April 2, 2009

Thenkuzhal and Manoharam ~ 2-in-1 Crunchies

Thenkuzhal is a savory crunchy where as Manoharam are sweet crunchies. Both the dishes use the same basic ingredients and are deep fried in oil. Rice flour is the major ingredient. Traditionally, raw rice is soaked in water for half an hour. Its then drained, shadow dried and powdered. Shop bought rice flour can also be used, though you have to compromise a bit on the texture. I usually prepare the rice flour from scratch. But this time I followed a different method, told by my friend,S. She gets the raw rice and roasted urad dal, powdered together at the flour mill. The bonus is that the flour mix will stay good for many days. So with the mix ready at hand, you can enjoy thenkuzhal whenever you want.

For the flour mix

Raw rice (Pacharisi) - 8 cups

Urad dal - 1 cup

Clean the rice of any dust. Don't wash with water. Dry roast urad dal till it turns pink. Powder the rice and roasted dal together.

To make thenkuzhal


Crushed pepper and cumin seeds



Water to prepare the dough

Oil to fry

If you are using the hing bar, take a piece of the bar and soak in warm water for 10 minutes. Use the water to prepare the dough. Instead, hing powder can also be used.

Prepare dough in batches instead of mixing the full quantity of the flour. Else it will drink too much of oil when fried. Take 4 cups of the flour. Add 2 tablespoon of butter, salt, 1 tspn of coarsely crushed cumin and pepper, hing water. Make sure the coarse pepper is not big enough to block the openings in the mould. Mix well. Finally add water to make a soft dough.

For preparing thenkuzhal, you need the press which has three or more holes in it. Heat oil in a kadai. When hot, take a ball sized dough and press it directly in the oil. Start making the formation from outside to inside. After a minute, slowly turn it over and fry till it is light brown. The size can depend on the size of your kadai. Allow it to cool and store it in airtight containers.


The initial preparation is similar to thenkuzhal, except that the spices and hing is not added. Salt is also added very minimally. Take the flour mix, add butter and very little salt. Make a soft dough using water. Prepare the thenkuzal out of the dough. Break them into one inch long pieces. These pieces are to be coated in jaggery syrup.

For one measure of thenkuzhal pieces, use 1/2 cup of jaggery. If you want to be very sweet, you can use 3/4 cup of jaggery too.

For jaggery syrup

Jaggery - 1/2 cup

Water- 1/4 cup

Bite sized coconut pieces (optional)

Cardamom powder.

Melt jaggery in water. Strain to remove any impurities. Heat the syrup in a wide mouthed kadai. Add coconut pieces. Make a thick syrup. To test, add a drop of syrup in a glass of water. If it can be rolled and is firm, the syrup has reached the consistency. Switch off the stove. Add cardamom powder. Stir in the broken thenkuzhal to the syrup. Mix with a ladle so that all the pieces are well coated with jaggery, taking care not break the pieces further on mixing. At the same time, you need to be quick with the mixing, since jaggery will solidify on cooling. Before that it has to coat all the pieces.

If the syrup does not reach the right consistency, thenkuzhal will turn soggy. It should remain crisp even after adding to the syrup.

Enjoy the salt and sweet, melt in the mouth, crunchies.

I am sending these crunchies to Cooking for Kids:Rice event , guest hosted by Trupti, started by Sharmi.


  1. I make the savory one and sweet one is new to me, really interesting. Looks delicious! :)

  2. I love manoharam..we made it last for karthikai..tempting pics

  3. I like both the versions but I've never made it at home.

  4. Like asha said i know the savoury one, sweet one is new for me too.
    I would love to taste the sweet one.

  5. I want the tenkuzzhal , hear about manoharam but not tasted it! Absolutely delicous!

  6. We call these uddina balli.. Sweet uddina balli is new to me. Looks very tempting

  7. ooooh, I wish I had a batch of these right now! I nearly forgot about manoharam. Used to eat it at my grandma's place I think. I've also seen these at a few functions shaped like a cone along with the peanut and puffed rice versions.

  8. Heard about manoharam but never tried n tasted, thenkuzhal i love it..looks crunchy!

  9. I love thenkuzhal. looks perfect! i am not a fan of manoharam,but it looks perfect too..just like how moms make it :D

  10. Manoharam is something I would love to have. I always think its very complicated but yours looks simple

  11. Love the tenkuzhalu! My neighbor in Mysore always send me some over when she made coz she knoew how much I loved it!

  12. Hi,
    Love both the snacks. It's an anytime snack, tastes lovely with tea.

  13. love both the snacks..monaharam is a favourite at hom..

  14. I'm a big fan of manoharam..It looks yummy..Love thenkuzhal too :)

  15. Hi,

    Today I was searching for the recipe of manoharam and found this one which was there in Taste of kerala, showed in amrita tv, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D5ZgC3Dovc

    think it is a little different from yours.

    Thanks for the recipe..

  16. Manoharam is new to me. Both looks delicious & easy to make. Thank you Jayashree for these lovely entries.

  17. Both looks yummy. My mom used to make this , manoharam she makes for krishna Jayanthi.

  18. both the savoury and sweet versions look yummy Jaya! I am craving for some now :)

  19. Manoharam is an all time favourite for me. Love to keep munching it all the time!!!!

  20. wow,yummmy snacks,looks great!!Me too made a murukku with cornflour,will post it soon:)

  21. Jayasree,first time here...Myself ann
    you got a great blog friend..all lovely yummy and homely dishes..i missed you..not now..will be a regular visitor..thanks

  22. Have you started a traditional bakshanam series? I love both the savory and sweet ones. Manoharam is my favorite and even now whenever we come to India or somebody comes here from India they don't forget to get me Manoharam.

  23. Love the sweet one. Miss amma's thenkuzhal!

  24. Thank You Jayasree..........

    Great Manoharam Receipe. I liked it and worked out best. Am sure you are from chettinad and hence this dish. Can you pls. give the receipe of seepu seedai


  25. Suba, great to know that Manoharam recipe worked out for you. I am a Kerala Iyer. Sorry I don't have the seepu seedai recipe. I have heard about them. Would love to try it sometime, myself. Thanks for the feedback.


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