Sunday, May 12, 2013

Not so authentic Mudi Masala

My husband grew up in Calcutta.  His bengali is better than his tamil and he has a soft spot for all things Bengali.  Though he loves South Indian tambram (Tamil brahmin) cuisine, he does occasionally crave Bengali street food.  He keeps raving about Calcutta puchkas (pani puris to the uninitiated), mudi masala, aloo dom and all those other Bengali sounding dishes whose names I can’t even pronounce.

Growing up in Chennai, we had one place that served chat – Shanti Vihar.  We got the usual bhel puri, pani puri, pav bhaji, dahi puri etc.  A few years later, Gangotri, a gujarati chat place opened up and we got a bit more variety.  It became one of our favorite hangouts.  My friend Anu and I would go to Gangotri after work and would load up on all the goodies.  Not only did we stuff our faces there, but we would also take some over to our friend Hema's place and have some more, "just to keep her company".

Mudi masala, though, was not on their menu, and I had never heard of it.

After one of our parties, we had a lot of bhel mix left over, but I did not have chutneys.  My husband suggested mudi masala.  Mudi Masala?  He then explained to me that this was a Calcutta street food and vendors with baskets would mix mudi to your specification and give it to you wrapped in a newspaper.  I was game to try it out.

From his description of the dish, this is what I came up with.  I know it probably is not authentic and I am missing a ton of stuff, but while it might not taste like the real thing, it tastes great.

Mudi Masala

Please note: When I make this, I don’t measure the ingredients - I just add stuff and then adjust the seasoning to taste.  So please use the quantities below only as a guideline.

What you need:

(to serve two people)

  • 1 generous cup of Bhel mix (You can either make your own or use store bought)
    • Mudi/Pori/puffed rice
    • pinch of turmeric
    • some kind of namkeen (I use Punjabi hot mix)
    • few pieces of broken papdi
      • dry roast all this is in a kadai for a few minutes    

  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 roma or ½ beefsteak tomato, diced
  • 1 small to medium sized potato, boiled and diced
  • ½ cup peanuts, boiled with salt
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 2 – 3 green chilies, minced
  • salt to taste
  • chat masala
  • 1 ½ tsp. mustard oil (very important – doesn’t taste the same without it)
  • juice of  1 lime/lemon
  • chopped cilantro

Mudi Masala

Mix the bhel mix, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, peanuts, cucumber, green chilies, and salt.  Sprinkle chat masala, drizzle with mustard oil and lemon juice.  Mix again.  Taste the mudi masala and adjust the seasoning to your taste.  Put it in serving bowls and garnish with cilantro. 

Quick and easy snack or light dinner is ready!

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