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Masala Munch: Product Review

Masala Munch is a flavour of Kurkure, a type of namkeen produced in India by PepsiCo and available in both the Eastern and Western markets. Namkeen , for those not familiar with the concept, is a salty finger food enjoyed in India. It takes a number of different forms and is eaten the same way one might eat cheese puffs, potato chips or trail mix.

Kurkere , which the brand's web site describes as a “tedha shaped snack,” is similar to a cheese twist, except that the Masala Munch version is flavoured with spices and not cheese. Tedha is a twist shape, and Kurkere is made from rice, corn and gram (chickpea) meals. It has few ingredients other than the spices, and contains no MSG or artificial flavours. The snack has no trans fats, and is suitable for a vegetarian diet.

If you like corn puffs or cheese twists, and you're not afraid of a little heat, you're going to love Masala Munch ! It's a huge favourite in our house – right from the ten-year-old, on up to Mama and Daddy. We love the crunch of this product, which is better than anything we can get from similar types of snacks produced in North America. This namkeen is just salty enough to satisfy a craving, but I find the flavour much more natural than a lot of the chips and similar snack foods being targeted at a North American market.

Masala Munch contains a spice blend that is intense, pungent (cumin, ajwain) and peppery (chili, black pepper.) The earthy and spicy tastes are balanced with several other flavours – citrus, onion and garlic, fennel, etc.

The heat is fairly strong for a snack food – maybe a 7 or 8 on 10, for those who only eat spicy foods on occasion. But it's not that vinegary, artificial heat that puckers up the mouth and leaves my lips chapped. It's the kind of heat that will set my nose to running and burn my tongue for a while. But once that heat dissipates I'm not left feeling all dried up and pickled, the way I do with some of the chips I've reviewed in recent months.

This flavour of Kurkere may not be for you if you dislike spicy foods – in which case I encourage you to explore the other flavours! But if you do like a little heat, do try it! Masala Munch is great on its own, and you can also combine it with other types of namkeen or use it in recipes. There are some great presentation ideas on the brand's Facebook page too!

This is my Reviews entry for DawnWriter 's A-W Category Challenge

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Image credit: Namkeen snack mixture by Aravind Sivaraj/Wikipedia ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Disclosure: The author has no material connection to Kurkere or Pepsico, and has not been compensated in any way to write this review.

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Glenn wrote on November 29, 2014, 11:54 AM

When I saw this title of your article I thought about chicken masala, which I like. So I figured I already could relate. But this sounds even better. It's healthy! And definitely something I want to try. As for the spiciness, we can always control that by using less cumin.

celticeagle wrote on November 29, 2014, 6:24 PM

I don't think I'd care for this. I don't care for salty stuff at all. I like sweet. Bet my daughter would like it though.

bestwriter wrote on November 29, 2014, 6:29 PM

Wow! A review about an Indian product. We get to see this Ad every single day on our tv but I do not eat those. (lol). Have you tasted them?

Ruby3881 wrote on November 30, 2014, 5:09 AM

It's a pre-packaged snack food like cheese doodles, Glenn. It's not exactly what I'd call healthy, though it's probably less unhealthy than a lot of chips.

As far as the spiciness, it's not hot because of cumin (which is not a hot spice but rather a pungent one.) It's the chili powder, and probably the black pepper too a bit. You can't really get less of the spice, because it's right in the little twists. The best option is to blend the Kurkere in with more bland snack foods, as in the Bombay mix pictured above, or to use the Kurkere in recipes with meats, cheeses, rice, or vegetables.

Ruby3881 wrote on November 30, 2014, 5:10 AM

You might like the pita chips I had a while back, then. They were cinnamon flavoured and very sweet!

Ruby3881 wrote on November 30, 2014, 5:13 AM

Yes, I love them! We have only tried Masala Munch so far, but I will have to see if we can find some of the other flavours.

We have a decent Asian snacks section in some of the local stores here. There are several different types of namkeen which my husband likes a great deal. So we regularly see little packets come home when he shops :)

celticeagle wrote on November 30, 2014, 8:18 PM

I love cinnamon but not into stuff that too sweet. A little sweet is fine.

manni wrote on December 8, 2014, 11:51 PM

Kurkure is my all time favorite from school time. I can tell you which flavors are worth a try if you want to know more about Indian products.