Poha Chudva Recipe (Indian Puffed Rice Trail Mix)

Poha Chudva Recipe (Indian Puffed Rice Trail Mix) Recipe

I was flipping through past recipes on PhamFatale and realized that while I published the picture, I didn’t share the recipe for poha chudva. The difference in this recipe from other chudva recipes is the addition of rich and creamy Brazil nuts. I deep-fried them with other nuts and mixed them with homemade-puffed rice called "poha". It's a great fusion South American and Indian rice trail mix flavored with many Indian spices.

I didn’t make the snack too spicy so the little ones could enjoy it too. We made several batches and packed them in cute Chinese takeout boxes for sharing.

Ingredients

Yields: about 20 servings

2 cups fresh curry leaves, cut in thirds with shears
½ pound peanuts, blanched
½ pound Brazil nuts
1 pound cashew nuts
1 pound almonds, blanched and halved
1½ pounds plump golden raisins
granulated sugar, to taste
salt, to taste
citric acid, to taste
turmeric powder, to taste
¼ cup dry coconut slices, slightly toasted
160 fluid ounces canola oil
2 (2-pound) packages parched rice (see tips)


Directions

Line 6 (19.5" x 14.5" x 2.75") aluminum foil pans with absorbent paper towels.

Heat about  cup of oil in a small saucepan. When the oil is hot and bubbly, add the curry leaves and cook until fragrant. Set aside.

Heat about 4 cups oil in a medium-sized saucepan. When the oil is hot and bubbly, put the peanuts into a strainer and place the strainer in the oil. Cook for about 4 minutes until the peanuts are slightly brown. Remove as much oil as possible. Repeat the same procedure with the Brazil nuts. Transfer to one aluminum foil pan. Immediately add the raisins and sprinkle 1 tablespoon citric acid and 1½ teaspoons salt. Toss well.

Dry roast the almonds until they're nicely golden. Transfer to the same aluminum foil pan used for the peanuts. Immediately add the cashew nuts and sprinkle about ¼ cup sugar, 1½ teaspoons citric acid, ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder and ¾ teaspoon salt. Toss well and set aside.

Using the same oil, re-heat until the oil is hot and bubbly and put one cup of parched rice into the strainer. Place the strainer in the oil and fry the rice over high heat. It will become puffed rice instantly (about 3-5 seconds). Remove the strainer from the oil. Drain as much oil as possible. Transfer to another aluminum foil pan. Immediately sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar, ¾ teaspoon citric acid, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder.

At this point, it becomes very repetitive. Fry one cup of parched rice at a time. Season with the same spices (2 tablespoons sugar, ¾ teaspoon citric acid, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder).

When everything is ready, combine the puffed rice, coconut, nuts and raisins on 3 new aluminum foil pans. Add the curry leaves mixture with as little oil as you can. Toss well using two large spatulas. Taste. You want to make sure the mixture is properly seasoned (sweet, sour and slightly salted).This recipe yields 2 (19.5" x 14.5" x 2.75") aluminum foil pans. It's perfect for serving large groups.

Serve with masala chai.

Bon appétit!


Tips

All the ingredients in this recipe can be found in any Indian store. 

The key to a properly seasoned chudva is to sprinkle the spices as soon as the puffed rice is out of the frying oil. Also, add the raisins, Brazil and cashew nuts immediately after frying the peanuts, so they catch the heat of the peanuts. Immediately season with citric acid and salt. One more thing: you want to make sure the mix is homogenous so toss well before serving.

You could also add pumpkin seeds and pistachios.

Citric acid is a white powder that it is used for a sour taste. Don't add lemon juice; otherwise the mix will turn wet and soggy.

Curry leaves are pretty easy to grow. We just leave the tree right in the planter; it only needs a little water. You can also find fresh curry leaves at the Indian store; they come in ½-cup ziptop packages.

I buy Laxmi brand puffed rice. You can find it at the Indian store also. It's sold in 2-lb (32-ounce) packages. It's called parched rice or thick poha. It's excellent as well for making Asian sizzling rice soup. I'll post the recipe later.

I didn't indicate the exact amount of spices for the chudva. Just count 1 teaspoon of the spice mix per 1 cup of uncooked puffed rice.

To ensure a flavorful chudva, change the oil every 3-4 cups of frying puffed rice. Discard all the frying oil.

Some people add cumin seeds and mustard seeds but I don't. I find these flavors to be a little over-powering. Our family prefers chudva "plain" with just nuts and raisins.

You can keep chudva in an airtight container and store up to 2-3 weeks. Believe me, it doesn't last long in our house.

We always make a huge batch of chudva because this dish is so labor-intensive. But don't be deterred. You should try your own; it's much better than the store-bought ones. We use no preservatives and we don't skimp on any of the ingredients, especially nuts. You'll be rewarded, I promise.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 5, 2013.


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