Something to munch on

Do you get those hunger pangs at 4.30-5 pm? Those crazy ones where you just, absolutely have to eat something? That would be me too. Usually, at these times I want something that’s savoury rather than sweet. And the problem here is that sometimes I go so mad with hunger that I’ll even wolf down a samosa. I can already visualise my trainer disapproving!

I’m one of those who has a weakness for anything that’s crispy or crunchy. Seriously, keep a bowl of something like this in front of me & it will disappear within minutes. However much I try it is just too difficult to stop. But now I’ve realised that these attempts can be quite futile so I prefer looking for options that are high on taste & low on the guilt factor.



So during Diwali this time, I knew we would be bingeing, because hey, it’s Diwali & how can you say no to the goodies! That’s why when I was making stuff at home I decided I’d go in for something simple that would not make us feel so bad either. I made this Poha Chivda, which is something that the Maharashtrians always make during this time of the year, the best part is that you’re not limited to just Diwali, it can be made anytime! It’s a great option that you can make & store for a while, there’s just about 1 tsp of oil in the entire batch so there’s no question of the guilt either!

Poha Chivda

250 gms of thin poha (flattened/ beaten rice)

1/2 cup of peanuts

1/4 cup of cashews, broken

1 tbsp of curry leaves

2 green chillies, chopped

1 tsp of mustard seeds

1/2 tsp of asafoetida/hing

2 tbsp of dry coconut, sliced

1/4 tsp of turmeric powder/ haldi

1 tsp of oil

Salt to taste


In a large pan gently roast the poha until it becomes crisp. You will need to keep stirring this on a low flame to ensure it doesn’t burn. Switch off the flame when the poha begins curling a bit around the edges & has changed colour. Keep this aside & let it cool down.

Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan & roast the cashews, peanuts & dry coconut separately until each of them have turned a golden brown. Sprinkle some salt on this set & set it aside.

Now mix the nuts with the poha & combine well.

Next, heat the rest of the oil in a pan & add the mustard seeds, green chilli, curry leaves & hing. Just after turning off the flame, add the turmeric powder. Mix this into the rest of the poha, season well & allow the entire thing to cool down to room temperature. Store in an airtight container for almost a month.


*The trick to getting the seasoning right is to add a little bit of salt at every stage. This will also ensure all elements are seasoned well enough

*You need to use only thin poha for this mixture. Not the nylon one and definitely not the thick one that we typically use to make breakfast dishes

*You can add any kind of nuts into this – almonds, pine nuts, etc. All of these add a lovely crunch!



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