Icy Spring Calls for Bhadang

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
  1. Heat oil in a large kadhai.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and when they pop, add hing.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and methi seeds.

  6. Next add the kurmura and toss until it is nicely coated with all the yummies in the oil.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.


Unknown said...

Hang on to winter...soon it will be too hot for tea. And such spicy snacks are made for summer afternoons, when oily heavy bhajjias are furthest from the mind.

That iced cherry plum is looking so deliciously cool.

Kellogg's rice crispies are sweetened?

Unknown said...

grr...Only half the comment got posted:

...like a jhatpat chivda. Great to satisfy the snack cravings without the guilt pangs (of bahjjis) later.

Bongs also have their quick version - the jhal muri - that I want to try. Untoasted mustard oil...mmmm... spicy in a different way!

Reena said...

still icy and cold!! the weather here is getting better but still i think it is globalcooling with long winters:(.

kurmure and spice. good for any season;)



Abhi said...

One question, do you get the bhadang kurmure there? All we get here are the basmati kurmure; not the fat and thick ones required for bhadang. Anyway will try with whatever we have as we had 30cms of snow dumped on us last evening and after some heavy shovelling bhadang is just what I need:)

TNL said...

I love this stuff with some tea...and yes, the peanuts are my favorite part!
You had Ice and Snow too eh? We got our share of Freezing rain last night, this year has been a doozy for weather...


bee said...

it's been fun having you back....

i have some whole grain unsweetened rice krispies. this looks like a perfect way to deal with them. thanks

Indian Food Rocks said...

Anita, Kellogg's Rice Krispies are sweet. Not as overwhlemingly sweet as the other cereals but sweet nevertheless. They have sugar and glucose-fructose syrup.

Yes, this is a quick chivda and you can make it as spicy as you want. I prefer to make it more tikhat with green chillies than red chilli powder though. It goes really well with masala chai.

Reena,a belated welcome to you! It's probably global warming. The mountains (Rockies) got a lot of snow this fall and winter but this March was warm and dry and typically they pick up 20% of their annual snow in that month. The snow cover is down to 71% which is more than a little disconcerting. New England is where the snow is now!

Abhi, we get basmati murmura or just plain murmura. I've made bhadang with both without any problems. Since the basmati kurmure are rather delicate, use as little oil as possible so that they stay intact and become crispy.

I feel for you. Almost a foot of snow is no fun on Easter. We got more than a dusting and it's mixed with ice.

Trupti, spring snowstorms are not uncommon for us in Colorado. We get hailstorms, too. It passes rather quickly but this is different and it is lingering. Ice everywhere, back to slipping and sliding on the roads - those 50lb bags of salt in the trunk really help give more traction esp since our roads are generally not plowed or salted. If you have roasted chana dal (dalia), then you could add that, too. I just like the peanuts! The cashews are for my husband.

Bee, are your Rice Krispies from Kellogg's? Or are these generic / unbranded rice crispies?

Sig said...

Manisha, You are not in Seattle are you? :)... Weather sure sounds like us, though it is a great day today. BTW, I got a peak of your table finally :)

bee said...

we can bhadang too.

Anonymous said...

Very bad of old man winter to come and ruin easter weekend. Not that we would have gone egg-hunting, the kids are allergic to eggs. The one food that the kids love and they can't have it or maybe they love it because they can't have it :D . a dusting of snow here, too, dropped the temperature quite a bit as we were in the late 70's last week! love the quick badhang and the quick chivda.But nothing beats the bhajjis in this weather...

Anonymous said...

bad blogger does not like my emoticons [sulk]

Indian Food Rocks said...

Sig, no! Not in Seattle. Although about 6 years ago there was a fair chance of relocating there. The thought of good seafood made me happy for a while. But I am very happy here with the 300+ days of sunshine and the mountains around me. It's finally stopped snowing and most of it has melted away already. Please let the warm-up begin!

My table! Now you see what I mean? We actually use it though! Sometimes we even collect huge piles of mail on it.

Bee!, you guys are too funny! Dried cranberries and sunflower seeds is a great twist! So much healthier, too!

So it's Malt-O-Meal? Have you tried their equivalent of farina? It has malted barley in it. I use it for sanjha/upma. When I am dry-roasting the farina, my kitchen smells like Ovaltine. The upma has a slightly different flavor but we really like it.

Abhi, maybe you want to try the unsweetened rice crispies that Bee used. They look chunkier than kurmure for sure!

