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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Alu Bhaja ar koraishunti diye Muri Makha

Puffed Rice with Fried Potato and Green Peas

       "Muri" is a very popular snack in Bengal.
Muri makha, i.e. puffed rice with different ingredients added to it accompanied by a cup of tea is one of our most favourite evening snacks. It can also be called moshla muri (= puffed rice with spices) or jhal muri (jhal = hot [and spicy]).
        I love chanachur diye muri makha/ muri-chanachur : puffed rice with chanachur, a very spicy mixture of fried lentils, pea nuts, gram flour noodles, flaked rice, which my mom considers not very healthy since it is not homemade and since it is very hot and spicy. So, as an alternative she usually offers puffed rice with fried potato and other ingredients like green peas, shredded onion or roasted pea nuts etc.

       This time we had it with potato and green peas and, sadly for my mom, without tea, since tea is now forbidden for her.

           Puffed Rice with Fried Potato and Green Peas


Puffed rice -- bought ready made
The mix:  potato cut in small cubes
               green peas
               green chili -- shredded if you want it really hot; otherwise, sliced
               black caraway seeds (nigella sativa)
               mustard oil

How to prepare the mix:

Heat mustard oil till its typical smell vanishes and the colour changes.
The potato needs to be shallow-fried. So, we do not need a lot of oil.

Add the nigella and chili to it.
Add the potato. After it starts turning a little golden, add salt and stir to mix well. Cover the frying pan and let it cook. When the potato is softened, add the peas and cover again. Let it cook for about 2 minutes.

Now mix all these with the muri and enjoy snacking.

Puffed rice is usually a little salty. So, we did not sprinkle salt to the the whole mixture in the end.
Traditionally, a little raw mustard oil is mixed with the puffed rice for all muri makha / jhal muri. You can also do the same if you have developed a taste for its typical strong flavour.

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