Crunchy munchies

Food fix

Crunchy munchies

Tea or coffee served in cold afternoons tastes even better with a side of spicy and crispy snacks served hot. Here are a few recipes that you could try for a yummy snack or even as starters for lunch or dinner. Be forewarned, these are definitely not for the calorie-conscious.

Mixed masala nuts

Ingredients: 1 cup of groundnuts; 1 cup of cashew nuts; ½ cup of halved or quartered pistachios;  ¼ cup of almond slivers (optional); ½ cup of crushed almonds (if slivers are not available); 2 tsp of lemon juice; 1 tsp of red chilli powder; ¼ tsp of salt; a pinch of asafoetida (optional)

Method: Make a thick paste of red chilli powder, salt and asafoetida, add a little water to bring it to coating consistency and keep aside. Dry roast the first four ingredients to a light brown colour in a kadai. Add the paste and keep stirring on a low flame till the mix becomes totally dry and the nuts get an even coating of masala. Remove from fire, stir for a couple of minutes and let it to cool. Store in airtight container.

Crunchy mix

Ingredients: ½ cup of sev (ompudi), ½ cup of plain or khara boondi, 1 cup of cornflakes; 15-20 potato chips (crushed lightly); ¼ cup of roasted Bengal gram; 1 cup of rice flakes (medium thickness); ¼ cup of groundnuts; a few cashew bits; a few curry leaves; a raisins or black currants (optional); a few dry copra slices; salt and chilli powder to taste; 2 pinches of turmeric powder; oil for deep frying

Method: Heat oil and fry the groundnuts and cashew nuts to a brown colour. Drain them on a paper. Fry 1 tbsp of rice flakes at a time, in batches as they fry in a jiffy, expand and float. Drain and keep aside. Next, in the same oil, fry copra slices and curry leaves; remove and drain thoroughly. Mix the rest of the ingredients together, cool and store. For a variation, add chopped onions, green chutney and tamarind chutney. Serve at once, garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

Sesame squares

Ingredients: 2 cups of fine sooji; 2 tbsp of maida; a pinch of salt; 4 tsp of oil; 2 tbsp of sesame seeds; 1 tbsp of dry copra powder; chilli powder to taste; oil for deep frying
Method: Mix sooji, maida and salt; heat 4 tsp of oil and add to the mix. Stir well; add the rest of the ingredients and knead into a stiff dough, with sufficient water, and leave for an hour. Divide the dough into four equal-sized balls; roll out into 1/8-inch thick circles and cut into 1½ or 2-inch squares. Heat oil; deep fry the squares till light brown and crisp. Drain, cool and store.

Spicy crackers

Ingredients: 20 salted biscuits; 20 tsp of tomato ketchup; ½ cup of sev (ompudi); 20 pieces of toasted and split cashew nuts

Method: Take each biscuit, apply tomato ketchup, sprinkle a little sev evenly on top, press a cashew gently in the centre and serve at once..

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