Monday, May 2, 2011

About Extra-Marital Love…and extra-spicy puffed rice

All the gossips that invoke the maximum curiosity and at the same time receive the most condemnation have one thing in common. They all involve some kind of a romantic link between two persons – one of them necessarily being married. Unless one of the parties is married, the stories doing the rounds somehow lack spice, and thus taste bland. And because we all want peace in our respective lives, we hunt for spice in someone else’s.
So often we have seen men having a beautiful wife at home falling in love with a muse who by no standards is comparable to the wife. It becomes a hot topic of discussion for the peers and colleagues and countless cups of coffee and company paid hours are dedicated in pursuit of the ultimate truth – what the other woman has, that the wife doesn’t? Getting to the bottom of this amazing mystery   is no less than achieving Nirvana.
If you ask me, I am of the opinion that a man venturing into forbidden love has got nothing to do with beauty. I would even go to the extent of saying that it has got nothing to do with love…in the first place. It is all about adventure, about the thrill of doing something prohibited. How many of us have not enjoyed stealing pickles, mango papads and other goodies from the kitchen in the summer afternoons when mummy was taking her mid-day nap? Did it not always seem tastier than the measured portions she gave along with the others? It is somewhat the same with having an affair. The forbidden fruit is always tastier. Ask Adam, ask Eve, ask any couple who have had a courtship prior to marriage…it’s always different, more exciting when it is prohibited. The legitimacy marriage offers, kills its excitement. There is a vry popular joke that goes -
"If the plural for mouse is mice, what is the plural for spouse ?"
-"Spice !"
Having said so, it is also worthwhile to warn all husbands (and wives too, if I may ) if they are reading this piece that all observations and insights shared in a blog are meant to be read, enjoyed and applied in real life only as long as it does not disturb domestic harmony. The fact that a particular blogger has a slightly sympathetic view towards the issue does not mean that the respective spouses will also have the same. Be adventurous by all means, but at your own peril.
And now after all the spicy enlightenment here’s a spicy snack that takes just 7-10 mins to whip up. 7-if you are a pro and 10 for you are a greenhorn. It has always been my favorite when I was small, a life savior in the early days of my marriage and a time savior today as I struggle to balance work with home. I love it, my Hubby loves it, and little S who hates everything else Bong  adores it !Here goes….

Jhal Muri ( spicy bhelpuri – Bengali style)                 
Ingredients( for 2) :
Puffed rice: 2coffee mugs full
Onion: 1 medium chopped
Green chillies: 2 chopped
Mustard oil: 1 tsp
Viscous gravy of any Pickle(preferably mango):1 tsp
Muri masala: ½ tsp.
Fresh Coconut: diced into 1 cm pieces
Mixture/chanachur/farsan: any quantity as per wish
Peanuts: 2 tsp(roasted or plain)
Sprouted moong: 5 tbsp
Boiled potato: diced into 1 cm pieces
Raw mango: 2 tsp chopped
Barik sev: enough for garnishing
Coriander leaves: enough for garnishing

Calorific value: Considering that the entire preparation is consumed equally between two persons, each will consume 150 calories.

How to:
Take puffed rice in a large bowl, or preferably in a jar. The volume of the jar should be atleast double that of the rice. Pour the oil in it and stir vigorously with a large ladle. You can also shake the jar, it will have the same effect. But do remember to close the lid, if you chose to shake, otherwise…….. Now pour all the remaining ingredients and shake once again….your tasty Jhalmuri/Bhelpuri/Kurmura is ready in precisely 10 minutes at the most! You can omit coriander leaves and sev and sprinkle from top…that would lend a photogenic angle to the dish. Otherwise simply throw everything in..the result is yummy anyways.
Puffed rice is also known as muri in WB, kurmura in north India, murmura in Maharashtra  n Gujarat. Muri masala is available widely across west Bengal, and all  Bengali marts outside Bengal. In absence of muri masala, you can roast 1 tsp Coriander, 1 tsp cumin, 10 black peppers and 2 dry  red chillies, and grind the mixture and use it instead. You need only ½ a spoon, so you can preserve the remaining in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator. Mustard oil can be replaced by any other oil, as per taste.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is extremely low in calories(150 calories for 1 serving) and apart from the murmura, the oil, and  the muri masala  no other ingredient is indispensable. You can use all of them if they are present, and skip any of them if they are not! And the quantities mentioned are only as per my taste. You can vary the quantities liberally without fear! Varying portions of different items will alter the taste slightly, but you will love all the variations any which ways! You can also set your imagination free and add more ingredients or replace any according to availability. Pomegranate seeds, roasted chana, soaked chana (or any lentil for that matter) could be good addendums. So go ahead, and indulge…Maggi need not be the only choice you have forever!
PS: Watch out this space for more quick-fix recipes.


  1. The fact that this post has the highest viewership - 243 till date, way ahead of any other post of mine, and also tops the chart every week - goes on to re-confirm that extra-marital affairs do attract most attention :) If you happen to drop by, please share your views - agree, disagree, brickbat -GUYS, SAY SOMETHING !

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