You must be wondering why Churmuri in Mysore wound its way into the relationship section!? Well, for most of the Mysoreans the snack Churmuri will churn out a lot of nostalgia and they share a special relationship with this tasty snack. Every Mysorean identifies their student life, chats and walks with friends to the snack Churmuri. The way the puffed rice is mixed with raw vegetable and spices to make the Churmuri is not available anywhere in this world. In other places the Bhel Puri is passed off as Churmuri, but if you want to taste the authentic Churmuri, then it has to be only at Mysore.
I don’t think there is anyone, young or old who has not tried this mouth watering, low calorie snack in its different avatars/forms. When prepared with Tomato it is known as Tomato Churmuri; with Cucumber it is known as Cucumber Churmuri with sweet Raw Mangoes (Totapuri) it is known as Mavinakayi/Mango Churmuri.
This street side cheap and instant food is a favorite among evening walkers. The street side 4-wheel food cart is loaded with all the ingredients and utensils needed to prepare the Churmuri. In a minute the Churmuri walla will add all the ingredients and with a few tactful turns with the steel spatula it is carefully stuffed into an instantly rolled out paper container. They even oblige and adjust the spices according to your requirements. A glass jar filled with Groundnut Chikkis (sweet prepared using roasted groundnuts and jaggery), is also sold for the customer who might find the preparation too spicy. The customer just picks up a piece of this sweet when it is too spicy and pops it in his mouth and of course pays up for it in the end. There are some favorite Churmuri churners and they have a chain of regular clientele. Some of the Churmuri carts in Mysore are maintained by generations of the same family with generations of regular customers.
It is still a mystery why the Churmuri is yet to find a place in the menu card of Mysore restaurants, even though its counterpart Bhel Puri prepared in North India has found its way into the cards.
If you are very conscious of hygiene and feel awkward eating on the roadside, check the recipe for Churmuri to prepare it at home.