I love snacks (who doesn’t?). I love having them around. I religiously have snacks at tea time and sometimes make a meal out of them. In keeping with my philosophy of eating primarily home-cooked food, I decided to make some (relatively) healthy snacks to have at home for those middle-of-the-afternoon munchies.
“Chevra” or mixture is a savory snack common in most parts of India. It is served at breakfast or tea time to add a bit of substance and flavor. I used to make a simplified version that I grew up on which was pan fried flattened rice (poha), spiced with chopped chillis and served with peas, for a light breakfast. I found another version on Pinterest, which has more ingredients in it, and has a bit more kick. Once the mixture cools down, you can store it in an airtight container for a few weeks.
*I omitted the yellow lentils, rice crispy cereal, corn flakes, and shoe string potato sticks. For a simpler, but similar concoction, I used 2 cups of thin flattened rice (called poha and available in most Indian markets) which I pan-fried with 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet or pan until the flakes were crisp, but not too brown. (This was after the asafetida, green chilli, and curry leaf steps, listed in this recipe). After removing the crispy poha and curry leaf mixture from the stove and placing it in a large round bowl – I added a handful of roasted and salted peanuts (Trader Joe’s Old Fashion Blister Peanuts are great), and about a cup of thin sev (I used the packaged Deep Foods Thin Sev found in Indian markets). I would recommend adding the salt (to taste), last, as the salt in the peanuts and the sev will make the mixture pretty salty. You can even add some lightly toasted shredded coconut for added flavor. The combinations are endless!
Chocolate is another one of those necessary evils to have around. I’ve wanted to try my hand at making truffles for awhile now and coincidentally came across a nice little write up in the Food section of Huffington Post about homemade truffles. The Lemon Chiffon Truffle recipe in particular, caught my eye (and caused me to salivate). The recipe is fairly straight forward. I would recommend using a melon baller, which makes it easier to scoop out the chocolate and creates truffles of the same size and shape. I would also recommend leaving the truffles in the freezer overnight, to really solidify the chocolate. (Also, do not recommend making these when outside temps are high, without the AC on. Otherwise, get ready for a gloppy mess!) You can purchase chocolate wrappers at any craft supply store or Amazon.com, for a neat little gift! I keep a dozen or so of these in the fridge for a sugar fix, or for unexpected guests. People will think you slaved over the stove for hours!