Thursday, February 21, 2013

Healthy Wheat Puffs Chivda with Walnuts, Peanuts and Raisins

I often crave for healthy snacks! Between caring for a toddler, managing to do some work and keeping the house running, where is the time to eat! A nutritious snack around 3 pm is all I need to keep me going for the rest of the evening and while sweet snacky ideas abound (I am thinking muffins, cookies and cakes), savory snacks can carry as much a punch. I had puffed wheat cereal in my pantry (Arrowhead Mills brand) and decided to make a wholesome savory dish called "Chivda" with it. Its a crispy, crunchy snack and can be made with many different puffed grains.

I used:

1/2 packet of the wheat puffs lightly roasted in a pan on the stove to make them crisp. This can get tricky, constant stirring of the puffs is recommended to avoid them from getting burnt.
1/2 cup of walnuts.
1/2 cup of dry, roasted peanuts, unsalted.
1/2 cup of raisins.

For the 'tadka', you will need:

1/4 cup canola oil (this can be reduced to about 1/8 cup if you want).
4 dried red chillies.
5 curry leaves.
1 tsp cumin seeds.
1/2 tsp cumin powder.
1/2 tsp coriander powder.
1 tsp fennel seeds.
1/4 tsp asafoetida and turmeric each.
Salt and sugar to taste.

In a large pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. When the cumin seeds sputter add the fennel seeds, asafoetida and turmeric. Now, add the cumin and coriander powders. Stir briefly and add the nuts and raisins. Stir the mixture for about a minute, the raisins may swell, but that is perfectly normal. On cooling they will regain their original shape. Finally, add the roasted wheat puffs. Sprinkle salt and sugar to taste. Mix, stir well (at this point turn of the heat on the stove) and allow to cool. Store in a air tight container. This chivda remains fresh for about 10 days. It never really lasts that long in my house. Its gone in about three days!

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