Today we are blogging West Bengal on the final leg of our blogging marathon. It has been a journey where I have learnt new cuisines, remembered old and loved most of them.
West Bengal actually on the eastern side of India its one of the populous states in India. West Bengal was divided during the Indian Independence in 1947 on religious lines. East and West Bengal… East Bengal was a part of Pakistan and is now Bangladesh since 1971.
Ancient Bengal has been the site of major rulers like The Mayura Empire or the Gupta Empire to name a few. Then it was ruled by the Sultans, Hindu rulers then BaroBhuyan landlords.
The British began their rule in India with Bengal. The battle of Plassy cemented their rule. The current capital Kolkata was called Calcutta was the British Capital for long many years.
Naturally, for their clerical work the British needed workers the solution was to introduce western education. This in turn resulted in development of sciences, social reforms etc. This was named as the Bengal Renaissance.
West Bengal was the hotbed of Indian Independence period. We have many leaders like Swami Vivekananda, Gurudev Tagore, Bhankim Chandra Chatopadhya let’s not forget our own wireless man Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose the man whose greatness is acknowledged by Einstein himself. Does Bengal rest its laurels on these past examples only no look at Satyajit Ray in films, Amrtya Sen in Economics, our President Pranav Mukherjee to name a few.
Being a foodie my interest is food.
Bengali food, as it is know has inherited a lot of influence both Indian and foreign. The local staple food is vegetables, lentils and fish and rice. The Bengali cuisine is known for its subtle flavors but they can be quite fiery too. The spread of sweets and deserts is well known.
Do you remember the TV serial Bomkesh Bakshi, I think he was called that, he was a detective and whenever he went on enquires he was offered tea and rasgulla. I so wanted Pappa to get transferred to Calcutta!
Anyway my first desire was to make cham cham or sandesh for this marathon but the fact that it will have to be finished by only me put me off.
Then one evening when my daughters whining that I do not make anything interesting to eat overcame my lethargy.
I had already settled on what I wanted to make and pinpointed my source, most importantly had all the ingredients so it was just the matter of putting things together.
|Jhaal Muri~Indian State: West Bengal|
Indian State: West Bengal
Recipe Source: Hamaree Rasoi
- 2 cups Puffed rice (muri)
- 1 red Onion, chopped fine
- ¼ cup Cucumber, diced
- 2 tbsp Raw mango, finely chopped
- 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped fine
- ½ cup jhal Chanachur / spicy namkeen/ sev
- 1 tbsp Coconut, finely chopped( I did not add)
- 1 tbsp spicy pickle oil
- Handful of roasted Peanuts
- Handful of roasted Chana dal
- 2-3 Green chillies, diced
- 2 tsp Lemon juice
- ½ tsp Red chili powder
- 1 tsp chat masala
- Salt to taste
- If you are using mustard oil here, heat mustard oil in a pan to a smoking point and then switch off the burner. Let it cool. Skip this process if you plan to make it with pickle oil.
- Take a big bowl mix together all the diced veggies, peanuts, chana dal, namkeen , muri.
- Mix well and add lemon juice, all the spices and lastly drizzle some pickle oil /mustard oil.
- Mix well with a wooden spatula and serve immediately in paper cones.
- Tastes best when the puffed rice is fresh and crisp. So it also means serve immediately.
- Do not substitute the Mustard oil /pickle oil.
- It can also be made with boiled potatoes, sprouted black chana, diced tomatoes, so depending upon your taste add or skip any of these.