By Renu Chandarana
Chevda is a mix of grains like puffed rice, corn flakes, peanuts, raisins, small round fried balls made of lentils, and any other little crunchy tidbit made from a grain or lentil. It is a popular bar snack in India and in Indian homes, and usually served with hot chai and evening drinks. Chevda is also known as Kerala mixture (which tends to be spicier) or Bombay Chivda (a lighter mixture).
Most chevda is fried and very spicy or sweet. My mother makes some delicious chevda, and the memories of this delicious, moreish snack spurred me on to try making my own version.
What I loved about my mom’s Chevda was that it was light, not fried, and the spices were to our taste. So in the back of my pantry I found a bag of puffed rice (The Indian kind – called Murmurra) and a box of Corn Flakes and I got to thinking. If I can’t buy it anymore…I CAN MAKE IT!
So here’s my recipe for a very light and satisfying Chevda that you can make in minutes:
4 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp Black Mustard Seeds
10-12 Curry Leaves
½ tsp Asafetida (hing)
Red Chilli powder to your taste
2 tsps Turmeric
1 tsp Citric Acid powder
1 Tbsp ground fennel seeds (as coarsely or finely ground as you like)
Salt to your taste (I used about 2 tsps)
Sugar to your taste optional (I used about 1 tsp)
2 cups puffed rice (You could use Rice Krispies – white or brown)
2 cups Corn Flakes
½ cup roasted peanuts (Spanish peanuts would be best)
¼ cup raisins
On medium heat the oil in a large wok (enough to stir the 4 cups of cereals freely). Add the black mustard seeds and the curry leaves and heat until the seeds start popping. Use a mesh spatter lid or large enough lid to protect yourself from the popping seeds. Add the hing, red chili powder if using, and turmeric and let cook in heat for one minute stirring gently with a large spoon. Do not burn the temper! Turn the heat down to lo/medium-lo and add the cereals, nuts and raisins and stir constantly over the heat careful not to break the cereals but enough to fold in the temper. Add the remaining spices: citric acid, fennel, salt and sugar. Keep stirring gently until the cereals are coated with the temper and toasted slightly. Turn off the heat and let cool in the wok. Store in an airtight container.
Note: You can add any grain or cereals you like (like boondi or fried channa daal), as well as a few crushed potato chips, or other nuts like cashews. Make it your own!
Tips for Storage: Keep in an airtight container at room temperature. If not eating it right away, you can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge or in freezer bags in the freezer. Just bring to room temperature before eating.
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