MK loves munchies—with chivdas and bhadangs topping the list. No matter how large a batch of chivda you make, it gets over in no time. He’s been convincing me that home-made chivda is a much healthier option than store-bought munchies, and after much rebellion I have finally given in.
Two weeks ago, I made a regular poha (beaten rice) chivda, which disappeared in record time. It was now time to make a new batch. This time, I took inspiration from Anjali and decided to make a bhadang using crisp puffed rice. My curry leaf plant was also begging to be picked, so I just had to make the bhadang.
Aside: Is it just me or do home-grown herbs impart a much fresher flavor?
Don’t be intimidated by the long-ish list of ingredients; you don’t have to use all of them. Also, the actual cooking takes just a couple of minutes, so it is definitely worth a try. For those of you who like an off-the shelf, light accompaniment to your chai, this is perfect.
- 200 gms of puffed rice or churmure
- 6-7 green chilies
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
- 3-4 sprigs of curry leaves, chopped fine
- 1 sprig of cilantro
- 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp. red chili powder
- A large handful of peanuts
- A smaller handful of split, roasted Bengal gram dal (phutane)
- An equally small handful of dried coconut slivers
- 1 tbsp. kaanda-lasun masala  (optional)
- 1 tbsp. Metkut (optional)
- 1 tsp. tumeric powder
- ½ tsp. asafetida
- Powdered sugar, to taste
- 2 tbsp. ghee + 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- Heat the ghee and oil together in a large wok.
- Meanwhile, quickly grind the green chilies, coriander seeds, cilantro, and garlic to a very coarse paste.
- Pop the mustard seeds in the hot fat and immediately tip in the coarse paste you’ve just ground.
- Follow with the asafetida and turmeric.
- Now, tip in the peanuts and wait for them to begin popping as well.
- Throw in the roasted gram dal and coconut slivers. Cook until the coconut slivers begin to turn golden.
- Now add all the spices and saute for a minute to release the aroma.
- Tip in all of the puffed rice and add salt and powdered sugar to taste.
- Keep tossing around the wok until the rice turns crispy. Cool completely before storing in air-tight boxes.
This can be eaten just by itself or as a salad-y, pseudo-bhel snack by adding onions, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and a chutney.
Note: Once all the bhadang is gone a few days later, you will find a wonderfully aromatic powder at the bottom of the box. Don’t throw this away—it contains a burst of flavor that you can put to good use—mixed with a little unsalted butter as a spread for bread or bhakri; or as a seasoning for raitas.