Vee, I was secretly very happy that I didn't have to go. We celebrated our anniversary into the wee hours of Saturday morning and I probably had one too many of Sig's lychee martinis (not margarita, m-a-r-t-i-n-i! Yes! Got it right!). My mixologist is probably not as good as hers with mixing of martinis but he sure was sexy ;-)

Our neighborhood egg hunt works this way: you drop off 12 plastic eggs filled with candy at the designated house by Friday. The older kids then go to the park early in the morning and hide eggs in easy spots for the toddlers, and tougher spots for the rest. Everyone gets to find 12 eggs and go home with other people's candy. Last year they had chucked eggs into the open space around the park and the kids kept disappearing into the brush and every so often we'd hear shouts as they found an egg. So no real eggs are hurt in this process.

So what do you do when you make egg curry? You make something different for the kids?

Did you read about Prajakta's disco bhajji? If you want to boogie some tonight, you know where to look for the twice-fried disco bhajji recipe!

musical said...

Ekdum mast snack, Manisha.

Save some for me, i am making some chai. Crispies are so delicious to have with chai. Had some bhadang y'day for evening tea :) and i am always looking for more :)).

Hey, i love snow.....chai and murmura in snow.....ahaaa! especially with moongphali!

bee said...

it's not malto-meal, manisha. dunno which brand. threw the packet away. will look for that brand of farina, though.

Anonymous said...

oohhhhhh, lychee martinis and a sexy bartender, that must have been some night. I am sure you actually enjoyed the chill in the air ;)

Our community has a common-area-park-like thingy. Which is were the egg hunt happens. Enthu people hide the eggs, kids find it and trade it for candy. The problem is my kids, starved for eggs as they are, would never trade.

God, twice fried bajji's, aise din nahi rahe ab :(

Bong Mom said...

Rice Crispies - huh, Namesake recreated

Mrs. K said...

Where is the table? :) I even looked on the spoon for a reflection. :D
Do you know there are people out here who look for reflections on the spoons? Not me. I will give you proof. :D Now I got to go and complete that JFI stuff. Tomorrow is the deadline I have given to myself.

Mrs. K said...

Proof: Read through the comments of this post, and this post.

Anjali Koli said...

Manisha smell of Nagpur isn't it! Amsul in the fodni too is yum. Do you get those stout kurmure there? Try bhadang with it if you do get it its just different.

Indian Food Rocks said...

No probs, Bee!. I'll look for it in that place where no-one should shop. ;-)

Chill? It was kind of steamy...Yes! Yes! Of course. The chill! It was wonderful! :-D

Vee, I lusted after those bhajjis and then quietly made bhadang. I am almost competition for Silky Smitha in any case!

Too bad for your kids. Although I would have happily given up eggs when I was a kid. Hated the smelly yolk.

Sandeepa, Namesake like in Jhumpa Lahiri / Mira Nair? :-D

RP, you made me look in the spoon! Now I am going to look into every spoon. Not just mine. But everyone's!!

Good thing I had the wrong ISO setting for these pictures, making them look grainy. Nahin to, hai Rabba! Tohba tohba! See how my Hindi is improving? ;-)

The last picture with the famous ear is on my dining table. Sig and I share very good taste when it comes to picking dining tables. What,

musical said...

Hey Manisha, i had my share of bhadang at Golden Girl's place y'day.....and after getting up today, i saw this bhadang bahar :))

he he, it does have the same bug as gonglu :))

musical said...

Seems like you are THERE :)

Kuchh bhadang bachhi hai kya.....i'll make tea :).

Indian Food Rocks said...

First, Abhi and now you, Anjali! I'll ask the grocer when I go next. As for amsol in the phodni, never had it. But I can imagine the taste! Doesn't it make the bhadang soggy though?

Anita said...

Something is not right...the recipe says '5 methi seeds', but you seem to have used an additional 20% (the picture shows 6) :-)

Consistency is important - never lose sight of that.

[It's my turn! Payback time...Muahhhhh...]

Indian Food Rocks said...

I thought "Golden Girl" when I saw your comment over at Bee's, Musical. You know the first time I made this, my husband thought I was abusing him or something. He has this way of saying What is this Bhadang? Just like he said What is this Patal Bhaji...And of course I am here, where else will I be? Coffee ban rahi hai.
(Regular kind, Anita.)

Aajao! :-D

Indian Food Rocks said...

I'm thrilled you took bait, Anita!

The other day I made a statement about how I would give 10% to someone and the remaining 85% I would give to someone else and no-one even noticed that there was 5% unaccounted for.

After a while I wondered if there really was 5% unaccounted for and if 10% + 85% = 100%.

musical said...

OMG, i never thought bhadang would sound abusive ;). Loved your blush emoticon btw.

(Packs her winter gear and rushes towards CO for Coffe with Manisha)

and by "you are there" i meant, like, real-time :)

musical said...

