I love chaats and can enjoy them an time of the day. But if you think chaats are a speciality of North India, then you are wrong. South India also makes several chaats or mixtures or whatever name we call them. Though roasted peanuts are traditionally found in every South Indian states during evenings especially beaches and such places, puffed rice also remains a traditional favourite and seconds peanuts.
I still remember the evenings during my childhood when peanut-cart vendors used to pass through my neighbourhood and can still hear the sound of his ladle/spoon hitting the hot pan roasting the peanuts. But let me tell you a secret, I am no great fan of peanuts. I use them ofcourse but as a snack I definitely prefer the churmuri or the puffed rice. We used to get 2 varieties of puffed rice and one was common during the Navaratri time or October onwards.A lady used to bring basketful of puffed rice and go through each house in the neighbourhood.
Coming to Bangalore, I rarely relished them, but had found a very tasty churmuri /puffed rice recipe in Nagashree's blog Sattva. with whom I am paired with this BlogHop Wednesday Week 17, an event by Radhika. A perfect snack for me and healthy too. Correction, its actually an all time snack.
Puffed Rice: 4-5 cups
Peanuts: dry roasted and dehusked: 1/2 cup +
Red Onion: finely chopped :1 medium sized
Carrots: 1-2 finely grated
Fresh Cilantro/coriander: handful
Green Chillies: 1-2 ground to a fine paste or Green Chilli paste: 1/4 tsp +/-
Lemon Juice: 1 small lemon
Cooking Oil: 1 tbsp
Mix all the ingredients except peanuts and puffed rice. You can do the taste test and adjust salt and spiciness. It should be spicy or as per your taste.
At the time of serving, mix in puffed rice and peanuts and serve immediately preferably in papercones .
Simple, easy to make, and flexible snack. You can add green mangoes (adjust lemon juice), fried green chillies, crushed crispy and small puris- thattai or nippattu- to this to give it a South Indian cousin of bhelpuri. You can actually ground together green chilies,few onion pieces, and cilantro and add that paste to the ingredients.
Papercones ensure the traditionality of the snack and also absorb the excess oil, ad of course no washing plates ordeal. :)