Spicy Kerala Mixture – This humble snack, in its various avatars, is a popular, omnipresent item in all bakeries and hot chips shops across Kerala. When you have guests at home for tea, the spread is not complete without a serving of mixture. Despite being a big fan of the mixture, I had never thought that one day I’ll make this at home. I had never seen anyone make this at home. It was always shop-bought, until now.
One weekend, my wife and I decided to give it a try. And it turned out to be way easier than we thought. This recipe is a step-by-step narrative of how we made the “spicy Kerala mixture”.
You can also make this at home. No additives, no preservatives, and no reused oil! Just a tasty, crispy snack!
Kerala Mixture (Chivda)
- 1/2 cup rice flour (roasted)
- 1 cup gram flour (besan)
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- As required water
- 1/2 cup split chana dal (Bengal gram)
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup beaten rice
- 1/2 cup puffed rice
- 3-4 dry red chilies
- 1-2 sprigs curry leaves
- To taste salt
- In a bowl, add roasted rice flour, gram flour*, asafoetida, turmeric powder and salt.
- Mix well.
- Start kneading the dough by adding water, a little at a time. Knead well. The consistency we are looking for is similar to, but a bit softer than, a chapati dough.
- Heat oil** in a pan. Place the dough in a string hopper maker (idiappam mold). Use the flat noodle/ribbon disc, and press the dough into the oil.
- Fry this, and in a few seconds it'll turn golden brown. Turn over and the fry the other side for a quick few seconds. It'll get fried quickly. If you leave it for a long time, you risk burning it.
- Drain the fried sev with a colander, and place them in a tray lined with kitchen towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Repeat this in small batches changing the mold discs - we use the same dough, but the various shapes in which the dough gets fried makes it a "proper" mixture.
- Use the discs for ribbons, thin noodles, thick noodles, and murukku following steps 5 and 6. Keep some dough for making boondi.
- To make boondi, add some water to the remaining dough. If you add too much water, it'll become runny. Add just enough water to make it a thick batter.
- Take a perforated spoon, pour the batter through the spoon into the oil. Keep the spoon just above the oil - you don't want to splash hot oil and risk an injury. I used a grater instead of the perforated spoon.
- Fry them for a few seconds, drain and place them in the tray along with the other sev.
- Fry the groundnuts in the oil until they turn golden brown. Drain and place them in the tray.
- Fry the split chick peas until they turn golden brown, drain and keep in the tray.
- Fry the dry chilies and the curry leaves, and add them to the tray.
- Fry the puffed rice and the flattened rice, and add to the mix.
- Crush the sev so that there wouldn't be any big pieces in the mixture. Sprinkle a teaspoon chili powder, close the tray with a lid, and shake well to get all the ingredients evenly distributed. Check for salt. If you want to add salt, sprinkle it and shake well again.
- Kerala mixture is ready to serve. Transfer it to a clean, dry container, and it'll stay fresh for a long time (depending on how long you are able to resist the temptation and not snack on it for two days straight).
- Always add rice flour and gram flour in a 1:2 ratio. Take the rice flour, and add double the amount of gram flour, and add other ingredients proportionately.
- ** To test the oil, drop a small piece of dough in the oil. If the oil is hot enough the dough will bubble and rise to the top. You can then reduce the flame.