Spiced Crispies (Chivda, or Indian Snack Mix)

Posted on 12/28/2012 by layers_of_eli
Chivda is a common Indian snack mix (think of it as Indian Chex Mix!) also called Bombay Mix in the U.K. This version salty-sweet mix is a flavor explosion, to say the least: it combines sultry curry leaves and toasted spices with toasted nuts and golden raisins. You'll be addicted in no time. It's seriously sooo delicious.

I listed substitutions for the few Indian ingredients you need, but it's really worth it to pop over to an Indian grocery if you have one -- especially for curry leaves and sev. The whole recipe is super quick -- about 20 minutes, flat -- so prepare your mise-en-place ahead of time (have everything set out.)

Thanks to kimberlite8 for this recipe :)

Spiced Crispies (Chivda, or Indian snack mix)

Recipe by: adapted from kimberlite8, inspired by Poppy
Yield: about 3 1/2 cups of snack mix

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
3/4 teaspoons poppy seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons corn syrup
3/4 teaspoons dry mango powder*
1/2 scant teaspoon kosher salt

heaping 1/4 cup roasted, salted cashews
heaping 1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup roasted, salted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
2 cups puffed rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
1/2 cup sev**
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/8 cup golden raisins
about 2-3 fresh curry leaves, chopped finely***

* Dry mango powder can be found at an Indian grocery. You should be able to substitute using a tablespoon or so of lemon juice, but I haven't tried that.
** Sev are crunchy "noodles" made from chickpea flour and can be found at an Indian grocery. You could also substitute chow mein noodles or small pretzels, but sev is seriously so good.
*** Curry leaves are also found in an Indian grocery and add such a great flavor, texture, and color to the finished product. If you can't find them, I think you could add about 1/8 teaspoon of curry powder in with the red pepper and turmeric, though I haven't tried this.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, place cashews, pecans, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, puffed rice cereal, and sev. Next to this bowl, set two big spoons sprayed with cooking spray.

This is a recipe where you want to have a great mise-en-place before you begin, because cooking goes quickly! Prepare three prep bowls: prep bowl #1 with mustard seed, fennel seed, poppy seed, and cumin seed; prep bowl #2 with ground red pepper and turmeric; and prep bowl #3 with corn syrup, dry mango powder, and salt. In a large saucepan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat until it shimmers (test with a cumin seed -- it should bubble very slightly when dropped in). When oil is ready, add all the seeds from prep bowl #1 and let them begin to sizzle for about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add in the red pepper and turmeric in prep bowl #2 and let the mixture continue to sizzle for another 30 seconds or so, stirring occasionally, until spices are lightly toasted and fragrant. Add mango powder, salt, and corn syrup from prep bowl #3 and let cook until corn syrup is bubbly, about 30 more seconds. Pour this mixture all over the puffed rice cereal mixture in the large bowl and use your sprayed spoons to toss and mix it gently until well-coated.

Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet, breaking up any large clumps gently, and bake for 12-15 minutes, tossing every few minutes and sprinkling the 1/2 teaspoon sugar on halfway through, until nuts are toasted. Once removed from the oven, pour the mixture back into the large bowl and toss with golden raisins and chopped curry leaves. Serve hot or room temperature. Store, fully cooled, in an airtight container.

To read about the 5 stages of holiday grocery shopping grief, follow my quest to find golden raisins (you'd think that'd be a relatively simple ingredient to find for this recipe, right?!), and see more chivda photos, please head over to Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, bakebakebake, cooking
stateofwonder 29th-Dec-2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
In Kenya, we call it chevda :) So very addictive! Thanks for the recipe, it looks yum.
layers_of_eli 31st-Dec-2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
msmoonshade 29th-Dec-2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
One of my friends would always bring this to work from her temple. Could not stop eating it.
layers_of_eli 31st-Dec-2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
There are endless variation possibilities! I really loved it! :)
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