The big game day is over, the team I was supporting lost, and I have vowed never to follow the game season again...until next season atleast :D We went to watch the game at a sports bar this weekend and unfortunately for me I was one of the 2-3 ppl supporting Steelers in the whole place! Almost everyone knew who I was rooting for and I could not jump ship at half time, that was my initial plan, hmph! The owner, a dear old man, and another lovely granpa at the table next to ours made it a point to see me after the game and console me. :( But anyways it was a good past time despite the nightmarish appetizers we had the few times that we went out to catch the game. Everything is fried, greasy, cheesy - everything bad and all at once.
Both V & I like savory foods more than sweet. Even when I spend 2hrs in the kitchen making poli, it ends up getting the secondhand treatment! arghhh! We love the crunchy munchies and so I've been making little batches of murukkus & mixtures for us to enjoy with the evening cup of tea. The store bought snacks just don't taste the same and the fresh taste of home made stuff is incomparable, even if its not perfect. When we were kids my father bought home packets of mixtures & murukkus on his way back from work. The road exiting out of his office used to be lined with vendors selling different varieties and it would be a guessing game as to which one he got home. One of my favorites was cornflakes mixture/chivda. The corn poha when fried double in volume and turn into scrumptiously crisp deliciousness. If the oil temperature is right, they won't drink up any oil and will stay nice & crunchy for a week or more. The dried flakes are sold as Maize Poha at the Indian grocery store.
- 2 cups - Maize poha
- 1/2 cups - Peanuts, raw
- a spring of curry leaves
- 1 nos - dried Red chilli
- Oil for deep fryingfor the spice blend,
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 tsp Chaat masala/Amchur,
- a pinch of Hing & TurmericMethod:
- Heat about an inch of oil on medium heat in a frying pan. You will know that the oil has reached the right temperature when a poha flake dropped in oil, hits the bottom of the pan and rises up to the top in a couple of seconds.
- Fry the poha flakes in the oil in small batches so as to not overcrowd the pan. They take just a few seconds to turn golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to fish them out of the oil and spread onto paper towels to soak the excess oil.
- While they are still hot, sprinkle a pinch or two of the spice blend on top of the corn flakes and move to an air tight container.
- Continue frying up all the flakes and spicing them. Next fry the peanuts until a deep brown color, drain on a paper towel and add to the corn flakes. Turn of the heat and fry the red chilli for a few seconds. The curry leaves also take just a few seconds and can be fried up after the heat is turned off. They tend to splutter so keep your face and hands away from the oil at all times.
- Crush the red chillis and curry leaves in the palm of your hand and sprinkle over the chivda. The chivda can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of weeks, but it sure vanish much sooner.Notes:- Be extremely careful when deep frying and take care not to have any water around the hot oil. The flakes and curry leaves have a tendency to splutter a bit, so stay at a cautious distance from the pan.- This is a really basic version of the recipe, you can fry up raisins, cashews, roasted channa dal (putnalu), beaten rice flakes (poha) to add to the mixture.- If you like a hint of sweetness, sprinkle in about a tsp of sugar on the chivda while its still hot.- When frying the rice poha/channa dal use a fine mesh strainer/spider to confine the poha in the oil. Its impossible to fish them out using a slotted spoon.- If you are not in a mood to deep fry but still want to savor this treat, substitute with unsweetened store bought corn flakes cereal. Toast peanuts, cumin & mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves, a pinch of turmeric & hing in a few Tbsps of oil. Add the store bought corn flakes and add toss in the oil until heated through and the flavors fuse together. Sprinkle with some salt and red chilli powder to taste.
The fried up maize/corn flakes taste great all by themselves and need very little help from the spices. They also use up very little oil while frying, I used a third of a cup of oil in a 10" round pan and about half of it is still leftover. They have the perfect crunch and are really addictive. We almost packed some up to sneak in along with us to the sports bar, I wish we had, cos yet again the appetizers were horrible. But serve this up with a cup of hot tea, and everything will be right in the world again :)
What are your favorite tea time snacks ?