The belly rules the mind. ~Spanish Proverb
My close friend was all set to leave India for a good couple of years and I had been invited to her place for lunch! Dressed casually with a heavy heart and a weary mind, I rang her door bell. My beautiful friend opened the door cheerfully and it had to be, as she was joining her husband after a long time. After the initial pleasantries, we sat down to a simple home cooked lunch of Phulka (Indian dry bread), Rajma curry(Red kidney beans), freshly made salad and yes, there was something else on the table, pretty inviting and really appetizing. My mind was glued to that platter throughout the meal. Questions raced in my mind, how had she prepared that particular snack? What was it made of? It looked like a smiling face, perfectly carved. The neatness was indescribable.
As we neared the end of lunch, and it was time to take leave, my eyes were moist but the tears stayed put, lest I embarrass my friend, who was already dreaming of the reunion with her husband. I quickly handed her the small gift which I had brought along, hugged her and left. As I boarded the car, my mind was back on the hunt about that snack, once again. In all the excitement, I had forgotten to taste it. Now, how would I get more information about it? I did not even know whether it was store bought or home made?
A few days later, while waiting in the queue, for my turn in a supermarket at the checkout counter, I Spotted the same snack! The lady just before me had bought it. Ah, so it was store bought and that explained its perfect look. I quickly went to the specified area, picked up a bag of the snack, rushed through the checkout and hurried home. So, it was The McCain Smiles! The beauties made my heart sing with joy. As I began to fry them, my kids dashed into the kitchen and squealed in delight. They confessed, that this was not the first time, they would be tasting this snack, as their friends had been generous enough to lend them some.
I bought more products from McCain and tried them out. It was then, that I got an idea to create new recipes using these. My first and the most loved recipe is being shared here….
McCain smiles- 6, fried and cut into medium cubes
Onion- 1 big , finely chopped
Tomato- 1 medium, finely cut into cubes
Fine sev- 100 gms
Puffed rice(murmura)- 250 gms
Peanuts roasted- 1/4th cup
Coriander leaves- A little, finely chopped
Tamarind and dates sauce(chutney)- 2 tablespoons( I like it sweet)
Garlic and red chilly paste- 1 teaspoon(as per your taste)
Salt to taste
In a large bowl, toss in the chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, roasted peanuts, puffed rice(murmura), all the sauces(chutneys), fried and cubed McCain smiles, salt and the fine sev. Mix it thoroughly taking care to be gentle as the mix might get soggy otherwise. Serve it immediately in bowls and enjoy the McCain Bhel.
This dish is a must, in all parties, at my place, as my guests simply love it. My family swears by this recipe. After all, the proof of the pudding is in its taste. Life seems sunny and bright and so right. Now there is a reason, to be cheerful every evening. The Kids lunch boxes are not dull and routine anymore. Instead of running a mile away, they now open it, with a smile.
One can get really innovative as there is never a dull moment with McCain products. My kitchen is abuzz with new recipes every now and then. Thank you, McCain!
When you have sudden unannounced guests
And before you tag them as pests
Give McCain snacks a try
Ready in minutes, to spare you of the war cry
Explore their complete range of products at McCain Foods (India)
Image Credits – McCain Foods India