February 09, 2007

Something To Snack On..

We have been having a great (!@#$) week with first our cooking range getting replaced(it had conked off)and now with the heating system playing havoc on us. Just in time to get the brunt of the cold as the Northeast has finally entered into deep winter. So while the temperature outside is 15-25 F, when I came home from work yesterday, the temperature inside was 47 F. The furnace was getting repaired today but not till noon. So we dressed in more layers, turned up the room heater but it was still so cold, I turned on the oven!

It's only at such times that I realise how much of our creature comforts are taken for granted. I remember growing up in the Delhi winters with no central heat, with all of us huddled around the heater or under the blanket, constantly munching and guzzling something hot. I tried explaining such a scenario to my son and he didn't get it. He was asking why we didn't get the heat repaired.:)Kids!

So I kept warm by frying snacks on my new range. Something I don't normally do but maybe the circumstances made me yearn for comfort food..the snack mixture that my mom always had on hand. She would make huge batches of it for us. We used to sit down with a good book and a bowl of mixture in the afternoons after coming from school. Very easy to make and very unhealthy. And of course you can't stop eating it.
It is a mix of fried sev or noodles, peanuts, curry leaves, poha and ribbon pakoda. Keeps well for a week or more. And definitely better than whatever you buy from the Indian store as it is freshly made.
I know there are healthier version of this made with cornflakes and raisins etc but today, I am going all out.
Update:Now the heating system is back on so we are warm again(Thank God!) and I do have a new cooking range so all I need to do is find a good movie to enjoy this snack mix with.

You will need:
3 cups Gram Flour(Besan or Kadala Podi)
1 cup Rice Flour
1-2 tsp Red Chili Powder
A pinch of Turmeric
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
Peanuts- a handful
Beaten Rice(Aval/Poha)
Curry leaves- 4-5 sprigs
Oil- Enough for deep frying.
Special Equipment:Idiappam press.

1. Make a dough of the rice flour, gram flour, chili powder, turmeric, a pinch of asafoetida and salt. The dough should be wet (Idiappam consistency)and plaible enough to go through the noodle press but not too wet. Add water slowly as needed. Uses about 1 1/2 cup water.
2. Heat oil in a deep frying pan or wok(kadai)and when it is hot enough, test by dropping one tiny piece of dough. It should come to the surface promptly. Set the dough in the press with the noodles mould. Reduce heat and press the noodles directly into the oil, doing about three rounds. Turn the heat back up and let it fry for about 30 seconds on each side. It gets cooked real fast on high heat, so stand close. Drain onto paper towels or newspapers. Repeat for about 5-6 times. Sprinkle a bit of chili powder and salt (if needed).
3. Change the press design to the ribbon and press soem ribbons into the pan now. Ribbons take some more time and they need to be cooked on low heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat as needed.
4. Now fry a handful of peanuts till golden brown and drian. Fry the curry leaves similarly and drain. Fry the poha or aval too. I used the red aval as that was what I had at hand. The white ones are crispier. That cooks instantly so you just need to put it in a deep strainer and hold it under the oil and when it puffs up,immediatley remove it.
5. You can fry bhoondis or droplets too. It is a little tricky as you have to slightly thin the dough with water to make it pourable consistency. Hold a large slotted spoon over the oil and pour a spoon of batter over it. Shake the slotted spoon slightly to allow the drops to fall seperately. As it puffs up, remove and drain.
6. Now mix everythiing in a large bowl, slightly crushing the big pieces and add a dash of asafoetida and salt or chilipowder if needed.
Store in an air tight container.


jisha said...

ohh my god

this is my favorite snacks.when i go back to hostels from home i usually carry 2 or 3 big bags of this.i want to go back to kerala again to bring that.good work..will try it

Ashwini said...

Shaheen that looks so warm and inviting...better than the packaged stuff.

Sandeepa said...

That looks warm & bright, want to munch some
So is your range & oven back to normal

Coffee said...

Feel like taking a bowl full and sitting in front of the TV for a movie!!!! :)

Lovely snack Shaheen. :)

indosungod said...

Shaheen that is snack is sure to warm up anyone. Hope your cooking range and heater is back to their normal working condition. Stay Warm

Linda said...

Hi Shaheen, that looks beautiful, truly a labor of love I can see! :)
I didn't know you were in the Northeast. Hope you are keeping warm now. Have a great weekend!

Maheswari said...

That's warm, crispy,crunchy, munchies to snack on..Looks great and pic. is perfect.Thanks for sharing.