Anita, you are really observant :-D

Indian Food Rocks said...

Hopefully, it's spring again from tomorrow. It's going to flurry and snow through the night and then spring will be back...I hope!

Observant? Who cooks with models anyway? Not me!

Anita said...

When around TLO, pay attention...she's always looking for ways, throwing little 'baits' as she calls them, to prove how we don't quite have it together...Now, when I catch her, she turns right around to say, "It was a bait!" :rolling eyes: :-)

But, truthfully, I find counting spice quite a pain. But I am doing it myself these days!! When writing a recipe, sometimes the teaspoon is not the right measure. So I was counting peppercorns for one recipe, and for the tomato chutney I picked up as many red chillies as I wanted to use and then counted them!

[returning to subject at hand] But methi is not as unforgiving as Maharashtrians tend to feel. My MIL also kept this tiny glass bottle with methi seeds in the masala dabba. I was shocked.

It is that North-South dicotomy at work again. You will not find tiny bottles of anything in a North Indian kitchen (Musical, back me up here) :-) And she would almost count the methi seeds when adding to the tadka. I go ahead and use my (her) masaala dabba spoon (which is about half a regular teaspoon) and my kadhi is none the worse for it.

My MIL never used mustard and zeera in the same dish ever - so this bhadang recipe is interesting from that point of view as well. Then I found Indira using the combination almost in all of her recipes. So I have started doing this more often.

Though one of my readers jumped at me for using both in my Avial...

Indian Food Rocks said...

It was! I promise it was!

Achha, Unofficial Smiley Dictionary might come in handy for use on Google's not so smart Blogger. But you have to forgive them, they didn't build Blogger from scratch, they bought it and then made it what it is.

It must be a Maharashtrian thing. My Mom always said chaar kihnva paach methi chya beeya, agdi mojoon (four or five methi seeds, counted carefully) as does my aunt. As for counting peppercorns, boy was that tough! I made my vangi bhath today and decided to refer to my recipe to see if I would do anything different today, given all the new influences in my life from states whose names start with K. I actually counted 15 black peppercorns and used them!

I know of a number of people who don't use and won't use mustard seeds and cumin seeds in the same phodni. When I talk to my aunt, she will say hing-mohri chi phodni or phukta jeerya chi phodni. But my Mom lived all over the Indian countryside and a lot of her cooking was influenced by the regional nuances she picked up along the way. Even in tikhat sanjha, I use both mustard seeds and jeera. My sister's Gujarati family also does this and someone told me it's because they were originally from Surat. Which might explain why my m-i-l does it too...

musical said...

Ah! the combo of of mohri/mustard and jeera :-D. So, Golden Girl never sues it, nor does her Aayi. But then we had our friends visiting:the guy from Andhra and his wifey from UP-they royally used jeera and mustard together, much to Golden Girl's irritation :-D. But the palak daal DC (the guy) dished out was something to be tasted! I think, it must be an Andhra thing, now that Anita mentions Indira using it very frequently.

But then, i know of another friend who is a Kannadiga, but has spent most of her life in Pune-she and her Mom use this combination all the time.

And, i have seen this combination in Aviyal too-Ms. Moon, my Malayali friend does it all the time.

Nabeela said...

that's a nice bowl you have there Manisha

Anita said...

I think it comes form what is kosher for fasting food - mustard/mohri-heeng in peanut oil for everyday food, zeera, no heeng, and usually in ghee for 'fast' food...But zeera does add the extra zing.

Another thing must be that zeera is probably not local to the Konkan region (?), which must have made it pricey, and so it got kept for special occasions (I tell, you I can never spell this word correct - always shows up red underlined till I change it around a couple of times), as did the pricey ghee. But since Kobras (and the whole of Maharashtra) can't do without the peanuts (ample evidence all around :-) ) so that was allowed even though the oil was out!

See, how I always bring it to the topic at hand? C'mon, peanuts were discussed at length in the post!

Now you want me to go thru the tutorial for Blogger emoticons?? Nah. It's just more fun when you do it (for us)! :-)

The blushing one was way too cool,as was Ms :rolling eyes:!

Anonymous said...

The Mustard/jeera thing is a more gujarat thing, me thinks. My cousin,brought up with lots of gujju influences, always uses the mustard+jeera combo, even for upma.
I do not like it so much in upma but I do it for poha and I cannot think kadhi without rai/jeera tadka.
Yes, my nomenclature changes with the cuisine. So with pohe it is, mohri-jeera chi phodni, with kadhi (I make the north Indian kind) it is rai-jeere ka tadka and with ghashi it is saasam-karbave phanna
What does it mean when you start noticing your own eccentricities?

