Mmmmm, this snack is so good and so easy! Jhalmuri (literally translated to "spicy puffed rice") is a really close Bengali/Bangladeshi cousin to bhelpuri (a popular Indian snack). It can include any combination of veggies, spices, and puffed rice, but generally includes cucumber, potatoes, and tomatoes. It's fresh and crunchy, spicy and a little tangy. The trick is to eat it quick, the rice puffs don't stay crunchy long!
1 lb. potatoes (about 2 small/medium)
3 ½ c. puffed rice/ Rice Krispies (the crispier the better)
½ medium red onion
½ large cucumber
1 Serrano pepper
⅓ c. peanuts
½ c. minced cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chaat masala*
¼ tsp. chili powder
1 tbs. canola oil
1 lime, juiced
*If you can't find chaat masala, you can make your own using this recipe, or substitute:
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. black salt
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 lemon squeezed
If you are using puffed rice that isn’t super crunchy, preheat oven to 350°. Scatter puffed rice on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy.
Chop potatoes into ½” cubes and put in a saucepan with water to cover potatoes by ½” . [Pro tip, I basically never peel potatoes. Why get rid of vitamins?]. Add 1 tsp. salt to the water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium low, and boil for 6 minutes. Potatoes should be firm but cooked, not soft.
While potatoes are boiling, get a medium sized bowl and add all vegetables: dice red onion small, dice cucumber into ¼” cubes, dice tomato into ¼” cubes, and mince Serrano pepper.
Add peanuts, cilantro, cumin, chaat masala, chili powder, canola oil, and lime juice and stir to combine throughly.
Wait until ready to serve, add puffed rice, stir to combine and serve immediately. If you don't think you will eat all the jhalmuri in one sitting, reserve the puffed rice and potato mixture separately. Because the puffed rice gets soggy quickly, only add immediately before serving. Veggie mixture lasts 1 week in the fridge.
chalo khai = Bangla for "Let's eat!"