The Story of a Spicy Indian Snack Food

Thonga-Muri-Ingredients

It’s a humble homemade snack food. It originated in Bengal and later spread to Bihar, Orissa and Assam. It is called “Jhal Muri” – and every region has its own variation of the recipe. Some prefer it with a squeeze of lemon juice; some like a dash of tamarind water; some mix Chana Chur (another typically Indian snack food); and the degree of spiciness also varies from region to region (Jhal means spicy; Muri means Puffed Rice).

It’s an irresistible flavour – and even the British soldiers serving in India during World War II developed a taste for it. Decades later, Angus Denoon, a British chef fell in love with the enticing flavour during a visit to Calcutta. He carried the recipe for Jhal Muri back to England. He started a food van called ‘Everybody Love Love Jhal Muri Express’ and began selling this Bengali snack food on the streets of London – and it was an instant hit. The Brits loved it!

In this post we are sharing one of the many, many recipes for Jhal Muri.

Here are the ingredients for a single serving:

  • Puffed Rice (Muri): 250 grams
  • Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Onion: Half a medium-sized onion
  • Cucumber: Half
  • Tomato: 1
  • Green Chilli: 1
  • Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh, just a dash
  • Salt: to taste

Preparation:

Chop the onion, cucumber, tomato, green chilli and coriander leaves.

Method:

Take a bowl and pour the Puffed Rice (Muri) into it along with the chopped onion, cucumber, tomato, green chilli and coriander leaves. Add salt to taste. Then pour the Mustard Oil into the bowl and toss the contents thoroughly till the white puffed rice turns golden yellow with a light coating of Mustard Oil. Finally, add a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice and give the contents another toss.

Your classic Indian snack food is now ready. Enjoy this authentic version of the fast-food that has been driving the Brits crazy since the 1940s!

 

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