Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moodiness and Muri Mixture

Statutory Warning - Long rambling post follows! Just skip to the recipe below if you are in no mood to be subjected to my ranting... Also to apportion blame where it is due, 2 fellow bloggers - Maria and Lakshmi, inspired me to assault your senses with this overdose of philosophy, verbosity and self-analysis :)

So...What do you do when you feel detached from the world? Ummm… no, I’m not talking about the Buddha’s nirvana kind of detachment, but more of a ‘meh! I-couldn’t-be-bothered-making-small-talk-with-anyone’ kinda detachment. And it’s not just that… It’s like all of a sudden, my threshold for people in general has gone down. People I have earlier thought I was close to – I find I have nothing to say to them anymore. Either I have really outgrown them or I’m in an extreme anti-social mode. 

I even went through my phonebook and deleted all those contacts I can do without now. Quite something, huh? I have always been told that I have way too many friends in way too many places all over the world. And now I believe is the time for pruning… I don’t know why, but it just feels right. So many people in our lives who mean nothing and yet we struggle to keep in touch, be friendly, make polite conversation… Why make so much effort? And then there are those who meant everything at a point and are no longer a part of our lives today...

My aunt-cousin (long story... bledy South-Indian family trees!) The Bukvorm posted something on FB today that really made sense to me - "When people walk away from you, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you, and it doesn't mean that they are bad people. It just means that their part in your story is over."

So where does that leave us? Yes, rudderless and lost for some time for sure. But the story does go on I guess. Like a drunk Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) keeps saying in ZNMD, "Sab likha hua hai! Ye sab kuch likha hua hai!!" Hehehehe.... So that's that. It's all written down in our destiny and there is little we can do to change things. All we can do is sit at the window, watch the beautiful rains, sip a cuppa tea and munch on that one thing that is sure to lift your spirits...    

And for me, that one comforting snack is and will always be Muri Mixture! This is something we used to have as kids growing up in Bhubaneswar, and in spite of its utter simplicity, both my brother and I used to absolutely jump with excitement every time Mom would announce that she is making Muri Mixture for us! This snack reminds me of hot, lazy summer holidays, sweaty games of Lock-and-Key and Hide-n-Seek, doing our homework on the ancient wooden study table with one hand in a bowl of Muri, sitting on the porch of our huge bungalow and squabbling over who got a bigger helping....of the pungent Mustard oil and of a childhood cherished yet lost in so many ways.


Puffed Rice/Muri/Maramaralu/Murmure - 2 large bowls
Onions - 1 large
Green Chillies - 2
Tomatoes - 1 small
Sev - 1 cup
Mustard oil - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Chilli Powder - to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Finely chop the onions and tomatoes, and thinly slice the green chillies. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the puffed rice and sev. Now add the onions, tomatoes and green chillies. Pour 1 tsp of mustard oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and sprinkle salt and chilli powder. Toss well and scoop into 2 large bowls. 

The way I like it:
Serve immediately otherwise the puffed rice will lose its crunch and become soggy. If you do not like the taste of mustard oil (more fool you!) then you can use any other vegetable oil but be warned! It will just not taste the same. You can also use fresh coriander leaves for garnishing. I personally hate it, so try and avoid it in recipes like these where I might have to munch them raw (ewwww!), but a lot of people love the punch that coriander lends to this snack. You can also add roasted peanuts and any other mixture/chivda of your choice. But it tastes best with plain sev in my honest opinion!

Am shooting this off to Sravs' event - Cooking Concept#2 - Appetizers