Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chooda / Chuda / Chiwda



Chooda is one of the popularly made festival food at my home. My mom would start making Diwali goodies a week before the festival. She would make Phenori, chooda, tukudi (shankarpali), chakkuli (chakli), churmundo (rava laddu), sev, fried masala peanuts and khadi (barfi). Every time my mom started to make a new delicacy I and my sister would wait eagerly wait for the first batch to devour. Narakchaturdasi and Lakshmi puja are the most important days for us. We worship water and then take oil bath. The legend behind this is that when Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura, he took oil bath after returning home and then worshiped Goddess Lakshmi. To mark this event everyone has bath before sunrise and take oil bath. In India people also burst crackers early in the morning to mark this event. But here in US with all the work deadlines placed right after Diwali (read 19th Oct), I could make Chooda and Khadi for Diwali this year. Here is the recipe for the chooda and it goes to Priya's event Diwali 2009. and Sunday Snacks - Festive snacks of Navratri & Diwali .


Ingredients

3 cups thick pova or beaten rice
1/2 cup groundnuts or peanuts
1 cup putana dal or dalia or split and roasted bengal gram
15-20 broken cashew nuts
15-20 curry leaves
3 tablespoon mustard seeds
1/2 cup coriander seeds
3 tablespoons jeera or cumin seeds
2 tablespoon saunf or fennel seed
1/4 cup red chili powder or as desired (I used byadgi chilli powder)
2 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup sugar
salt for taste

Method
Roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds till crisp and grind it into a fine powder. Mix in sugar, salt, turmeric and chili powder as per taste and mix it with the ground spice powder. I just mix it in grinder and give it a pulse or two so that all the powders are integrated well.
Fry the pova, ground nuts and dalia in a fryer. I have a steel fryer in which I put the pova or dalia and dip it in a pan of hot oil. In this way the pova does not spill into the pan and is easy to remove from the oil. Optionally fried dry coconut slices or copra slices can also be added. As soon as one batch of pova, dalia or peanuts is fried, add a teaspoon of masala powder and mix well. The masala powder mixes well when the ingredients are hot. Let the oil cool a little bit and then fry the curry leaves ( the curry leaves will burn if fried on high heat). Add 2-3 tablespoon oil and fry the mustard till it starts to splutter. Mix the mustard and curry leaves well with the chooda. Store in airtight container.