Jhal Muri, the name itself is enough to make me drool. Crunchy puffed rice mixed with spices, potato, bhujia and what not; a dash of lime juice sprinkled, mixed everything together and served in thonga (paper cone). Many love stories happen over a thonga of jhal muri, many struggles happen over a thonga of jhal muri – you have your secrets, you have your good or bad day, you have your broken heart or a new job, jhal muri knows it all. It lifts up your good mood to excellent, it consoles you on a bad day and whispers “grab a thonga and keep going, life is good”.
Long back, when I was a kid, we used to travel by train a lot. I remember those jhal muri wala coming from distance with a big colourful tray hanging from their shoulders. One goes, another comes. Me and my sister used to go mad over jhal muri. This was a common sight in Indian Railway if you are travelling in Eastern and Northeaster routes.
Bengalis are probably the most vigorous puffed rice eaters in the world. Streets of Kolkata are flooded with jhal muri wala. My struggling days in Kolkata attached me to jhal muri like never before. Every day, without a miss, I used to grab a thonga of jhal muri on my way back from office. Reason was simple – it is yummy, it is wholesome, it is pocket friendly. My friends used to tease me “tor pete jhal murir gach gojabe” (you will be growing jhal muri tree in your stomach). Who cares!
Apart from all the good things that our very humble jhal muri does, it is also excellent for when you are at home, feeling lazy, yet want to have some delicious evening snacks. To make jhal muri at home, the main is to collect the ingredients. Also, the ingredients are such that are very easily available in every household’s pantry. Get your bhaja moshla (roasted spices) done and get everything ready and you have your jhal muri in no time. This is how I make my jhal muri.
- 3 cup muri (puffed rice)
- 1 boiled potato, peeled and chopped into small dices
- 1 small tomato, deseeded and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 green chilli, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped coconut
- 1/4 cup roasted peanut
- 1/4 cup aloo bhujia
- 1.5 tea-spoon mustard oil
- 1 tea-spoon lime juice
- black salt, according to taste
For Bhaja Moshla:
- 1 tea-spoon cumin seed
- 1 tea-spoon coriander seed
- 1 tea-spoon fennel seed
- We will start with making the bhaja moshla first. Dry roast everything mentioned in For Bhaja Moshla section until aroma starts coming. Do not burn. Cool it and grind. Your Bhaja Moshla is ready. We need only 1 tea-spoon of this; remaining you can keep for further use.
- Now, mix everything mentioned in Main Ingredients section and add 1 tea-spoon bhaja moshla. Mix thoroughly and your Jhal Muri is ready in no time.
Serve immediately and with some slices of fresh coconut (optional). Serving in a thonga gives an authentic feel, you can try it if you want. Do try this and let me know in comments about how you like it. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.