Prajakta said...

Your post brings back memories of the exam days, when I too used to sit with a 'wati' of 'Bhadang' by my side, helping to the peanuts from the 'dabba'. And Aai always made sure that the dabba was full. The masalas at the bottom of the dabba was another favourite bit, other than the peanuts.

Indian Food Rocks said...

Golden Girl is smart, Musical. She could have lost the case if the judge and jury happened to be purists when it came to rai-jeera. I now! I just teasing!

But then take a look at Nupur's Bhadang, that uses both but no hing.

Nabeela, yes that is one of my few pretty bowls. It was even prettier when I found it on my doorstep over Xmas, laden with deep fried seasoned almonds. :-D

Anita, I think you may have something going there by way of a hypothesis. I will look up Achaya to see if he has anything. There is next to nothing on Maharashtra, but there is more on Gujarat. Next visit to the library...

Those smileys are to be treasured. They are our history. They are from the era before everything became WYSIWYG.

Vee, I am like you, too. It's phodni in Marathi, chaunk in Hindi, vaghar in Gujarati. When I'm with my Goan friends - someone please tell the western world that there is no such thing as Goanese - it's baghar.

Prajakta, welcome! Glad you made it here! We've all been eyeing your disco

You are so right about the masala at the bottom. It's nutty and smoky from the popped seeds in the phodni and spicy and salty, too! We used to fight over it just like we fought over the slightly 'karaplela' or 'laglela bhath' at the bottom of the pot of pulao.

Abhi said...

Thanks for the advice about Rice Krispies Manisha. However, they are rather small as compared to the Basmati Kurmure. Also, as luck would have it (or maybe the popularity of your blog) the only Indian grocery shop here had no kurmures this weekend!

So had to do with some popcorn (micro) albeit enhanced with Indian flavours such as chilli powder and hing. I know, its weird, but had the bowl to myself then...

Indian Food Rocks said...

Popularity of my blog, of course! It even made the Denver Channel's 10 minutes of non-stop local news.
Mad rush from coast to coast to buy all varieties of puffed rice: mumra, murmura, kurmura, even Rice Krispies, branded as well as those sold where one must not shop...all because of a mouth-watering recipe posted in a nondescript blog called Indian Food Rocks based in the icy foothills. Vinay from Krishna Groceries was surprised to see the long line that had formed outside his store before he opened for business. When asked if he had heard of the Louisville blog, he shook his head but wished them "great success and more such recipes." When he was told that the owner of the blog shops at his store and that she had the Padosan DVD that was now overdue, his eyes twinkled as he said: Yes, her husband bought okra here recently.

Is there more to the okra story than we know? Okra for next time! Back to you, Mark, at the studio...


Popcorn with phodni is really good. Not weird at all. I had carried that to a friend's for a potluck. It was gone in minutes.

It looks like I have a lot to look forward to in summer. :-D

musical said...


You are super witty :)

that last comment of yours makes me salute you: you are the official bearer of all crowns and halos :)

Indian Food Rocks said...

Adaab! Adaab! Shukhriya! Most of all for not throwing jackfruit at me. :-D

Anjali Koli said...

No No Manisha not at all the amsul does not make the bhadang soggy and with the thick kurmure it goes really well.

Pelicano said...

How much okra did he buy?

Indian Food Rocks said...

I just got a couple of packets of better quality amsul, so I will try it, Anjali. Do you soak them before you add them to the phodni or just rinse and toss them in?

Pel, you missed this.

Anjali Koli said...

Just rinse pat dry. Chop into bits for even distribution and toss into the phodni.

Anonymous said...

this is not bhadang...these are normal churmure. Bhadang is special kind of churmure but little salty and with a plain outlook !!

whaever ..I love both churmure chivada and bhadang !! Yummy !!

Indian Food Rocks said...

Anjali, thanks! Will try it next time -which might be as soon as this coming weekend!

Saaya, welcome! Never met a bhadang with a plain outlook. ;-)

Piegirl said...

i just visited this post tonight via your flickr photo. mmmmmm....this is a perfect snack. maybe i'll make some for my women's group meeting next time.

TBC said...

Manisha, I tried this out yesterday & loved it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Nichole said...

after you shared that glorious chivda you made, i made your bhadang recipe for a little get-together i was having. my hubby and friends went wild! thank you for making me into a good indian wife (i tease!). my question, how do you get the yummy bits to stick to the rice well. the tumeric colored the rice, but most of the yummies fell to the bottom of the bowl.

ps you are a total pusher and now luke and i are addicted to chivda and bhadang.