Munthirikothu/ Roasted and Fried Moong Bean Sweet Balls: Gluten and Vegan free Snack

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Munthirikothu is tea time snack common in southern part of Kerala, India. If you have been reading my blogs you will know that I am fan of these kind of snack especially we call it Nalumani palaharam in Malayalam. Meaning 4 O clock tea snacks, usually tea is served at four ‘o’ clock. However it never happened during my childhood. While growing up amma used to make tea around 5-5.30 P.M when appa came back from work. Now I am making Tea around 6.30 P.M as my hubby comes back from work during that time. 
Munthirikothu is   usually made in home and sweet shop which makes other sweets and snacks and rarely available in Tea shop. It is made during   Onam (our harvest festival) and also for baby showers. It is custom of giving this sweet while visiting ones daughter when she is pregnant, usually during 5th month or 7thmonth. If they are visiting in the 5th month parents will bring 5 different types of snacks both sweet and savory or it 7th then 7 different types of snacks.  This sweet is also brought back by ones daughter in laws after she visits her parents first time after marriage.  I read somewhere there is funny folk story related to this sweet. One prospective bridegroom visit bride’s house, he was served with munthrikothu, he was happy and had few of them. Next day he visited again, that time also they served this sweet he devoured all of them. This visit continues every day for some days, until the future mother-in-law decides to do something to stop this visit. She made munthirikothu  so hard so that it was difficult for him to eat  a single one. So he said  ammayi (Aunt)  made this  balls very hard resulting in the  name ammayi unda.
If you want to test the condition of one’s tooth, you can give this sweet. However, this sweet is not really as hard as Pourlvilangai. It is really hard sweet, you need a hammer to break it and eat them. My grandma used to make them, and I miss them too. I will try some time later to make that sweet. Why all of sudden munthrikothu, you may be wondering.  Few months ago, Malayalam cookery shows on all channels were showing how to make munthirikothu. If you see them in one channel, next week it is on another channel. It was like they were fighting each other to show them. After seeing them on two -three channels, I lost my control and decide to try them. 
If you ask me what is the difference between munthirikothu and sukhiyan as both are made with sweetened moong beans and also fried.  The differences are few. In munthrikothu, moong beans are roasted and then fried, while in the later one, it is cooked and fried. In munthirkothu, outer covering is made of only rice flour where as in the later one, it usually made with mix of all purpose flour and rice flour. Taste wise both are different as one is roasted and other is cooked. Munthirikothu is slighter harder while Sukhiyan is soft. 
My munthirikothu turned out to be great, and not as hard as mentioned in the story.  Even my princess was able to take a bite of it. This sweet contains a filling a made of roasted moong beans/moong dal with coconut, cardamom and jaggery. This is made into balls and then covered with rice batter and fried in oil. As rice flour is used as cover it is hard compared to other flour.  She likes the filling too much, so she was trying to eat them while I was making. Try to make them; it is really nice if you had sukhiyan earlier, then you will find an entirely different taste and texture. If you ever had it in your childhood, then try it for sure they will reminded you some of the moments in your childhood. Here is the recipe. I have found that my coffee grinder is the best to grind the roasted moong beans.

What you need

Recipe can be print from here 
  For Filling
 Roasted Moong dal/ Moong beans/Whole Green gram/Cheruparippu: 1 cup/ 215g
Jaggery/unrefined sugar: ½ cup/ 105g
Water: 2 tablespoon
Coconut: ¼ cup (I used desiccated coconut, if you are using fresh one toast until it becomes brown color)
Ground ginger: 1/8 teaspoon
Cardamom: 2 no

For Covering

Rice flour: ¼ cup (I used un-roasted flour)
Salt: 1/8th teaspoon
Yellow food color: 2 drops
Water: ¼ cup + 1teaspoon
Canola oil: 4 cups

 How I made


Wash and dry the whole moong dal in kitchen tissue paper for 30 minutes. Then roast moong dal in a medium skillet for about 8 minutes or until all the color changes and releases a nice aroma. 
When roasted dal become cool enough to touch, grind them using coffee grinder into a coarse powder and set aside. 
In a sauce pan heat jaggery with 2tablespoon of water until jaggery melts remove from the fire and strain to remove the impurities and set aside. 

In the same sauce pan bring the jaggery to heat and when water is reduced or about 3 minutes add coconut and mix everything well. Switch off the flame and add powder roasted moong dal and cardamom powder to jaggery coconut mix. Mix everything to combine well and set aside. 
When jaggery-dal mixture is cool enough to touch make small balls about the size tennis ball and set aside.
In medium bowl mix rice flour, salt, yellow food color and water to form a loose batter and set aside. 

In deep bottom pan heat oil and when it reaches 370 F or hot, dip each stuffing ball into the batter and carefully add to oil. Flip few times to get uniform crispiness. It will take about 4-5 minutes to get fully cooked. You can fry 3 at a stretch. Once it is crispy strain them using a slotted spoon and drain extra oil using a kitchen tissue. 

You want to see inside?

Enjoy with hot tea.
Preparation time:
Yield: 10 no
Verdict: Yummy
will you make it again: Yes I will

I am sending this April and Alea’s Gallery of favorites

Julie’s Kerala Kitchen

EP series : Herbs & Spices: Basil or Cardamom  event by Julie guest hosted by Prathiba.

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  1. says

    I just had these from a friends, from ‘you-know-where’! First time and I thought that they were a dried version of Sukhiyan! Thankyou for sharing the recipe Swathi.

  2. says

    That last picture has me wondering where I can get some of these ingredients to make these delicious treats-yum! I love the step by step photos you did as well. Great post and have a wonderful weekend!

  3. says

    Swathi- I can just smell the incredible aroma of the Roasted fried moong bean sweet balls. You must make these again when I get a chance to come and visit, and I will certainly make the cheesecake; your hubby’s favorite! We can sit down with a nice cup of tea and chat for a while. Sounds real nice!
    You made these so perfect, crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle…yumm!

  4. says

    My mum used to make this for us when we were younger. I am sure the taste must have been great because the recipe is similar as what my mum makes. I am not a teatime person but sure one will be great as my dessert after meal.

  5. says

    I loved hearing the traditions behind these and how the name came to be – funny! Add these to the list of things I would like to try! They sound so special.

  6. says

    This is something new to me…as you guessed the immediate question that came to my mind on seeing the pics was what is the difference between this and sugiyan…and on reading further I got the answers…Liked that funny story too…

    Must’ve been delicioius

  7. says

    I like your 4’oclock tea snack. I still follow this ritual from India and always have something to eat. This is such a lovely and healthy snack. I love the inside. You know I have some jaggery that has become rock hard, I should put that to proper use.

  8. says

    I ate this as kid, one of our Aunties specialized in it, she used to make sweet and savory version of it ….. I’m so glad to find this recipe …. Excited to try for this weekend