You can find any of these, or all of them, in Indian households during festive seasons.
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Deepavali is right around the corner, and like all of Malaysia’s festivals, that naturally means lots of delicious Indian snacks and delicacies available. Most snacks seem pretty simple, featuring deep-fried flour with various spices– the control and precision required to make the perfect snack is almost an art.
But which is which and where can you buy them?
Murukku makes the top of the list because most Malaysians should have at least seen or tried it before.
The savoury snack is made with a mixture of rice flour, dhal flour, and seasoning. The dough is then pushed through the mould in circular motions and deep-fried in oil, leaving a crunchy, savoury end result of spiral goodness.
2. Sippi (Kuih Siput)
These savoury “chips” are often made spicy with a mouthful of umami. Shape-wise, they kind of look like shell pasta and are made in a similar fashion, with striped moulds.
However, kuih siput is an addictive snack. While it has similar ingredients to the murukku, savoury ingredients like dried shrimp, curry powder, cumin powder, are added to the dough for a truly yummy taste.
There are also sweet version of kuih siput, so whether you like them sweet or savoury, the kuih siput will be a delicious addition to your snack pile.
3. Achi Murukku (Kuih Bunga Ros)
You might recognize the shape of these rose-shaped crispy fritters, and that’s because they share the same shape and mould as the sweet beehive biscuits you’d find at Chinese New Year as well.
In fact, it actually is the same snack– Kuih Bunga Ros is most likely our version of rosette cookies, a similar lacy fried shell sweetened with powdered sugar. These rosette cookies are said to originate in Scandanavia, but many countries and cultures have similar fritters, including India!
The lacy crispy fritters are a delight to crunch on with a airy and light texture. You’d be tempted to eat 20 of these in a go!
Adhirasam is the traditional Indian version of doughnuts. In fact, the first record of this sweet was way back in the 16th century! Originally, it was used as an offering to the gods during festivals.
Adhirasam is made mainly with rice flour and cane sugar, though the traditional process takes about a week to make from scratch. Nowadays, of course, you can simply just buy them!
There are many different types of laddu, but they are basically made from flour, sugar and ghee. Other ingredients like semolina can be used too, making it one of the most versatile, yet favoured, desserts.
Sometimes dried fruits and nuts are added as well to make it fancier, such as finely chopped pistachios, dried coconut, or raisins.
Laddu isn’t exclusive to Deepavali, and are popular at other festivals or celebrations such as weddings.
6. Gulab Jamun
These unassuming round brown balls, often seen soaking in syrup, are decievingly delicious enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Gulab jamun is made with milk solids heated extremely slowly into a dough, then rolled into a ball, fried, and soaked in various kinds of syrup. The end result is a slightly chewy ball of sweetness to seal the end of the meal.
Jilebi looks like murukku, but it’s sweet and soft from soaking in syrup. Instead of a stiff crunch, jilebi delivers a soft and chewy bite with a crystallized, sugary outer layer.
It’s made from regular flour, deep-fried into rings, then soaked in a sweet blend of syrup, often with rose water or lime juice for extra flavour.
Palgova, also spelled as palkova, is a creamy and custardy dessert made from milk and sugar.
The milk and sugar mixture is slowly heated to evaporate, which turns the consistency thick and rich. The process requires great control of the heat, as the mixture can easily turn bitter if the the milk solids char.
9. Paitham Urandai
Paitham Urandai are sweet crispy dessert balls with a savoury fried outer layer with a sweetish mung bean filling. The main flavours here are mung bean or green peas, toasted coconut, and cane sugar.
The taste is savoury-sweet with an interesting texture with its crispy shell and soft insides.
Paitham Urandai can last for quite a while, from weeks to months, due to the relatively dry texture of the sweet. Still, it probably will be eaten up quite quickly.
10. Rava Kesari
Rava Kesari is made with semolina, prepared with saffron that turns it a lovely golden orange hue. After all, rava means semolina, and kesari means orange. It is often topped with toasted nuts and raisins for an extra crunch.
The dessert takes on a pudding-like consistency yet with will its individual beads of semolina, which makes for an interesting textured dessert. It’s quite rich and sweet, making it the perfect dessert to end a meal on.
11. Ghee Balls
These soft, melty dessert balls may look rather unimpressive, but they are big on taste. Ghee balls are super aromatic, packing lots of delicious flavours into one simple package.
They are made with mung bean flour, ground cardamom, sugar, and lots and lots of rich ghee to hold its shape. Often times, nuts and dried fruits can be added for even more oomph.
Everyone can celebrate Deepavali with these delicious snacks, but where can you buy them?
Well, other than areas with large ethnically Indian populations such as Little India, Brickfields, you can also find these snacks being sold online.
Try platforms such as Kravve, ask around in your local community Facebook groups, or find home kitchens nearby you if they are making any for sale. Happy snacking!
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.