups Rice flour
1/2 cup Urad flour
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Tbsp Sesame seeds
2 Tbsp Earth Balance spread/coconut oil

Oil for deep frying


Bring a cup of water to a boil and add the salt; let it dissolve and cool completely to room temperature.

Combine the flours with the seeds and knead the Earth Balance or coconut oil into it.

Add the dissolved salt water without any sediment and form a dough adding an additional sprinkle of water if necessary to form a thick but not too stiff a dough.

Follow the directions from the manufacturer to use the Snack Press. Place a handful of dough in the container of the extruder and press to make little spirals into the oil carefully; do not crowd the oil.

Cook the thenkuzhal for a few minutes and flip carefully and gently to cook the other side.

Remove from oil when the noise subsides and thenkuzhal is pale golden; do not overcook.

Drain well on paper towels and allow to cool.

When completely cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Thenkuzhal will last for about 3-4 weeks; at our house though, it lasts may be 3 days max :-) !

Serve as a snack with tea, coffee or other beverages.  Enjoy!!

No comments: