Relieved of my responsibilities as an event planner, I was now left with the much needed space to finally think of making something for Diwali. Diwali and snacks almost seem synonymous and my first post on the series of Diwali snacks is devoted to the delicious and healthy snack – the Chivda. The fact that is so appealing to me about this decadent snack is its utmost soothing simplicity and clarity of ingredients. This snack has not been part of my growing up but I must confess that I have definitely grown to love it ever since the time I first tasted it from a friend’s Diwali-goodies packet sent from India. I have been in awe ever since. So simple yet so intricate and so delicate yet with so much clarity, is what makes this snack stick with me. Over these five years of my interaction with several Maharashtrians, I have tasted different and interesting versions of it and each time I would make a mental note of what I liked and what I didn’t.
So here’s my version of this snack which I have tried my best to make as close to the original as possible. And as with each new process, I was reconfirmed with one aspect of any recipe – the perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour – is essential for any recipe.
Chivda/ Chuda mixture
Crisp and oven roasted, thin flattened rice comes alive with a tempering that bonds together the zestiness of curry leaves along with the nuttiness of ground nuts and split chick peas. A very simple, distinct and healthy snack- this recipe is a keeper – Diwali or no Diwali. Also popularly known as Chuda mixture in Odia.
1 lb Thin flattened rice/ Thin Poha (Easily available in any Indian store)
For the tempering:
¼ C Peanut oil
200 g raw peanuts
100 g Dalia/ Split Chick Peas
¼ tsp Asafetida / Hing
Handful of curry leaves
5-6 Dried red chillies/ Fresh green chillies
1½ tsp Cumin seeds/ Jeera
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp Amchur (Dried mango powder)
1. Dry roasting the poha – The very traditional way of roasting on the stove top is effective but tedious. So burdened with having to stir the Poha I decided to place it in the oven and so thankful that I did.
Using the oven method: Spread out the poha on a sheet pan lined with wax paper (optional). Pre heat the oven to 350oF. Then place the sheet pan in the oven and dry roast for 10-12 minutes. Check once in between to stir for a uniform heat. The poha should feel crisp to touch and white in color.
2. For the tadka: In a separate pan, add in half the oil and the peanuts right after. Stir fry the peanuts over medium heat till fragrant (2-3 minutes.) Once done, scoop them out to a separate plate.
3. Then add in the dalia and roast it for 1-2 minutes till fragrant. Add in a pinch of turmeric powder to get a golden yellow color to the dalia. Scoop out into the peanut plate.
4. Now add hing to the oil over medium heat and then add in the chillies and the curry leaves. Stir for a minute.Then stir in the cumin seeds till fragrant.
5. Now add in the peanuts and dalia to the oil. Sprinkle the turmeric powder and stir for another minute.
6. Meanwhile, transfer the crisp poha into a mixing bowl and then stir in the tadka/ tempering. Now add in the salt, sugar and amchur while the mixture is still hot.
7. Adjust the final mixture according to taste and store in air tight containers.
The final result was as close to my imagination as possible with the only thing that I really missed was the dried coconut.This time I managed without it but I will definitely add it in whenever next I lay my hands onto it.
So while I decide on the next Diwali snack, you guys have a great time :)
I am submitting this recipe to :
- "Fest celebration - Diwali" by Preeti and Surabhi
- "Diwali Bash" by Vardhini
- "Kid's delight: Healthy Makeovers" hosted by Rasi
- "Diwali food fest" hosted by Anu
- "Bon Vivant #10: Festive feast" hosted by Sumee.
- "Diwali Dishes" hosted by Cook's Joy