Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chiwda Deepawali Faraal 4/5

When we were kids, and our neighbors were the best people in town, we used to have a truckload of Faraal in a dedicated container, from the neighbors. As kids, the chaklis and shankarpalis would go first and then the karanjis and laddoos. Chiwda would be what was left in the bottom. But that would get rid of distractions and we would carry the entire container to our small Tea table and enjoy them by the handfuls, with hot, sweet tea.
After a decade in U.S. when homesickness made us miss the Faraal packets and spicy-sweet chiwda, I decided to call up my sweet neighbor Aunty of old times and ask her for the recipe. She surprised me by emailing me the recipe through her kids.
And I have been using her recipe adding a small touch every year, to accomodate a healthy lifestyle and matching the availability of ingredients.
Made with a variety of fresh and dry ingredients, this dish uses very little oil and lasts a long time when prepared right. Make sure to remove any trace of moisture from the ingredients and utensils, as any moisture will mess with the taste and freshness of Chiwda.


2 sprigs of curry leaves
6-7 green chillies- chopped
1/2 cup raw peanuts
1/2 cup dry coconut slices (khobra/kopra)
1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup split chana daliya
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
2 cups puffed rice (kurmure)
2 cups thin beaten rice (poha)
2 cups of rice crispies (as in the unsweetened cereal) (optional)
1/2 cup of oil in a bowl with a teaspoon to measure out. (you may not need all of it)

Salt to taste
Sugar - to taste.

Making Chiwda requires low heat, a heavy and big wok or pan, and lots of patience.
To begin, heat 2 tsp of oil in the pan, in medium heat and fry the curry leaves and green chilies until crisp and dry. Drain, remove them and keep aside.

Next, in the same oil, roast the peanuts carefully without burning them, until they are cooked through. and crunchy. Drain and keep aside.

Next, roast the coconut and daliya until they are crispy and roasted well. Drain and keep aside.

Now add 3 tsp of oil to the pan and when it is hot, add the hing, cumin seeds, crushed coriander and turmeric. Stir well until browned lightly, then add the kurmure, poha and rice crispies (if using). Toss gently and well. The turmeric goes a long way to show which parts need stirring. When evenly coated, the entire contents should be yellow.

Now add the reserved ingredients to the mix and toss gently to roast. Its quite a workout for the arms, but you can rest once the poha turns crispy and crunchy when you taste one. Should take about 15-20 minutes or longer depending on the quantity of the chiwda.

When all ingredients are roasted well and crunchy, sprinkle the salt and the sugar and toss well again, turning off the heat. Let it cool completely, and then store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

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