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Smoking Desi Murli - Traditional Mu'essel
Written By: Hajo Flettner of Madrid, NM
*Note - Hookah1, adds glycerine and molasses during mixing - based on preference, you may add more
These products are less moist then the more popular mu'essel products sold in the states that are fairly moist.
The way I recondition is to use 1/4 teaspoon of glycerin and honey with the amount that will fill the bowl. When you mix it be sure to have wet fingers so you can get a good even mix without getting mu'essel stuck to your fingers. After putting the foil on use a pin to get 4 or 5 holes in a line space the lines every 1/4" or so. Use 6 pieces of 3 kings to start and wait about two minutes before drawing on the hose. Reconditioning the traditional Mu?essel in this fashion results in a product pretty close to what it should be when it?s fresh.
When preparing to smoke I have found it best to use a broad, shallow, flat bottomed ceramic bowl of the style commonly used to smoke tombac with capacity of around 30-35 grams. Most American narghile fans lack such a bowl because tombac smoking is not too common here. Luckily, I found that the Tangiers small funnel with the Scalli mod works almost as well for this application.
When packing the bowl one should remove any stems as usual and sprinkle the tobacco about so as to ?fluff? it up rather then ?packed? tightly. The bowl should be filled to within 3mm or so from the top. It is my experience that the best hole pattern is a series of straight lines radiating out from the center of the bowl spaced an eighth of inch or so apart with each line having five holes evenly spaced.
A single finger worth of a high quality natural coal broken in to four parts placed at 12, 3, 6 & 9 o?clock is the best coal pattern to use at the start of the session. Once you?re getting a decent amount of smoke, quickly reduce your coal usage to two pieces and only add back a third or forth piece when you?re no longer getting a decent amount of smoke. Coals should be moved every 2-4 minutes to prevent burning the mu'essel. Depending upon your smoking style you should get 30 - 45 minutes worth of full flavor smoking before needing to add a second set of coals and a conservative smoker should be able to get a solid 60 - 75 minute long session using this method and one and a half fingers worth of coals.
Remember that a traditional mu'essel doesn?t produce anywhere near the amount of smoke that an extremely wet shisha will so don?t worry if you?re unable conceal troop movements when smoking a traditional mu'essel. Traditional style products like Desi Murli, Plain Mu'essel Salloum or Sh?h 'el-beled can give wonderful, rich and complicated flavors and textures using this method and provide a delightful change from the fruit and candy like tastes so common to the American narghile scene.
Smoke as you would a cigar and take plenty of breaks while drinking a lot of water and eating some fruit as you would with any other shisha. Let the smoke drift up past your nose as you release it from your mouth to get the full taste.