Tuesday, 7 November 2017

KHOI ER MURKI





Some mornings feel very auspicious... and you go back in time within a fraction of a second and wish to share this sweet snack recipe of KHOI ER MURKI ..... Well, my readers know by now I do not require any trigger to get my memories alive... they are very much a part of me.... and I so much love cuddling them. Let us start from mid 70's and there after. The little girl stayed mostly at her grandparent's place .... she was too attached to her maternal grandmother and loved watching her in action. Cooking, washing, cleaning... doing household chores without any complaint. Besides the normal household chores she had .... she also had some extra work to do which these ladies never considered as a work or a burden. There was a big courtyard in that house with two big "matir unan"... clay ovens at work.... She used to prepare "muri"... puffed rice or murmura, "khoi"... another variety of puffed rice with help of sand. I did not get the exact English of Khoi in Google search option.... I get it from an Indian grocery here, if not you can order for it. The religious order our grandparents followed had to have special prayer meets called "Upasana" held every weekend at different homes in turns. On this occasion, this KHOI ER MURKI was a must along with coconut ladoo "naru" and "batasha"... a kind of sweet?.... my knowledge and vocabulary of English is too poor which definitely is irritating to my readers but I can compensate your complaints with a very authentic Bengali sweet snack as this KHOI ER MURKI. So while the grandmother was busy preparing batches of khoi in her clay oven, we were busy making "kagojer thonga".... paper bags or pockets?.... Yes there was a time I knew making them.... I forgot all about it lah.... else could have supplied brown paper bags islandwide.... and earn some .... My friend Bianca also does not go out for work but takes good care of her farm ... run you may get some fresh duck eggs there. Yes, these are very much a part of my memories... ducks and hens laying eggs by the pond, buying super sweet litchis and mangoes from the vast gardens, boat rides , the grandfather had a milch cow too at his home... even the caterpillars hiding behind the drumstick leaves are fresh on my mind... Perhaps because I follow a page called Nomadic Weekends on Facebook that I feel like going to explore rural India / Bengal these days.... I was telling my man .... when can we?... the woods beckon by its own rights... The unforgettable aroma of dhoop sticks mixed with freshly cut fruits gets me awake at an unearthly hour of the night.... Yes... I am a religious soul who believes saffron looks best in sweets, pulao, desserts just as green in the woods, on your backyard or on my balcony. I do not have problem with people with a different stand... just that I do not wish to kiss each other on issues that does not match with my mindset..... when did I say I am not self centric?

KHOI ER MURKI is  done among us during special prayers held at home.... mainly on Lakshmi or Saraswati Pooja.... Our grandmother did it on a regular basis and stored in those empty Britannia biscuit tins. I am still so fond of having it either with grated coconut or plain yogurt that I can have it everyday if only this diabetes thing would not have featured on life. This khoi that is another variant of puffed rice have some beneficial properties... it eases your bowel movement while had with little warm or may be chilled milk and banana... My paternal grandparents' dinner for the last 15-20 years of their life was this khoi with warm milk and a mashed banana and they had no physical complications as such. Please do not expect any note on its exact nutritional value, its contribution on reducing your BMI or the amount of carb in it.... as I say I do not research deep on a matter... I lack that patience. How this khoi is made?.... just as popcorns.... I remember, the grandmother used special kind of husked rice grains for the purpose.... once the sand got hot, the grains started blooming like white blossoms .... the most painful part was to separate the khoi from the husks. Now a days we do not even have to go through this long process .... we get easily digestible khoi in packets all cleaned for us.... do not buy too white ones... they are bleached... Its natural colour is brownish, very light weight with no taste of its own.... almost like popcorns. May we prepare together this childhood favourite sweet snack of mine called KHOI ER MURKI with this variant of puffed rice called Khoi, jaggery, cardamon powder and little camphor?... We should.... The cashew nuts and raisins are my addition for a richer taste.



INGREDIENTS :
Khoi : 500gm [another variant of puffed rice]
Jaggery : 100gm
Green Cardamom Powder : 4-5pinches
Camphor Tablet : 1/2of one ground to a powder
Water : 1big cup
Grated Coconut or plain yogurt as accompaniment

METHOD :
Take the khoi on a newspaper placed on the table... check carefully if any husk is present.... we need to remove them. Transfer the khoi in a bowl now.

Heat a wok. Add the water and the jaggery. Let it come to boil. If you see any dirt at the top, gently take out and throw. It is very important to buy a good quality jaggery.

Once the jaggery mixture starts getting sticky, add the green cardamom and the camphor powder and stir continuously till it reaches an one string consistency.

Switch of gas and immediately add the khoi and quickly fold in well for sometime.

Transfer to an airtight container.... but it tastes best when had fresh with either grated coconut or plain yogurt or as it is.



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