Almost every home has its own version of chivda and is prepared many times throughout the year, although during Diwali it is a must to prepare spicy varieties too to counteract the overdose of sweets. There are two varieties of chivda : one is the deep fried version and the other is a tempered chivda. Today I’d like to share my version to the very easy tempered chivda. The best thing about this chivda is you can always roast the chivda again if you feel it has’nt turned out as crisp as you wanted it to. 

RECIPE :
Ingredients :
  • 250 gms thin beaten rice / patal pohe approximately 4 cups
  • 1/2 cup groundnuts
  • 8 to 10 cashews
  • 1/4th cup roasted split bengal gram dal
  • 1/4th cup thinly sliced dry coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • Powdered sugar to taste (optional)
Tempering :
  • 75 ml oil (out of which 1 1/2tbsp oil is used to fry dry coconut, peanuts etc)
  • 3/4th tsp mustard seeds
  • 3/4th tsp cumin seeds
  • 3/4th tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4th tsp asafoetida
  • 15 to 20 curry leaves
  • 6 to 7 mildly spiced green chillies (as per spice required and as per spiciness of the chillies) chopped fine
METHOD :
  • Measure all ingredients and keep them in a plate so that it is easy to prepare the chivda. 
  • Clean the thin beaten rice, then pass it through a siever so as to separate any powdered poha or broken ones. Rinse the green chillies, curry leaves well and spread them on a cotton cloth. Better still if possible keep the rice flakes, chillies, curry leaves, groundnuts, roasted bengal gram, dry coconut under direct sunlight for atleast 3 hours. This also helps the poha to be crunchy and reduces roasting time which inturn helps in minimal breakage of poha while roasting. If you have no access to direct sunlight no issues, just see that all ingredients are moisture free. 
  • Heat a flat based thick bottomed pan and gently dry roast the rice flakes on LOW flame till crisp. The poha should be evenly roasted. Thin poha are delicate and tend to break easily, hence you should gently stir it on LOW flame only. Take a little poha on your palms and crush it. If it crushes totally the poha are perfectly roasted (It is very easy to identify if the poha are roasted properly or not, their texture changes and they become crisp). You could also try munching a few flakes, they should be crisp/ kurkurit as we say in Marathi, if not roast it for some more time, taking care that they do not brown. Once crisp transfer to a big flat plate or container.
  • Measure 75ml oil and keep aside. Out of this take 1 1/2tbsp oil to roast the dry coconut slices, peanuts etc. Heat the pan used to roast the poha, add 1 1/2 tbsp oil, add the dry coconut slices and fry them till golden brown on LOW flame. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Next fry the groundnuts till they change colour to a reddish tinge. Transfer to the same plate as dry coconut. Now roast the roasted bengal gram dal. These are basically crunchy so won’t need much time to get roasted. Once they slightly change colour, transfer to the same plate. Lastly roast the cashews till light golden. Do not over roast them as they’ll taste bitter. Now there won’t be any oil left after roasting the above ingredients. If any oil is leftover you can add the same (after straining it) to the tempering. 
Tempering :
  • Heat the oil kept aside to be used for tempering( this is about 3 1/2tbsp of oil), add mustard seeds, once they splutter add cumin seeds, saute, they’ll crackle immediately. Add  the curry leaves, saute till crisp, add in the green chillies and fry them till crisp, switch off the flame, now add turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt. This ensures that the turmeric powder, asafoetida do not get burnt. Mix the tempering well and add the roasted rice flakes to the tempering. Add the roasted coconut slices, roasted bengal gram dal, sugar to taste, gently mix well and SWITCH ON the flame and mix all the ingredients as the rice flakes are crispy and may break. Let the spices coat the flakes totally.
  • Now I suggest you check the taste so that you can adjust flavours to your choice at this stage. Secondly in case you feel the rice flakes are’nt very crisp, you can still stir fry it further very gently on LOW flame ONLY and make it crispy. 
  • Once crisp switch off the flame and let it cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container. 
NOTES :
  • You must roast all ingredients on LOW FLAME ONLY. 
  • The chillies, curry leaves should be totally moisture free, if not the rice flakes will lose their crispy texture. 
  • You can vary the quantities of dry coconut, groundnuts, bengal gram, chillies, curry leaves, cashews to your choice.
  • I have mentioned proportions in smaller quantities so that it is easier to prepare for a novice. 
  • This chivda has a good shelf life if stored properly. 
  • The quantity of oil mentioned for roasting and tempering was just perfect.
  • I personally like the taste of fried chillies in every bite hence have used mildly spiced chillies, as they are longer in length, as well as you need more chillies and you can feel the right amount of spiciness in every bite as well. 
LESSON LEARNT :
  • The first time I made this chivda and tasted it, I realised the rice flakes weren’t as crispy as they should have been, so I gently roasted the whole mix again on low flame till the flakes were totally crunchy and yes the chivda turned out nice and crisp. So no worries if you are a newbie to this recipe, you can always add the crunch to the chivda if you have not properly roasted the poha at the start.