Chivda. When it’s time for some “timepass,” there’s just no other Indian snack mix that comes close to this one. It’s simplicity itself: crispy puffed rice or rice crispies tossed with nuts and a few spices. And yet it packs a heavy punch. It’s delicious and addictive and — although the Indian cooks who invented it way back when probably never meant it to be that — it is quite possibly the best thing to snack on with a cold glass of beer. All of which makes it perfect Gameday eats.
My version of Chivda is a crowd-pleaser for sure. It’s crispy and nutty and spicy and tangy, all at the same time. It is also quite healthy, or at least far healthier than most Gameday food tends to be.
Most of the ingredients that went into my Chivda are traditional, but I topped off all of the goodness with some crispy Chipotle TofuBaked from Nasoya, which asked me to make a unique recipe using this product for Gameday. The baked tofu is organic, gluten-free, and packed with 32 grams of protein in each 8 oz pack, but above all, it is delicious: I had a hard time stopping myself from snacking on it as I diced it for the snack mix. And the fact that the tofu is baked, meaning most of the water is already out of it, makes it easy to crisp it up to a great texture. When mixed up into the Chivda, it adds more healthy protein and even more texture, its crisp chewiness complementing the airy rice crispies and the dense nuts quite beautifully. Chipotle is a great flavor for Indian food which, as everyone knows, tends to pack on the heat (try my Chana Masala with chipotle if you haven’t– you’ll be bowled over).
This recipe is not all I have for you today. Nasoya is offering five free product coupons for a lucky reader, and I really, really want it to be you. Just leave me a comment below telling me what you’d like to make with Chipotle TofuBaked. Easy. I’ll announce a winner in a week, on February 9.
Now for the recipe for this Indian snack mix, Chivda. This one’s a winner.
- 3 cups rice crispies also called puffed rice and available in Indian stores. Be sure to use unsweetened crispies. Brown rice crispies would be perfect
- 1 package of Chipotle TofuBaked from Nasoya
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 leaves sprig of curry cut into thin ribbons. An easy way to do this is to stack the leaves on top of each other and then cut them into ribbons., about 12 leaves
- 1/2 tsp cayenne or paprika
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chaat masala found at Indian stores
- Salt to taste
- Place the rice crispies in a large dish and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the rice crispies and microwave 30 more seconds. Don't let them go any longer because they will burn. This technique makes the rice crispies really crisp and you don't have to fry them in a ton of oil, as was traditionally done.
- Cut the tofu in 1/4-inch cubes.
- Heat the oil in a deep wok and stir-fry the tofu in 2-3 batches until golden brown and crispy on the outside. This took me about 5-7 minutes per batch over medium-high heat.
- Remove the tofu to a bowl lined with a paper towel and set aside.
- Add mustard seeds to the remaining oil in the wok. When they sputter, add the curry leaves.
- Let the curry leaves fry 1-2 minutes until they crisp up. Add the cashews and peanuts and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until the cashews turn lightly golden.
- Add the cayenne or paprika and turmeric. Toss together, then add the rice crispies and the chaat masala. Stir well to mix.
- Turn off the heat and add salt if needed.
- This tastes great hot but it is usually served at room temperature.
More Gameday recipes from Holy Cow!
Chana Jor Garam (Spicy-sour roasted chickpeas, Indian beach style)
Or scan the archives for dozens more.