Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jhal Moori - Bengali Bhel

I must admit, I was quite intimidated about trying the mustard oil. But I finally bought it. I have cooked Bengali food before, but used the usual oil. But with RCI:Bengal coming up, I wanted to cook something more authentic with traditional ingredients. I am sure I must have eaten food cooked in the mustard oil before. It's a blessing to be born and brought up in a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai where you meet friends from pretty much most of the states of India and you get to taste all the regional delicacies. but, those were also the days, when I didn't understand the subtle or bold differences of oils or ingredients etc. In school days, I just enjoyed food and happily collected recipes.

Anyways, so I was determined to make "Jhal Moori" or bengali bhel with the authentic mustard oil. As I opened the bottle of the oil, I took a big sniff - I absolutely loved it. You know, it reminded me of my mom's freshly made chili pickle. It smells just the same. She doesn't use mustard oil, but it has crushed mustard powder. I absolutely loved the flavor. It may be an individual taste.

I googled for the exact recipe of Jhal moori, but every recipe was little different. However, the common binding agent for this bhel mixture was the mustard oil. So I decided to make this jhal moori based on the ingredients I had at home.

Here's what I did -

Jhal Moori
Bengali Bhel
1 cup puffed rice/mamra/kurmure/churmure/moori
1 boiled potato, peeled, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1-2 green chilies, minced
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 lemon
1 tbsp mustard oil
A handful of sev or farsan mixture
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, minced
1/4 cup roasted, peanuts
salt to taste
A generous pinch of chaat masala (optional)

1. Heat mustard oil to smoking hot. Cool it to the room temperature.
2. Mix all the ingredients except the mustard oil.
3. Pour the mustard oil on the mixture.
4. Adjust salt.
5. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. If using chaat masala, please note that it already has rock salt, so adjust salt accordingly.
2. I used organic, brown puffed rice in the above picture, though it is not mandatory.
3. I didn't have farsan mixture at hand, so I used nylon sev only. However, I do think, farsan/mixture would taste even better.
4. In my opinion,for the real flavor, do not substitute mustard oil with anything else. You need to use that pungent mustard oil only.

Update -
My dear friend Jaya informed me that you can also add some chopped coconut in this jhal moori too. Thanks, Jaya for letting me know.

& Richa sent me some yummy jhal muri masala. Do try Jhal Muri recipe with this magic masala for the authentic taste!

This post is my contribution to RCI:Bengal hosted by Sandeepa of Bong Mom's cookbook.


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