If you just would like the recipe and don't want to get bored with my story, click here!
It was early this afternoon, was getting ready to watch a movie and I wanted something salty and spicy. I ruled out all the options. The first food that came to my mind was popcorn. I thought I should just microwave some popcorn. But then, I wanted something MORE than POPCORN. I was longing for something Indian. I thought of bajjis or pakoras but they seemed too much work. Then "chudwa" came to mind.
My memories of eating chudwa are from when I was a child. For every wedding in the family(aunts and uncles), I remember my grandmother and few other ladies in the neighbourhood would start the food preparations about a week-ten days before the wedding ceremonies actually started. Among the elite "pelli vantakalu" (wedding foods) were Boondi Laddu, Badusha, Kajji Kayalu, Murukku, Boondi Kaara (Mixture) and Chudwa. I remember all the old ladies about 10-15 of them, talking, having fun, joking, making these all day long for 4-5 consecutive days. They used to set up the kitchen outside :) because it would get so hot inside with all the cooking. Mind you, these women would make any where from 1000-1200 boondi laddus.
Gone are the days where cooking during weddings was a family affair. There was always one grandfather of mine, one uncle of mine, one grandmother of mine who was good at making a particular dish. It was almost customary for certain people to make certain dishes at weddings. I remember the night before the wedding where every relative that came for the wedding would be assigned a chore - be it chopping vegetables, cooking, prepping etc.
Gone are those days (atleast in my family)! Now everything is catered and usually it is a cook and his/her assistants that make and deliver the food.
Now to the actual recipe!
- 4 cups thin poha/atukulu
- 2 green chilis/1/2 jalapeno
- 3 red chilis
- 3 tbsp cashew (raw and broken)
- 5 tbsp peanuts (raw)
- 5 tbsp dalia/putnalu
- 2 sprigs curry leaves (broken/chopped into pieces)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil/anyother oil you fancy
- One pan
- Put the pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil.
- Add the peanuts to the oil and stir so they move around in the oil. After a minute or so, add the green chilis, red chilis and cashews (in that order) and move them around too until the nuts are golden brown.
- Then add the curry leaves, the turmeric powder and stir.
- After the curry leaves splutter, add the dalia or putnalu and stir again.
- Now, reduce the heat to low and add the poha, a cup at a time, stirring so all the poha pieces are coated with the turmeric and the oil. Keep stirring and keep adding the poha.
- After all the poha is added, keep on low for another 5-8 min stirring in between.
- Taste to see if the salt is enough. If not, add more salt as you please.
- Let it cool and serve.
This will keep in an air-tight container for about 10-15 days. Goes really well with chai/Indian tea. For a wonderful chai post, visit Saffron Hut's blog post here