In search of a good murukku

Parimala Saminathan brings the taste and goodness of homemade snacks to her range of murukkus and thattais

August 24, 2017 04:14 pm | Updated 04:14 pm IST

Parimala Saminathan

Parimala Saminathan

If there’s one thing that our friends overseas can never get enough of,it’s our savoury Indian snacks. Among the lot, the murukkus are a clear winner. They insist that it’s the perfect nibble accompaniment to a glass of chilled wine, especially during the summer months. So,it doesn’t really matter if it’s a work trip or leisure, murukku- packing is always a big deal. Not only must they be transported with minimal breakages but special care must be taken to avoid any seepage of oil that may have disastrous effects on clothing.

It is with great pride that we carry these food gifts which are unique to our part of the world. Hand made murukkus require special skills. The dough is swiftly twisted to make concentric spirals before it dries out. The dough must be of a certain consistency which facilitates shaping and handling. These skills are hard to come by and it is rarer still to find people who use natural ingredients.

When our regular murukku suppliers were unavailable,we asked around for options and were told to head to Krishnasamy Nagar and ask for “Parimala, the lady who makes murukku ”. Despite the vague details we did exactly that and landed at her doorstep. She was out but we got her mobile number. And paid her a visit the following morning.

Parimala Saminathan operates out of a well-organised, efficient space in a covered portion of her back yard. A small table top grinder on one corner of the area hums away, churning the pale peach coloured batter in rhythm. On another table is a long white muslin cloth (washed and sun dried after each use) on which is a brass hand press. A heavy cast iron pan filled with oil is set over a high flame ready receive and fry several kilos of kai and pidi murukkus. A small print-out stuck on the side wall says, ‘Narayana Foods’. Though her daughters have created a Facebook page she says that it is mainly for those who want a visual of her products. Word of mouth is what has worked for her all these days.

Parimala offers samples of the different savouries and it tastes just like it would if made in our own kitchens. The goodies are arranged neatly in a tall cupboard and the area is spotless. The women working there smile and say they take special care to ensure cleanliness and hygiene. Ghee and butter are used for preparing the dough and ground nut oil for frying. Parimala says she is open to the idea of switching over to cold pressed oil and adds that packing she would be happy to pack her savories for her clients in their own dabbas if they brought them along.

Parimala’s quality of products justify their price that may be a tad higher than others. She decides on her work plan the previous night and the routine commences early the next day. She hires more helpers when the orders are big for festive occasions. I promise myself that I will introduce my visiting friends to the lady who hand makes their favourite snack.

Contact her at #77 School Road, Krishnasamy Nagar, Coimbatore. 894134455 (Between 9.00am and 5.00pm only). Orders must be place at least 48 hours ahead. She makes different kinds of murukkus both plain and flavoured as well as thattais and a few traditional sweets.

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