Even if you’re a purist who only eats whole foods, you still have those craving moments to have a satisfying snack. It is certainly hard to find a satisfying snack which is healthy, low in calories, low in sugars and carbs which always hits the spot. For those who want to be on a low-calorie diet or on a healthy diet, store-bought chewda is not an option. Don’t lose hope, you can make a modified version of chewda, which gives the same satisfaction, yet a healthy one without unhealthy oils, unknown ingredients, and chemicals. More over, chewda is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and paleo.
Chewda is a popular Indian snack, which is a mixture of a variety of crunchy snacks. Chewda can be compared to Chex mix, that many westerners know. A variety of deep-fried snacks, along with poha (flattened rice), nuts and spices compose chewda. There is no hard rule for chewda recipe. What ever you most like, add more and least liked is added little. Of course with so much frying, chewda is very tasty and addicting. It is hard to resist munching. Even with modification, brown poha chewda is moderate to high in carbs depending on proportions of nuts and lentils you add. So diabetic and carb conscious people should eat carefully.
If you are looking for healthy snacking ideas, or if you are a traveling professional, or a busy parent, brown poha chewda is for you. Unlike traditional chewda, where a variety of deep-fried snacks are mixed, this recipe only uses roasted ingredients, uses poha made of brown rice, and several nuts, lentils, and spices. Brown rice poha adds up the fiber, lowers carbohydrates. I like to load my chewda with nuts, roasted dahlia lentils. Just like regular chewda, this recipe has a great shelf-life.
Merchants have listened to us and they started selling relatively healthy ingredients lately. Brown poha is available in many Indian grocery stores and online. It is available at amazon here.
Traditional chewda is more a street food or store-bought. With so much work involved, it isn’t something, families make at home typically. Chewda, not only is a great evening snack, it is also a a tea time compliment, a cocktail side, but also great to entertain guests. In typical Indian families, high-quality chewda is offered as a welcome snack when important guests arrive. Not only that, airlines in India often serve chewed. It is also offered at weddings, to welcome guests. It is something that every household maintains some stock all the time, in case any family member needs a snack in the evening, if any family member is all of sudden hungry or if unexpected guests arrive. Street vendors sell chewda in paper cones. Sometimes with fresh-cut onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Indians have great memories eating chewed at a roadside vendor.
- 1 cup brown rice poha
- 1-2 tbsp - healthy oil of your choice
- ½ tsp - cumin (jeera)
- ¼ cup - peanuts
- ¼ cup - roasted gram (dalia)
- ¼th cup - cashews
- ¼th cup - almond thins
- 5 - red chilies. Use red chili flakes if you are making oil free.
- 2 sprigs - curry leaves
- ¼th tsp - ground coriander powder - optional
- ¼th tsp - chili powder. Optional to make extra hot
- Pink Himalayan salt
- Pour oil in a kadai, heat to medium. If making oil-free, skip this step. In next step, instead of chilies, add chili flakes.
- Add red chilies. Fry till reddish brown.
- Now add cumin. Fry till golden brown.
- Now add peanuts and curry leaves. Fry peanuts for around 3 mins in medium-low heat. Stir often, to ensure they are roasted evenly on all sides.
- Now add cashews and almonds. Fry for 3 minutes. Stir often.
- Add dalia. Fry on medium-low heat for 8-12 minutes. Till you feel the crunch before they are hard.
- Make sure curry leaves are dehydrated and crunchy.
- Now add salt, if using, add coriander powder and chili powder.
- Mix well for 2 minutes till salt is well coated evenly.
- Turn off the stove. Let it cool. Store in an airtight container.