Ribbon Pakoda

Posted by Beyond Curries | Friday, July 03, 2009 | , , , , , , , | 9 comments »

The cuisine of Tamil Nadu has a vast variety of snack items (usually called bhakshanam in Tamil) and Murukku is the most famous among the multitude. There are different types of murukku but the base is quite similar for all. It all starts with rice flour with a combination of one or more lentil flours and seasonings. The flours along with a small quantity of butter (for the "melt in your mouth" texture) is mixed with little water to form a dough and is extruded in hot oil using a murukku press (a mechanical device specifically designed to make different shapes of murukku which is quite similar to the modern day cookie press).

Ribbon pakoda (or murukku) is one of the types of murukku which is quite popular in Tamil Nadu. It's spicier than its other counterparts. There are countless methods to prepare this murukku and the following is my version of preparing it. I use readily available rice flour and chickpea flour to prepare it. My mother usually soaks chana daal with little rice and red chillies, grinds it into a smooth paste and prepares this murukku. The ratio of the flours used can also be different than what I have used. I have incorporated one thing which my grandmother usually does while preparing snacks like murukku. She mixes a small portion of powdered pottu kadalai (dalia) to give extra crispness. Sending these cripsy and delicious Ribbon Pakodas to EC's WYF: Fried Sanck Event. Now to the recipe.

Ribbon Pakoda
Ribbon Pakoda

Recipe: Ribbon Pakoda
Prep & Cooking Time: 30 mins
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner
Makes: 10-12 medium size ribbon pakodas
Shelf Life: Around 1 month when stored in air tight container
Recipe/Post by: Madhuram

1½ cups Chickpea Flour/Besan
1½ cups Rice Flour
¼ cup Dalia, powdered
1 to 2 tablespoons Red Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida Powder/Hing
3 tablespoons Butter (softened at room temperature)
Salt as per taste
Water as required
Oil for frying

Special Utensils:
Murukku Press (Acchu)
Deep Frying Pan
Slotted Ladle (to drain the oil while removing the murukku)

About the Murukku Press:

Ribbon Pakoda Dough & Press
Murukku Press

The press has 3 parts. A hollow tube (where the dough has to be placed), the bottom of which has to be covered by a screwable metal insert and the heavy metal press which goes inside the hollow tube. Always clean all the parts of the press and wipe it dry before using it. The muruku press comes with different types of inserts. For ribbon pakoda we have to use the one with 2 hyphen like small slots.

For the dough:
  1. Take a large bowl and mix together all the flours, butter and seasonings and keep it aside.
  2. Take another small bowl and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup (depending on the size of the ribbon pakoda you want) of the flour mix and add 2-3 tablespoons of water to form a pliable ball of dough. It should not be very stiff like poori dough and not very soft like chapathi dough, but somewhere in between. If the dough is very stiff, it will be very hard on your hands to press the down and if its very loose the ribbon pakoda will absorb a lot of oil.
  3. Also taste the dough to check for the required amount of spice and salt.

For deep frying:
  1. Heat oil for frying in a deep and heavy bottomed pan (Kadai) while preparing the dough.
  2. Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small piece of the dough in the oil and it should float atop almost immediately. If the oil is in high heat reduce it to medium. When frying at high heat the snack will become red very quickly but the inside will be chewy and raw. If the heat is very low, the ribbon pakoda will not be crispy and will also absorb a lot of oil. So the temperature of the oil is very important for deep frying snacks.
  3. When the dough is ready, grease the inside of the press with some oil/non stick cooking spray. Now put the ball of dough inside the hollow tube and insert the top portion of the press. Take it over to the hot oil and apply even pressure in circular motion so that strands of dough will slowly release in the oil. The size of the murukku will depend on the size of the frying pan you are using. You can make it big or small.

  4. Deep fry dough

  5. Fry it until it is golden brown and the sizzling sound of the oil stops.
  6. With a slotted ladle remove the ribbon pakoda and drain the excess oil by lightly pressing it against the side of the kadai and transfer it to a paper towel.
  7. Once cool store it in an air tight container and it keeps well even for a month.

Special Notes/Tips:
  • Usually water is also added straightaway after mixing the flours but I follow Mallika Badrinath's tip of preparing individual batch of dough for each ribbon pakoda, so that the dough does not dry or secretes water and the ribbon pakoda also retains its crispness for an extended duration.
  • Addition of garlic is purely optional. In Chennai there is this very famous sweet and snacks stall called Archana's and I'm an addict for the garlic ribbon pakoda they sell there. I tried to mimic it and also had garlic powder at home so used it.

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  1. Nags // 3 July 2009 at 18:54  

    A beginner recipe for ribbon pakoda? whoah! :)

  2. Pooja // 3 July 2009 at 21:08  

    Love pakodas and was planning to make for a long time! But I dont have the mould and wondering where I could get it! The pakodas look crunchy n delicious! Addition of garlic powder is new to me :)

  3. Varunavi // 4 July 2009 at 11:18  

    Lovely pakodas,i did this last week and kids enjoyed it :)

  4. Hari Chandana // 4 July 2009 at 15:17  

    Lovely pakodaas.. looks soo yummy and perfect.. :)

  5. bindiya // 4 July 2009 at 21:04  

    What awesome and tempting pics!love your blog!!

  6. Alka // 5 July 2009 at 17:25  

    Just craving for something like this in this wet wet season...a cup of coffee or tea will be a boon.So am i invited?

  7. Divya Vikram // 6 July 2009 at 09:16  

    Looks too good Madhu. I too make it with the readymade flours.

  8. EC // 10 July 2009 at 11:21  

    We also make smaller pieces of these and add up to mixture during Diwali to get more quantity for distribution..looks yumm, thanks for the entry

  9. Pavani // 10 July 2009 at 22:48  

    Krum. krumm.. crunchy fried goodies are welcome anytime in our home (though its not me who's eating, but its my better half munching on them all day long). Thanks for the detailed recipe, will give it a try.