Thursday, December 7, 2017

#594 : Me Time @ 11PM

The clock struck 11 as I entered my bedroom. It was one hectic day filled with tons of technical discussions which made me want to pull my hair apart. On the home front, the husband wanted some help with his project work. The in law wanted me to help her with some grocery shopping. All of that was finally done! Looking back, I realized I had hardly spent time for myself in the entire day. I woke up at 6AM and I’ve probably spent all of 1 hour to wash, eat and dress! My in-laws are asleep and the love of my life is snoring softly already.

Finally! It was time to clear my head out and un-wind for the day! I sat down with the journal and began penning down my thoughts randomly. I lost the habit of journal keeping after my school days. Engineering and a business degree didn’t give me the luxury to write, nor did incessant travelling to remote factories. Marriage however, seems to have made me find the time to write. I know this isn’t going to last with plans for raising a family soon on the cards. Ought to enjoy while I can!

30 minutes down and I felt relaxed. The feel of a rich ink pen gliding over a smooth paper when words flow like there is not tomorrow is unparalleled. Just as I shut the journal, I heard a weird rumbling noise. I burst out laughing as I realized the origin of the sound – It’s was my own tummy! The husband stirred a bit on hearing the noise. I decided it’s time to raid the cupboard! Mid-Night snack it was.

It’s been ages since I ate something post 11PM. I used to sneak about and munch on biscuits while studying in the wee hours, during my college days. I grew up and my sleep cycle changed. Plus to manage weight, I started cutting down on anything other than vegetables, fruits and nuts! My stomach rumbled again as I tip-toed to the kitchen caring not to wake up the people.

I slowly opened the lower rack of the shelf. That shelf contained all snacks. I wasn’t much of a snack person. That was my husband’s forte. He stocked the snacks for the week. This week, much to my surprise, I found a couple of packets of Kurkure!  It was unlike of him to buy any form of chips, that’s of course partly because of me. I tend to binge eat any fried form of potato. He swears by fried grams, puffed rice and peanuts. Kurkure was a complete surprise. I was craving for something tangy. There was one pack of Lime Pickle triangle and one pack of Masala Munch. The choice was easy! Lime Pickle triangle it was.

I slowly opened the pack ensuring not to make any noise. A tangy citrus smell filled my nostrils. I slowly popped in one triangle into my mouth and savored the flavor. Yum! Just the tangy taste and right amount of crispness like I wanted. I tip-toed back to the bedroom, munching away my perfect mid-night snack. Just as I took another bite, I suddenly remembered the video that had gone viral some time ago. It had been something about Kurkure burning and containing some form of plastics. Must be some competitor at work I mused. After all, my really picky husband wasn’t going to stock a snack which was rumored to have plastics. While eating I got a distincttaste of corn.

 I turned the packet and read the contents just as I always did. Being from the manufacturing services industry it intrigues me to no end to know what it takes to manufacture something. It read just the basic ingredients as does for any other traditional snack. I couldn’t find one chemical name or a preservative. I decided to fire up my tab and do some Googling. What I found thoroughly surprised me. It was common knowledge that anything which contained a form of carbohydrate when combined with high quantity of oxygen can burn if ignited. The traditional kurkure is light and puffy. Evidently, Kurkure contains Corn, dal and rice. All the three ingredients are high on carbohydrate. Thus when ignited, it burned. This didn’t imply that it contained plastics. I also found a good video of their manufacturing process. Given it’s my own domain, I decided to dig deeper. I found out a very basic outline of the process which goes as follows,

1. The raw material – Corn, Dal and rice, is first cleaned, ground and mixed in a specific proportion.

2.  It is then sent via an extruder to bring in a shape.

3. It is fried in oil and then seasoned with spices in a rolling drum for uniform coating.

Having never worked in the FMCG domain before, all this interested me a lot. I powered off the tab and went back to munching the snack. With my mid night pang satiated, I slipped into the bed, thinking about how I could come up with such a formulation and prepare my own snack. One can dream to achieve greater things. After all, for all we know the snack I just had would have been one such formulation!