Like the bhel puri of Mumbai, the jal muri of Kolkata and Bangladesh is based on puffed rice. Some prefer theirs shaken, not stirred, others, just the opposite; this Bangladeshi vendor had it both ways, mingling his many ingredients by first stirring, then shaking.
Compared with bhel puri, jal muri gets its twang not from tamarind, but from mustard oil. Onion was very pronounced on the front end, chili pepper at the finish. A more knowledgeable diner could point out other distinctions and, surely, ask for a custom mix, too.
When Joe DiStefano first came across this fellow in March, a bowl of jal muri cost $2. Perhaps owing to warmer weather, to the cost of more-professional signage, or to the fame from being profiled on World's Fare, the price has risen 50 percent to a still modest $3.
Baul Daada Jal Muri Shop
Cart in front of 37-15 73rd St. (Broadway-37th Ave.), Jackson Heights, Queens