Sumitha said...

Shaheen, this was one snack that i underrated when i was in India:(now,after eating the ones available in Indian stores..:((thanks for your detailed explanation.Is everything at home fine now,i cant imagine a day w/o the room heater!

Pavani said...

I can understand your plight with no heat in the house. We suffered without heat in our apt last winter. Glad that you are nice and warm now and that snack looks crunchy and delicious.

Asha said...

First of all,I looove these kinda snacks rather than any dessert!Looks great.
Glad your heat is back.Our's conked out too and got a brand new one few months back and don't have to worry for the next 20yrs!!:)
Enjoy the new range.

Monisha said...

I'm glad you're heating system has been restored.
You've got it right - a big bowl of these crunchy snacks and a nice movie sound really inviting!

Maheswari said...

Shaheen, i made your meat samosas for MBP.Please do check my blog if you have time.

Sri said...

Hey Shaheen its alright....you don't have to be sorry for that :...you snak looks perfect, i remember my granny making this snack for us...Thanks for sharing it with us Shaheen!!!

Krithika said...

Wow !! looks excellent. It is time-consuming but worth the effort.

Manisha said...

Shaheen, this looks absolutely delicious! I can relate to your cravings! I made onion bhajjis recently for the same reason!

Glad to hear your heating problems have been resolved. It's not fun to have the temps drop that low! Stay warm!

Prema Sundar said...

Shaheen when I came from India I packed a lot of these munchy crunchies ... My husband's favourite items.Looks very good.

KitchenFairy said...

Thanks a lot for this recipe,I like mixtue very much and want to try at home.

Mallugirl said...

Jisha, I used to take it back to my hostel too!

Ashwini, it's easy and took only half hour! No taste of the stale oil that is common in the packaged ones.

Sandeepa, everything is back to normal but we have to replace th furnace shortly.:(

Coffee, Thanks.. i need a movie.

Indobeangod,Thanks for ur wishes, it is warm now.

Linda, I am in NJ! and itss cold here now. Where are u located?

Maheshwari, U must be familair with the taste, right?

Sumitha, Try making it, if u have the press, its not hard.I always buy and after the first few days of tasting, we end up throwing the package as it sits there without anyone eating.

Pavani, it s a plight almost everyone goes thru once here even though I won't wish it on anyone.

Asha, Yep, we have to get a new one now.and the new range is fun.

Monisha, Sri, Krithika,Thanks!It took only half hour or so.

Manisha, onions bhajis also sounds good!

Kitchen fairy and prema, do try and let me know.

RP said...

Glad to see that you got the heat back. Can't imagine surviving at 47! Even an inside temperature 55 freezes me to death.

I love mixture, and I have always wanted to try my hands at it. But DH discourages every time saying "nah, thats got to be a lot of work". Maybe he is afraid of me asking him for help! Your pictures tell me that I have to make it soon..

Anonymous said...

fantastic snack...can have a LARGE bowl please...~smile~...thanks for sharing...

Mishmash ! said...

Thats perfect for our frigid climate here. A crunchy-munchy bowl of that with a hot cuppa chai!!


Nandita Iyer said...

congrats on being nominated for indibloggies, where's your vote for me-button? Anyway, i know who i'll vote for!!!

Pravs said...

Hi, i am praveena. You have a mouth watering blog here....
I am from malabar too..calicut.
Nice to see this snack recipe...i always wanted to try this out, after seeing a Andhra friend of mine preparing it. But was too lazy to try it. Now i will try your recipe.

Linda said...

Shaheen, I'm near Boston (and it's freeeezing here today!). What's this I'm reading about a nomination!!?? Congratulations, and where do we go to see?? :)

PS I tried the okra fritters. YUM :)

mandira said...

I'm glad you got the heat back. We lost heat during the October storm and it wasn't fun! The snack looks delicious Shaheen, I wish I could reach and get some for my chai.

Mallugirl said...

hi Pravs, welcome to my blog. nice to meet a fellow calicutwallah.
Thanks RP,Mandira,Linda..its not hard. took only half hour or so.

Nandita, thanks. i had no clue.

padmaja said...

Heart shaped cookies look tempting. My husband loves this snack, my mIL prepares same way.
BTW, I added curd to wheat flour for making stuffed paratha's and it came out really soft, thanks a lot for wonderful tip. I will post my paratha recipe soon.

Oh yaa, my husband did his undergrad in chennai.