Spring! Clear blue skies. Crisp fresh air. Yes, spring was here for a couple of weeks and then Old Man Winter decided he hadn't spent enough time with us and came back with a bang.
There was ice everywhere yesterday and today, there's snow. My yard and my plants are adorned with nature's icy diamonds. It's cold, very cold.
Back in the upper teens and it's perfect weather for kanda bhajji, the disco version of which sounds even more attractive.
But I placed steel over my heart and made another favorite, a low-cal spicy crunchy treat made with kurmura or puffed rice, called bhadang. (Said: bhuh-dung).
A Maharashtrian crunchy snack
Bhadang brings back many memories of my Mom. This used to be one of my favorite snacks to munch on while I pretended to study for my exams. My hand would get slapped very often as I tried to sneak some peanuts. Or when she wasn't looking, I'd grab a fistful of kurmure and dart back to the dining table which I took over in the name of studying.
It's funny how I see history repeat itself. No, Medha was not studying for any exams (thank God!) but she sure was reducing the quantity of peanuts with each hug that she had to give me. When I put the peanuts out of reach, I started losing some of the kurmure with each loving visit!
- 5-6 cups kurmure
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- A pinch hing or asafetida
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
- 1/8 cup cashews
- 2 Thai green chillies, chopped fine
- 10-15 curry leaves or two small sprigs
- 1 tsp red chilli powder (use more to up the heat, less for a mild flavor)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 5 methi seeds (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- pinch citric acid crystals (optional)
- salt to taste
- Heat oil in a large kadhai.
- Add the mustard seeds and when they pop, add hing.
- Reduce the heat and add cumin seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts and cashews. Sesame seeds tend to jump right out of the hot oil into your eyes, so watch out!
- Add the chopped green chillies and curry leaves. They too will sizzle because of their water content so sometimes it helps to be ready with a splatter proof lid for the kadhai. Allow the green chillies to get nicely fried in the oil.
- Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and methi seeds.
- Next add the kurmura and toss until it is nicely coated with all the yummies in the oil.
- Add sugar, salt and citric acid crystals and toss about a little more. Continue to heat on low, mixing and tossing constantly, until the kurmura are crisp and spicy.
- Your bhadang is ready! Serve immediately with a hot cup of tea or coffee. This can be stored for up to a week. Mine never lasts beyond a day!
When I didn't have easy access to an Indian grocery store, I used to make bhadang with Kellogg's Rice Crispies. It's not quite the same and I would use more green chillies to get the taste I craved.
Nupur has an interesting twist on bhadang with garlic and raisins. Or you could simply order some Spicy World Bhadang from Amazon.