Chiwra or Poha Flattened Rice Savoury Snack
Indian, Snack, Vegetarian, Chiwda or Poha Flattened Rice Savoury Snack
Traditionally, Chiwra is made from medium thick flattened rice, which is deep fried, along with deep-fried peanuts. Here, I have made it with oven roasted Poha and peanuts, the only oil used is in tarka or tempering. Amounts are approximate.
2 full cups thin Poha/flattened Rice, buy the thinnest variety, almost paper thin
1 cup peanuts, peeled or with the thin red skin, as you prefer
1 tbsp cooking oil of choice. I use Rapeseed oil.
2 tsp. back mustard seeds
3-4 whole, dry red chillies
A full hand of curry leaves, removed from the stalk
1 to 1 1/2tsp. turmeric powder
1 level tsp. salt, to taste
2-3 tbsp. raisins. I don't use them, because my husband hates them!
Measure everything in advance
Preheat the oven to 220 C.
Place the Poha flattened rice on the baking sheet and spread it out evenly.
Place peanuts and raisins on another oven tray, keeping them separate..
Place the trays in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes, until the Poha very very lightly/golden browned. Peanuts and raisins also need stirring and may take a few minutes longer to become lightly browned.
Take both trays out and allow to cool. Then place all three in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and mix gently. Do not stir too much. Toasted rice is fragile.
For Tarka or tempering, heat the oil in a large tarka ladle.
Add mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to crackle, turn heat off.
Add whole red chillies, curry leaves and turmeric. Stir for a few seconds and pour over the Chirwa rice and, peanut mix in the bowl.
Stir together gently, but thoroughly.
When completely cool, store in airtight jars.
Some people like to add a little, say a teaspoon, of sugar to the whole mix, but personally, I don't.