Jhal Muri

Jhal Muri – A quick snack for those 4 PM hunger pangs

Jhal Muri is a street food from Kolkata made with puffed rice, mustard oil, chopped vegetables and spices!

Jhal Muri

Jhal Muri is a street food from the city of Kolkata. The recipe for Jhal Muri calls for puffed rice/murmura, mustard oil, green chillies, potatoes, and a special spice powder called Bhaja Masala.

Jhal means spicy, Muri means puffed rice – so loosely translated, it means spicy puffed rice.

We can categorize it as a “Chaat” dish. Jhal muri makes an excellent evening snack along with a cup of chai.

Jhal Muri originates from Bengal, but migrants from Bihar created this dish as the ingredients used are extremely affordable

Jhal Muri

The difference between Bhel Puri and Jhal Muri is that bhel puri has the use of tamarind chutney, green chutney, chaat masala and red chilli-garlic chutney. Jhal muri does not have any of these chutneys and drier in texture than its Bengali cousin.

On an interesting note, I tasted Jhal Muri in Chennai at a small hole in the wall outlet in Spencer Plaza called Kolkatta Chaats. So, this dish has truly travelled all over and become different versions of itself. I’ve written this recipe, based on the flavours and texture that I remember and enjoyed.

The chaat guy used to mix it, give us a taste and ask if the spice levels were ok. If we wanted him to add more heat, he would add a few more green chillies and a dash of mustard oil. That was an entire experience of its own! He would then add them to a rolled paper cone and top it up with some sev for extra crunch. Yum!


The primary ingredients

Murmura – this goes by several names: muri, pori in tamil, puri in kannada, puffed rice in English. You get several varieties of murmura in the market. Choose the one that is thick and round, not the flaky and crumbly ones. If you feel that the muri is not crunchy enough, you can roast it on a low flame for a minute. You can even microwave it for 30 seconds.

Mustard oil – This oil is the only one you can use and cannot substitute for any other oil. The pungency that this oil adds to the experience of the dish. The feeling in your mouth as well as your nostrils when it hits you, add to the “jhal” or heat of the dish.

Green chillies – Depending on your taste buds, you can increase or decrease the number of green chillies to use. I like to eat a small piece of green chilli in every other bite.

Bhaja Masala or Jhal Muri Masala – this is a spice mix that is used in the Bengali cuisine. It is a multipurpose spice mix used for spicing up Bengali curries, and dals, too. It’s a combination of corianders seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom.

These 4 ingredients provide the primary base for the dish. The rest of the ingredients – you can choose based on what you have available at home.

The secondary ingredients

Peanuts/ Channa Jor/ Cruncy green peas – Chosing one or a couple of these will give you the crunch factor in the dish. Depending on which part of the country you eat jhalmudi, the crunch ingredient will differ.

Sev – Barik sev or nylon sev, as it is commonly known, again adds the much-needed crunch to the murmura dish. Some also use any chivda available at home, it will work.

Vegetables – Chaat dishes have a lot of vegetables added to them. I have used boiled potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and cucumber in my creation, which are the most popular vegetables. You can also add grated carrots. However, people usually do not add grated carrots since they are sweet and reduce the heat of the dish.

The last step to any chaat is the garnish. Here I am using lemon juice and coriander leaves.

You can also top up the dish with more crunchy sev.

The other ingredients that get used in jhal muri are tamarind juice, sliced coconut flakes that are either dried, boiled kala channa, boiled white channa, boiled yellow peas, chaat masala and red chilli powder. Some even use powdered rock salt or Himalayan salt, but normal table salt works fine too.

Jhal Muri
Jhal Muri

How to make Jhal Muri at home

The prep part

There are only two parts to preparing JhalMudi. It is prepping the ingredients and keeping them ready in front of you to mix and serve as and when needed.

The prep part includes preparing the masala and boiling the potatoes.

To make the Bhaja Masala, place a pan on low-medium heat and add the jeera, cardamom, coriander seeds and fennel powder one by one and roast them until you get a nice aroma. Turn off the flame and allow them to cool down.

Once the roasted spices have cooled down, add them to a spice grinder and make a fine powder. Keep aside.

Pressure cook the potatoes for 3-4 whistles in a cooker and allow for the pressure to come down naturally. Once cool, peel the skin of the potatoes, and cut them into small cubes and keep aside. You can slightly season them with a pinch of salt.

Peel and chop the cucumber to small chunks, the same size as the potatoes. Finely chop the green chillies to small rounds.

Dice the onions to the small pieces and chop your tomatoes to the same size as the potatoes.

Preparing the Jhalmuri

Add the murmura to a large bowl. Follow it up with the chopped onions, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber, green chillies, peanuts and sev, the bhaja masala and powdered rock salt. If using, add the red chilli powder too. Drizzle in the mustard oil as well.

Mix vigorously until all the ingredients come together. Do a small taste test and increase the “jhal” factor by adding more green chillies, bhaja masala /red chilli powder. A small drizzle of mustard oil will also increase the pungency of the dish.

Serve the Jhalmuri immediately on a plate and garnish with some coriander leaves on top.

Storage and Shelf Life

Any dishes that involve murmura or puffed rice are always best eaten immediately. I mean, within five minutes after it’s made. They get soggy from and get tough to eat even after 15 minutes.

You can always prep the ingredients like the bhaja masala and boiled potatoes in advance to make the Jhalmudi for evening snacks.

Jhal Muri
Jhal Muri

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Jhal Muri

Jhal Muri

Jhal Muri is a street food from Kolkata made with puffed rice, mustard oil, chopped vegetables and spices!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Evening Snacks
Cuisine Bengali
Servings 2 plates


  • 100 g Puffed rice
  • 2 tbsp Mustard Oil adjust, according to taste
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tomato finely chopped
  • 2 Potatoes boiled and cubed
  • ½ Cucumber finely chopped
  • 2-3 Green Chillies finely chopped
  • 1 Lemon juice
  • tsp Bhaja Masala
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Sev for garnish
  • Roasted peanuts handful, for crunch
  • Coriander leave finely chopped, for ganish

For the Bhaja Masala

  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 Whole Cardamom pods


Prep Work

  • Boil / Pressure cook potatoes, remove the skin and cut them up into small cubes.
  • Prepare the Bhaja Masala
    Place a pan on medium heat – add coriander seeds, fennel seeds, jeera and cardamon pods. Roast it for a 2 minutes on a low flame and turn off the heat.
    Once the spices are cool, grind them to a fine powder – your Bhaja Masala is ready.
  • Chop up all the vegetables that you are planning to use – onions, green chillies, tomatoes, cucumbers and coriander leaves.

Putting the Jhal Muri together

  • To a large bowl, add the puffed rice, chopped vegetables, sev, mustard oil, bhaja masala, sev, roasted peanuts and salt. Mix all of them vigorously in the bowl.
  • Have a taste of the Jhal muri and add more bhaja masala and salt if needed.
  • Squeeze lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve Jhal Muri on a plate and consume immediately.
Keyword Chaat, Evening Snacks, healthy

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