PETALING JAYA: There’s no shame in admitting that you won’t be making your own treats this Deepavali or that you’ve waited till the last minute to shop for some. That’s where stores like Selera Snacks come in handy.
With over 20 unique murukku flavours, it’s the perfect way to impress your guests with minimum effort on your part.
From spicy chilli mala and salted egg to masala and cheese murukku, head to Selera Snacks if you want to spice up your Deepavali celebration this year.
“Murukku is Deepavali, Deepavali is murukku. You can have any other snack, but murukku is a must.”
That is what Jeyacanth Govindraj, the owner of Selera Snacks, shared during a recent visit to his store.
Established in 1985 by his father, this snack haven was initially affiliated with their restaurant, Kavitha Banana Leaf, a well-known name in Petaling Jaya since 1974.
In 2021, Selera Snacks transformed from a small stall into a massive store, and is now situated next to the Jalan Othman Bus Terminal in PJ Old Town.
“People love my murukku, especially the signature original ones,” shared Jeyacanth with a smile.
Surprisingly, even with their range of modern flavours like paprika pepper, garlic butter and vegan ghee, the murukku itself is prepared using traditional methods.
“No matter what the quantity is, we will still do it the traditional way. There is zero machinery involved,” he said.
Observing how they craft their famous murukkus just steps away from the store, it’s clear the process requires significant effort.
Despite the availability of modern stainless-steel tools that only require the twist of a handle, Selera Snacks sticks to the traditional wooden mould, which produces only two murukkus at a time before a refill of the dough is needed.
“It’s not easy, this method takes more time,” he admitted, adding that in two months they only make around 700-800 pieces.
Funnily enough, Jeyacanth does in fact have a murukku-making machine capable of producing a dozen or so perfectly swirled treats in minutes, yet it remains unused, stashed away in a corner of the warehouse.
“The wooden mould gives the murukku that unique crunchy texture that’s unbeatable by any machine,” Jeyacanth said, emphasising that going the traditional route pays off.
In fact, even the flour is ground in-house with the addition of fresh spices like cinnamon and fennel seeds. “We don’t use any preservatives, so our murukkus last just about 60 days,” he shared.
This is likely why customers return year after year for those delightful munchies.
The store, with shelves upon shelves, overflows with a diverse range of Indian snacks, all made in-house. But of course, the star of the show here is their murukku, where it all started.
“I realised that nowadays people only eat murukku during the festive season,” and that was something he was determined to change when he took over the business from his father.
With his ingenious vision of modernising the flavours, Jeyacanth is confident that murukku is on its way to becoming a household snack, festival or not.
But come Deepavali, these murukkus fly off the shelves thanks to their affordability.
Jeyacanth has even initiated a programme specifically for the B40 community, maintaining a bottle of murukku at only RM20 for them, and a big tin of 120 pieces for only RM85.
With the escalating cost of goods, he said many ordinary Malaysians could barely afford to prepare for festivals like Deepavali, what more those in the B40 community.
“Many walk-in customers, simply from the way they ask a question, it’s clear that the spending power isn’t there. That’s why I wanted to serve them, and rather than doing it as a charity, why not do this?”
Preserving tradition with a dose of modernity, Selera Snacks is on a mission to ensure everyone has a wonderful Festival of Lights.
Follow Selera Snacks on Instagram.
Contact 012-269 4842 to place an order.
G19, Jalan Othman Bus Terminal
PJ Old Town
46000 Petaling Jaya
Business hours: 10am-10pm daily