Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Snack Time Goes South Indian

Even though I grew up in my mother's Indian restaurant and really, really should have known better, it wasn't until I was researching this little story for The Boston Globe's Food section that I realised that I've spent my entire life calling this popular Indian snack by the wrong name. What I've always thought of as sev is really called Chivra (or Bhel mix) -- sev, it seems, is just one (very delicious) component.

There are some good commercial brands out there, but homemade always tastes best. If you're in a hurry, buy a bag of the pre-made snack and doctor it up at home.

March 12, 2008

South Indian Snacking

By Lylah M. Alphonse
Globe Staff

Chivra is a popular Indian snack that hits sweet, salty, savory, and spicy tastes in each bite. It's easy to make yourself. Combine 1 cup of sev (crispy, fried chickpea-flour vermicelli), 1 cup of puffed rice, and 1/2 cup corn flakes or fried potato sticks. Toss gently. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry 1/4 teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds until they pop. Add the cereal mixture, 1/2 cup roasted cashews, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, and 1/4 teaspoon each black pepper, salt, and mango powder (also called amchoor; if you can't find it, substitute lime juice). Stir gently until hot, let cool, and then start snacking. Or easier yet, buy it - sometimes under the name bhel mix - at Indian grocery stores ($3.99 for about 14 ounces). Available at Kashmir Foods, 234 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-734-7153; and Kolava Market, 288 Littleton Road, Westford, 978-392-8558. [More]

No comments: