…with crunchy masala pori a.k.a khara murmura


It started off as a mission to get rid of stuffs, stuffs collected over the years. Throw away all the junk I could see lying about. The drawers and cupboards were filled with it all. Piles of papers, most of them yellow-ed as time passed by. Pulling them out let out dust which reminded me of a genie coming out of a bottle. How I wished then it was true so that I could wish for all the clutter to be rid off with just a snap of fingers.


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Thinking about fantasies was not going to accomplish the mission. And so I set about rummaging through mountains of junk. My plan was to attack them all at once and discard them in bulk. Mission accomplished. All this pre planning gave me the confidence than it was an achievable plan. That it will be done and over with within minutes. But I did not anticipate the unexpected turns. Curiosity made me read some old letters, articles, look at old black and white photographs and many other. And I soon uncovered that it was not all ‘junk’.


It was past. It told stories. It was not those things of the past to be forgotten. They were things to be remembered again and again. To be carried as lessons, mottos for life. The letters seemed to be written light years away!! And yet the incidents they described seemed so very vivid to me. Like it happened just the other day, when we thought those days would last forever. And yet here we are now, come a long way. Those incidents remained now on paper, with writer and main actors no more. 


I believe that it is not the time and not right to immerse myself in a pool of sadness. Going through memories  is moment to be rejoiced. You think I am a crazy, heartless person? But you see, these so called ‘junk’ emerged at the right time. They proved that no matter what, when and how, the guiding light of grandparents, who are the ‘actors’ and the ‘writer’ in those letters will always shine bright. 


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The gleeful me set about diving deeper into the pile of memories. The sunlight streaming in through the window when I started off had withdrawn and the soft moonlight had taken its place. The birds had stopped their singing and had gone home. But I was oblivious to this transition from day to night. The experience was as if I had  gone back  in time, literally. The plain looking wooden box turned out to be a worthwhile treasure. For me it was as if I had uncovered a time machine hidden inside the cupboard. And I admit that there was a moment during this whole trip when I wished I could live these stories, just one more time… To live that hot summer evening under the shade of that big tree and enjoy fresh juicy mango from the tree, just one more time.. To breathe in that scent of fully blossomed roses as we made peace with nature, just one more time..


The pile of ‘junk’ was reduced now to just few bits of papers, as I lived through each of the stories. And once done, I am transported back to the present. And I saw how much I loved my ‘present’ and looked forward to my ‘future’. In fact I loved my ‘present’ too much to live only in the past.


And again through all this I learnt – There will always be moments in entire life when you wished you could go back in time and live the past again. Then again, today is tomorrow`s past, right?? So live each moment and each stages in life to the fullest!


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During my entire journey back in time, one thing that stood by me to give company was a bowlful of crispy, spicy murmuras! Ah, yes, back to food after an emotional ride! And just as I longed  to live some moments one more time, I wished after each spoonful of this crispy snack that I shall have yet another spoonful, just one more time….


And I did have, many more times. So now in just a day a big box of this snack in below danger level and next batch soon to prepared for our own good! Nothing to feel guilty about. For these are guilt free, low in oil any time snack.  And so can be repeated many more times!


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Have it as you watch your favorite show on television, reading a book, along with a cup of tea or chilled fresh juice. 


Khara Murmura

Crispy, low cal and tasty tea time snack made from puffed rice.

  • {Makes about 4.5 to 5 cups}
  • 4 cups heaped puffed rice
  • 2 to 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 2-3 dry red chillies (broken)
  • 10 to 15 curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp cashew (broken)
  • 2 tbsp fried gram (hurikadle/pottukadalai)
  • 4 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Masala powders

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mango powder (amchur)
  1. Separate garlic cloves and no need to peel. Just press/crush them whole with a knife so as to open them a bit. Wash curry leaves and pat dry.
  2. Heat oil in a wok/ heavy bottom kadai. Add mustard and let splutter. And hing, red chillies, stir once.
  3. Add the garlic, curry leaves, cashew, saute till cashews start to change color lightly.
  4. Add peanuts, fried gram. Saute on low till roasted and nuts turn a nice golden, about 1 min or so.
  5. Add all the masala powders, salt. Mix.
  6. Add the puffed rice and immediately off gas. Then mix well in same pan. Cool and store in airtight container.

You can vary quantity of cashew, peanuts and fried gram as per your preference.


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