Kara Pori or Murmura is a spicy, peanuts-rich, garlic-flavoured puffed rice snack best served with evening chai. Make Kara Pori in less than 15 and store for later too.
Evening chai time begs for snacks like this spicy murmura or deep fried pakoras. I love how even a mildly spiced snacks compliments a hot cup of chai ten folds. You should try making my chai recipe to serve with this puffed rice snack.
My 90's childhood summer memories about puffed rice snacks — Porrriiiii! A man on a bicycle with a large gunny bag full of puffed rice hanging on the back of his bicycle rides around our colony every afternoon calling out as loud as he can - Porrrriiiii! a sign for stay-at-home moms to rush out and buy a bowl of crispy pori to make evening snacks for the family.
Kara pori was born from the need for evening munchies especially since the pandemic started. I made a few different ways and found that we both love the garlic-flavoured kara pori. Though kara pori can be stored for many days, we tend to finish off.
What is puffed rice?
Puffed rice is not krispy rice. They are light weight crunchy rice that are puffed by heat. It is a healthier choice of snacks if made at home. This used in making both sweet and savoury snacks across India.
Pori is the Tamil word for puffed rice. Kara Pori recipes are spicy puffed rice snacks that can be made in a few different ways. Murmura or Kara Pori is not puffed rice but rather snacks made using puffed rice.
What snacks can be made from puffed rice?
Some of the popular recipes using puffed rice that I know of are Kara Pori or Murmura, Pori ladoo, Bhel puri, Jhalmuri, and Churmuri. In my home town we also add this to summer drinks for the crunch factor.
You can read the benefits of puff rice in this article by netmeds.
Let's look at the list of ingredients to make a small batch of Kara Pori.
- Oil: You can use any cooking oil but we loved the batch made with coconut oil or ghee.
- Peanuts: Use the one you get with skin that has to be toasted or roasted.
- Pottukadalai: Aka roasted chana dal
- Mustard seeds: I am tagging this as an optional ingredient because I did not like it being in there. You can skip this ingredient and still have a tasty kara pori.
- Dried red chilli: Again an optional item but if you do not have red chilli powder or sambar powder, then throw in a couple of dried red chilli in the warm oil.
- Curry leaves: I will never tell you to skip this... Find some and only then make Kara Pori.
- Garlic cloves: Some people add crushed with the skin, I like to make thin long slices as they become crispy. If you don't like the garlic taste, you can skip this.
- Turmeric powder: adds colour to the otherwise white puffed rice.
- Red chilli powder or sambar powder
- Puffed rice aka pori aka murmura
- Salt to taste
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make it?
Add the peanuts to hot coconut oil in a thick-bottomed kadai and fry a low to medium flame until you hear a popping sound.
Next, add the roasted chana dal (pottukadalai) and fry until they turn golden. Reduce the flame to low and move the contents to one side of the pan.
Add mustard seeds (if using) and let it splutter.
Add a few dried red chillies and curry leaves.
Add the sliced garlic and saute until garlic slices turn golden.
Stir in the turmeric powder and red chilli powder or sambar powder along with the puff rice (pori). Stir and saute until all the puffed rice is tinted with turmeric and turns crispier. Take off the hob and let it cool before you serve.
Hint: Switch off and fold in the pori with the residue heat if using cast-iron pan.
For a chaat or salad version, you can convert this Kara Pori to Masala Pori by adding finely chopped tomatoes, onions, grated carrot or cucumber with a few drops of lemon juice. Ideally, for that version, we use boiled peanuts. If you plan to make it, add the veggies towards the serving time so the puffed rice stays somewhat crispy.
I cannot emphasis enough to use a thick-bottomed kadai or wok to make this as it can easily get burnt in a light-weight vessel.
Kara Pori | Murmura | Spicy Puffed Rice Snack
- 1 kadai wok
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
- ¼ cup peanuts
- 2 tablespoons pottukadalai (roasted chana dal)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds optional
- 1 dried red chillies optional
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves sliced thinly lengthwise
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or sambar powder
- 3 cups puffed rice Pori aka murmura
- salt to taste
- Heat coconut oil in a thick-bottomed kadai on a medium flame.2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Add the peanuts and fry until you hear a popping sound. Next, add the roasted chana dal (pottukadalai) and fry until they turn golden. Reduce the flame to low and move the contents to one side of the pan.¼ cup peanuts, 2 tablespoons pottukadalai
- Add mustard seeds (if using), dried red chilli (if using), curry leaves and garlic. Saute until the seeds splutter and the garlic slices turn golden.1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 sprig curry leaves, 2 to 3 garlic cloves, 1 dried red chillies
- If the pan is really hot, you may switch it off and cook on residue heat. Else make sure the flame is low. This is to ensure the spice powders don't get burnt. Stir in the turmeric powder and red chilli powder or sambar powder.¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- Lastly, fold in the puffed rice (pori/ murmura) with a pinch of salt. Mix until all the puffed rice is coated with the spice and becomes crispier.3 cups puffed rice, salt to taste
- Switch off and transfer the content into a large bowl to cool. Serve with evening chai.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.