Jhal Muri is the most common and popular snack for Bangladeshi children and adults. It is mixture of puffed rice and chanachur (a dry Bangladeshi snack).
While puffed rice and chanachur are the two major ingredients in Jhal Muri, the addition of green chilies, onions, mustard oil and lemon make it even more delicious.
In Bengali, jhal means hot and muri means puffed rice. Muri is to rice what popcorn is to corn. As the name suggests, this is a hot and spicy, traditional, crispy snack.
According to Bengali custom, muri is made by heating rice in a big round pot or a jar made of mud.
First, the pot is filled with sand and heated for hours. Then rice is placed inside the pot and mixed with the hot sand. After a few minutes, the puffed rice is separated from the sand as it is collected from the pot.
This snack is completely free of chemicals and crispy to eat.
The other major ingredient of Jhal Muri is chanachur.
Chanachur is a mixture of several spicy dried-food products like fried lentils, peanuts, flour noodles, corn, vegetable oil, chickpeas, flaked rice and fried onion. These ingredients are mixed together with salt and blended spices.
Chanachur is not a homemade food but is available at any grocery shop.
Preparation of Jhal Muri is very simple, which is one reason why it is so popular.
To make Jhal Muri, you first wash and slice onions and green chilies with a Bangladeshi knife called a boti. Place these ingredients in a bowl and mix with the muri and chanachur.
Then mustard oil is added to give a sizzling flavor. A little lemon juice gives it even more flavor.
Children in Bangladesh love to have Jhal Muri as their evening snack.
Other traditional food items from Bangladesh are:
Smashed potato is a common food in Bangladesh and is eaten with rice.
To make smashed potato, you first need to boil the potatoes. After removing the skin, you smash the potatoes by hand.
Green chilies, onions and mustard oil are mixed in with the potato. Many sponsored children eat this for breakfast or lunch.
Egg curry is also a common and popular dish among children in Bangladesh. In the weekly food menu, all of our child development centers serve egg curry at least once. For lunch, children eat egg curry with rice and lentils.
Children often eat egg curry at home; it is not a difficult food item to prepare.
To make egg curry, you first boil the eggs and potatoes. In a separate pan, fry onions in oil, then add some green chilis, turmeric powder and water. Mix the potatoes and eggs with the spices; when the gravy looks thick, the egg curry is ready.