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Muruku mastery

BERNAMA – The celebration of Deepavali would be a little ‘tasteless’, meaningless even, without the traditional muruku, which is a favourite snack not only among Indians but also for everybody from all walks of life in the region.

A muruku maker in Perak, Malaysia J Ganesan, 42, said the muruku produced by his family for the past three generations has been in high demand for the past month. He added that even outside Deepavali season, there is always a queue for the crispy, savoury snack.

According to him, the family business was started 60 years ago by his grandfather N Ammamuthu and inherited by his late father A Jayabalan who died in 2020.

Uniquely, the muruku he sells is spun from a recipe inherited from his grandfather to his late father to this day and he still maintains the same ingredients.

He said no change has ever been made since 60 years ago and the ingredients used must follow the exact measurements.

The mixing of flour is done by hand and cannot be mixed in large quantities for fear that the quality and taste of muruku will be affected.

ABOVE & BELOW: J Ganesan, 42, with containers of muruku in Perak, Malaysia; and workers extrude muruku batter before it is fried. PHOTO: BERNAMA
PHOTO: BERNAMA
PHOTO: BERNAMA
A family buys muruku in Perak. PHOTO: BERNAMA
ABOVE & BELOW: Photos show the muruku batter being fried. PHOTO: BERNAMA
PHOTO: BERNAMA
PHOTO: BERNAMA

The specialty of Ganesan’s muruku lies in its crunchiness and the special spices used to make the snack with its texture crispy for consumption at any time.

“Some muruku may be a bit thick and too hard, and sometimes you don’t taste the spices used. We don’t say our products are the best but we are careful every step of the way.

“That is why we focus on one product only and do not venture into other products or beans because we want to take care of the quality churned out,” he said at his home.

Ganesan said his snack is booked by sellers from all over Perak and from outside of the state, and by companies and individuals. There are demands all-year and surges happen not only during the Deepavali festival but it is also for Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Chinese New Year.

WHAT’S IN A NAME

Ganesan said the name ‘Kampung Kacang Putih’ in Buntong is already synonymous among Malaysians and it also endorses the development of his business.

“Kacang Putih is a badge and symbol of the success of the Buntong family and community that runs this business, indeed we have received feedback from the public that kacang putih (‘white’ mung beans) from Ipoh are among the best.

“I still remember following my father selling at the night market, from house to house and under trees. Sometimes even went to Batu Caves to do business but now, not anymore, it’s the kacang putih fans who flock to Buntong,” he said.

Ganesan sells his muruku for MYR20 a jar to his suppliers who will then sell between MYR25 to MYR27.

Meanwhile, his wife T Kavitha, 37, said she was proud to be part of the famous muruku makers and entrepreneurs in Buntong.

“The muruku business has been a source of income for my husband’s family for ages, so we agreed to continue that tradition that remains to this day,” said Kavitha, who is also training their three daughters so that the legacy of a family will not be lost and will continue from generation to generation.

“So far they know how to mix the mixture and the process of forming the twisty shape of the muruku, including wrapping while the cooking will be handled by my husband.

“It is true that my husband impresses on our children to learn every twist and turn of the process to understand it well so that the legacy of this business will live on in the future,” she said.

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