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Bhadang

[1]
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 [2]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.

[3]

 

 

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.

[4]Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Heat the ghee and oil together in a large wok.
  2. Meanwhile, quickly grind the green chilies, coriander seeds, cilantro, and garlic to a very coarse paste.
  3. Pop the mustard seeds in the hot fat and immediately tip in the coarse paste you’ve just ground.
  4. Follow with the asafetida and turmeric.
  5. Now, tip in the peanuts and wait for them to begin popping as well.
  6. Throw in the roasted gram dal and coconut slivers. Cook until the coconut slivers begin to turn golden.
  7. Now add all the spices and saute for a minute to release the aroma.
  8. Tip in all of the puffed rice and add salt and powdered sugar to taste.
  9. 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.