What does a woman who has slaved over the oven and stove for a non-stop 8 hours and skipped lunch, water and breaks, do for dinner?
Option 1: Order In (this isn’t even an option for someone who lives in a god-forsaken village).
Option 2: Smooth talk her overworked husband, who has gone out of his way to help her, into bringing home some dinner.
Option 3: Make herself some quick and easy comfort food that’ll gratify her palate and help her unwind.
Since I am a godawful smooth-talker and can be a reasonable wife… sometimes, I went with Option 3. Was still glad that the husband called to ask if he should bring some food home. Gave me a chance to sweetly ask him to just get home but buy me some strawberries on the way.
I checked the pantry for supplies and found a packet of Puffed Rice (Murmura). So yeah, I was going to make that thing that I love so much. My aunts, who used to make this dish beautifully, used to call it Susla (I always wondered if it was actually called Susheela, and my aunts and uncles, with their rural dialects, may not have been pronouncing it right). Since I didn’t like the name, I prefer to keep it nameless. The recipe that I am sharing here with you has undergone many changes and has influences from my friend’s version of the dish. Oh and it is usually had for breakfast or an evening snack. But since a lot of things in my world aren’t as they should be, I was making this for dinner.
Flavored Puffed Rice
You will need:
- 500 gms pack of Puffed Rice or Murmura (the lighter, slightly translucent variety)
- 1 medium/large onion
- 3-4 green chillies
- 4 small tomatoes chopped
- A handful of curry leaves
- Some Coriander leaves
- Some pieces of broken cashew (traditionally, you use peanuts, but I use cashews when I am feeling over-indulgent)
- 1 teaspoon of Mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of Red Chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- Salt to taste
- A pinch of Asafoetida (hing)
- 1.5-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
How You Make It
- Chop onion, slit the green chillies, chop the washed coriander
- Heat oil in a Pan or Kadai, and add the mustard cumin seeds to it.
- When the seeds crackle, add the onions, green chilies and cashews pieces and let them cook for a few minutes, till the onions are translucent and the cashews brown.
- Soak the puffed rice in water, in two separate dishes for atleast 5 minutes
- Add the Chopped Tomatoes
- Add the turmeric, red chilli powder and hing at this time and stir
- Drain the Puffed Rice and add to the pan.
- Add salt and stir. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander and serve.
This dish was just what I needed. Ate it while we watched Tortilla Soup (the movie) and I rested my aching back on the sofa. It also rejuvenated me to get out of bed at 12 am and start baking.