Crispy Puffed Rice Snack with Fried Cashews and Green Peas
KAJU MOORI CHIDWA
-Recipe from Yamuna mataji
Indian bazaars, it is a familiar sight to see men puffing rice. A
sand-filled karai is placed over glowing coals, and when the coarse
sand is hot, rice is added. Using a long paddle, the sand is patiently
stirred, until one by one, the rice grains pop into long pointed puffs.
With nothing more than straining it through a fine sieve, hot puffed
rice, called moori, is ready to be sold in recycled newspaper bags.
Like everything in India, you have to search for quality and then
haggle for it –and even if you pay dearly, much of the puffed rice
tastes a little dusty. Homemade puffed rice is always more delectable.
Par-boiled rice is stir-fried in a dry pan until very hot, and
immediately dropped into hot oil where it expands into puffs. This is
the basis of numerous munchy snacks, much like this one.
This dish can be made with my puffed grain –from moori sold at Indian
grocery stores, to supermarket Quaker puffed rice or a health food
store puffed brown rice. Serve for breakfast or a light snack.
Preparation time and cooking time (after assembling ingredients): 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
¼ cup (60 ml) ghee or a mixture of
Sunflower oil and unsalted butter
1/3 cup (50 g) split raw peanuts
1/3 cup (45 g) cashew pieces
½ table spoon (7 ml) minced fresh ginger root
1-2 fresh green chilies, seeded and minced
½ teaspoon (2 ml) turmeric
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground coriander
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafetida powder (hing)
¾ cup (180 ml) steamed fresh peas or
frozen baby peas, defrosted
2 ½ cups (45 g) puffed rice
½ cups (45 g) puffed rice
½ teaspoon (2 ml) fine popcorn salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) date or maple sugar (optional)
This amount applies only to yellow Cobra brand. Reduce any other asafetida by three-fourths
Heat the ghee or oil-butter mixture in a heavy 5-quart/liter pan
over moderate heat for about 1 minute. Add the peanuts and fry until
they turn golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper
towels. Fry the cashew nuts until golden brown, then remove and set
aside with the peanuts.
2. Drop in the minced
ginger, chilies, turmeric, coriander, cumin and asafetida, one after
another in quick succession, and fry for no more than 3-4 seconds.
Immediately add the peas, raise the heat to moderately high, and cook
for 2 minutes.
3. Add the puffed rice and,
stirring constantly, cook until it is slightly crisp and well coated
with powdered spices. Add the nuts, salt and sugar. Mix well. Serve hot