“is about sending along a surprise ingredient as a gift to your friends for them
to prepare something tasty with it, share the recipe, and pass on other surprise
ingredients to more people. Arusuvai means six tastes (aru=six, suvai=taste) in
Tamizh and is used to refer for Tasty preparation with six tastes - inippu/
thithippu (sweet), orappu/ karam (hot), kassappu (bitter) , pulippu (sour),
uppu(salt), tuvarpu (tastes that one gets in raw leaves).”
Lazy, is what I can be labeled when it comes to opening the mail box.. I mean how exciting is it to view a stack of bills and other junk? But when Shilpa was going to mail me the surprise ingredient, I was thrilled and did not think twice about opening the mailbox!In due course the package arrived with its mystery ingredient. In all eagerness, I tore off the cover and pulled out the contents! The moment I opened the ziplock bag I knew I had received a WONDERFUL ingredient! The aroma of the 'mystery powder' was all over the house and was so tempting.. I wanted to try it then and there! But wait!! there was more!! a slab of Lindt chocolate and Tomato Pickle and a very sweet greeting card!! In a haste I took this picture ( and the only one I did' coz M was in a rush to eat the chocolate).. well I am no less than the husband! I opened the Tomato pickle and shamelessly dipped my finger in it and licked! those who went, "eeewwww" reading that.. let me tell you folks.. THAT is the way to enjoy pickles!! Uuummmmm!! So tasty!!!
Back to the powder.. I made M take some hearty sniffs at it and he concluded it was Goda Masala.. I too swayed to that conclusion.. but a little whisper kept on in my right ear.. it must be something Konkani!! And it was!! It was PohaPowder !! I was all for making Kalayile Pohvu , but had no fresh coconut on hand ( and I really am not a fan of frozen coconut, it - for some reason.. or maybe something I do here: forms a yucky oily , slimy layer on thawing) and so that had to wait.
And then I had a brain wave ( yeah! yeah! not being modest..) I decided to make Chivda out of it!
I have this weakness to end all weaknesses, for chivda. I can have it for any meal. Don't cringe here, but I love mixing my chivda with a generous dollop of plain yougurt and eating it! Oh YUMMMM!
To elaborate more on the brainwave part (lest you guys stick out your tongues at me!) was, I thought of me Dad.. who is also a chivda aficionado and though rather particular (or as I call, peculiar- he does not believe in eating anything but two meals : that's why peculiar ! imagine no munching!! ) about his food habits likes to have a bit of chiva with his evening tea.
So it came about that i made a big batch of this chivda and sent off a portion of it to my father, who I am sure enjoyed it!
For the chivda:
2 cups Thin Poha
3-4 tbsp Oil
1 heaped tsp Mustard seeds
1 heaped tsp Cumin seeds
1 heaped tsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp Raw Peanuts
2 tbsp Dalia
2 tbsp Dry coconut pieces
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
2 Dry Red chilies broken into pieces
15 or so Curry leaves
2 tbsp Sugar
Salt to taste (just be careful when adding salt, even a little goes a long way)
2 tbsp Poha Powder
Heat a kadhai and add about 2 fistfuls of poha and on a low flame, dry roast them till they are crunchy. Do this for the entire lot. A faster way to do it is to zap them in a microwave for one minute ( toss after 30 secs for even roasting) or line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper, preheat the oven to a 350 deg. F. and roast the entire batch of poha for about 10 mins ( that is an approx time)
Remove poha and set aside. Heat oil in the kadhai, add raw peanuts, dalia, mustard seeds and cumin. The peanuts and dalia should be well browned and crunchy. Add the sesame, dry red chilli, coconut and curry leaves. Sauté until the curry leaves are crunchy. Use a medium flame and ensure that none of the ingredients gets burnt ( or even a dark brown, which will make them bitter). Add the poha and mix thoroughly.
Add the Poha Powder , sugar and salt. Mix thoroughly and switch off the heat.
When the chivda is cool, transfer to an airtight box.
Enjoy with ur cup of tea or coffee or just about any time you feel like munching.
The Poha Powder adds a punch to the chivda and leaves you wanting more!! I have some of the powder remaining and am now looking at using it in some other way, may be in a curry!
I am extending the Arusuvai Frienship Chain and am delighted to have Trupti and Mythreyee join the growing group! Your Mystery Ingredient is on its way!! Thank You for accepting my hand of friendship!