The Muriwala

//The Muriwala

The Muriwala

One of the greatest treats of being in Calcutta for me is to walk down the dusty street to Rajhans our next building around 5.00 pm. That is when our Muriwala (a word which sadly has no English equivalent) comes and sets up his mobile shop ready for brisk business for the next two hours…

A Calcutta Jhal Muri is very different from the northern Indian Bhel Puri in that it has finely chopped cucumber, boiled potatoes and coconut apart from the tomatoes and onions. It also has no sweet and sour tamarind chutney and strong garlic chutney but lemon juice and pungent shorse tel (mustard oil) instead.

You place your order and stand patiently with the cacophony of blaring horns, roaring overcrowded buses and the gentle tinkle of the bell of trams passing by carrying people home after the working day , whilst the muriwala expertly chops all the fresh ingredients in his hand (no chopping board here) which fall straight into the waiting battered aluminium can. The spices and mustard oil goes next and finally the dry puffed rice or muri is added and the mixture is poured into a small newspaper packet and handed to you with a flat wooden ice cream spoon. You then take the now fast moistening packet and in my case walk back home to Ratnabali in the setting sun. Usually by the time you get back into the building, the jhal muri packet is empty and thrown away.. you enter back into the silent and cool living room with its heavy chiks ( bamboo curtains) that had been let to keep out the strong sun with no evidence of your sneaky “street food” snack ..

For when I’m not in Calcutta, Samin however, does make a mean Jhal Muri – almost though – not as good as our Muri Wala. Guess that needs the heat and dust of the Calcutta streets …

#homemadehappiness #indianstreetfood #jhalmuri #muriwala #calcuttamuri #surreycaterer #memories #indianflavours

2018-04-03T16:15:35+00:00 April 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|