Chuda | Poha Chivda | Spicy Beaten Rice Snack
Chuda as Chivda is called among the Mangalorean Konkani speaking community needs no introduction. It is a very popular tea time snack along the Konkan coast of India and is prepared in every home - well almost. At my place we used to buy it from the little bakery around the corner which used to sell the freshest of snacks. On days when we went to buy our week's stock of goodies we found the chuda, freshly prepared and still a little warm. Chuda was prepared by our neighbours the GSB Konkanis especially during the festivals. When I was little I enjoyed playing with my neighbours and had the chance to enjoy this snack whenever I popped into their house. It was perhaps the snack that was prepared and stocked up all year round owing to its simplicity and ease of preparation and also because it is a low calorie snack that tastes as good as deep fried snacks except that its not deep fried.
A lot of ingredients go into this lovely snack and the beaten rice is mixed into it resulting in crispy flakes that have elements of spiciness, sweetness and saltiness. The aroma, flavours and crunchiness of the roasted gram, cashew nuts and peanuts pack in more magic into this otherwise humble snack. There are several ways of making the chivda and I am sure there are thousands of recipes for the same but the most basic of ingredients include the beaten rice, mustard, green chillies, curry leaves, roasted gram, salt and sugar.
To be honest I had forgotten about this snack as I had not eaten it in ages, so obviously it was not part of my planned Diwali recipe series. It so happened that a couple of weeks ago my neighbour Aunty Ivy made some fresh chivda as usual and sent me some to enjoy. It was simply spectacular! The aroma and flavour of that chivda is unforgettable. I immediately asked her for the recipe and she was kind enough to hop over to my place to help me make it. We enjoyed the whole process of making this chivda while chit chatting about various things. Since that day I have prepared it like three times and decided that I must have the recipe on my blog too.
So here it is, the recipe of a low-cal snack that you can prepare in a jiffy not only for Diwali but all year round. If you have the urge to indulge in store bought/deep fried snacks just replace them completely with this chivda. Since it has a long shelf life it can be carried as a dry snack when you travel. It is not only interesting but far more healthy than commercially made snacks. When you make it at home you have full control over the quantity and quality of ingredients used. You can easily alter the amount of oil used depending on the number of and quantity of ingredients used. I cannot think of anything healthier than this.
A big thank you to Aunty Ivy Rebello for her simple and delicious recipe! :-)
Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins | Yield: Approx 3 cups
For the tempering (ingredients listed in the order they appear):
- 2 cups thin poha / beaten rice * see notes
- 2 - 2-1/2 teaspoons fine / caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) table salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds / jeera
- 1 big pinch asafoetida / hing
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder / haldi
- 3-4 small green chillies (I used the very spicy variety) * see notes
- 6-7 sprigs (approx 3/4th loosely packed cup) curry leaves * see notes
- 2 tablespoon small raw peanuts with skin
- 1 tablespoon cashew nut halves
- 2 tablespoons raisins / kishmish
- 3-4 small slivers (thin slices) copra / dried coconut *optional
- 2 tablespoons pre roasted bengal gram / chutney dalia / hurikadale
1. Keep all the ingredients measured and ready. Since this snack majorly involves tempering of many ingredients you have no time to waste later or else the tempering will burn. So before you begin make sure that all the ingredients are ready on your kitchen counter.
2. Heat the oil on a medium high in a kadhai / wok and add the mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering add the cumin seeds, reduce the heat to low. After a few seconds add the hing and give it a stir. Toss in the turmeric powder (the heat should be low or else the turmeric will burn)
3. Add the green chillies and fry them for a few seconds, then add the curry leaves and fry them on a medium high heat for a half a minute or until they are evenly fried and turn crisp.
4. Toss in the peanuts and fry them until the colour of the skin changes to a deeper shade. Then in go the cashew nut halves - fry them lightly and toss in the raisins - fry until they change colour to a light brown. All these ingredients should be fried on a medium heat to avoid burning.
5. Finally add the copra and the roasted bengal gram and given them a toss for a few seconds.
6. Now the tempering is ready - add the beaten rice and remove the pan from the heat - if you continue to fry it over the heat the beaten rice flakes will burn or get over fried, shrivel up and break (and turn powdery when you store the chivda). Once the rice flakes have been added the heat of the pan is sufficient to turn them crispy.
7. Add the salt and sugar and mix gently until all the flakes have been coated well with all the ingredients and the colour of the flakes has changed to yellow. Check the taste and adjust the sugar and salt if required.
8. Allow the chivda to cool completely before transferring into an airtight container. Serve as a tea time snack along with piping hot coffee or tea - the combination is unbeatable!
1. Usually 3 varieties of beaten rice is available. The thickest flakes are used in the preparation of Maharashtrian style Poha. The thin variety is popular in South India - you can use this variety or best, if you can get the chivda poha (extremely thin flakes).
2. I used the spiciest variety of green chillies. If you are using the less spicy variety you can increase the quantity. When fried in oil the spiciness usually reduces so once the chivda is prepared and you taste it if you feel that the spice of the chillies is less you can add some more chillies by separately frying them in 1 teaspoon oil in a small pan and then carefully remove only the fried chillies and add them to the chivda - don't add the oil as it will make the chivda oily.
3. I like to use lots of curry leaves. Feel free to decrease or increase the quantity