Monday, October 03, 2011

Of memories and doe eyes and Chivda

Three years ago, around time I was sitting alone in my living room, holding my 3 month old and trying to choke back tears that threatened to cascade down, just like the un-seasonal rain that beat down in my patio. 
I felt all alone. M had just started traveling and I, for the very first time, was left all alone, alone with an infant. I would constantly worry and hear imaginary noises and stay awake all night, doze off just as it was light, only to wake up to my infant's cries. 
Over time, I got used to being alone,  not that I liked it, but it became routine, just like drinking tea, eating lunch or taking a bath.

Just like always, I wondered at time flying! So much has happened in these 3 years, my Parents and in-laws visited us, we went to India, moved to a different city, leaving our hearts behind in Los Angeles. 

We watched our little one growing, steadily acquiring new skills, toddling, running, laughing, throwing a tantrum, obsessing with 'wheels on the bus' and 'eka makdane kadhlay dukan', the short phases of his intense liking for a certain toy Thomas( the steam engine) , hot wheels cars  (there was a time when there was one tiny car underfoot- all the time, we could not step anywhere without landing on one and yelling out in agony and hopping like crazy bunnies, to his latest Trash Truck and now his demand for a Fire Engine! 

Today my little one goes to pre-school, he waves 'bye to me, very cheerfully, every morning. I am happy that he does not cry and mope and has adjusted so well in school, at the same time, I feel a tug at my heart, I miss him around, messing around. I miss saying, "  arey kay kartoys!? jara shanta bas ki!" (what are you doing? Will you pipe down for a bit), I miss his, " uh-oh!" and investigating the cause for it, I miss his voice exclaiming "Oh! Man!"  when he misses kicking the ball around the house.

I love it when he comes home and sits down to lunch and we laugh over Tom and Jerry's silly antics. I love it when I lay him down for his afternoon nap and the silly games we play before he closes is eyes and sleeps. 

I love weekends when he and his Baba spend time together and do crazy things ( many a times ending in me yelling at both and warning that if they do not cease the tomfoolery this instant, I will spank both!) I laugh out loud when M tells little S, " ssssshhhhh,  ata bas kar, nahi tar aai ordel"(enough or Mom will yell now!) I quite feel like Gabbar Singh from Sholay  (yaha se pachas -pachas kos door gaanw me jab bachcha raat ko rota hai to maa kahti
hai ..beta soja ..soja nahi to gabbar singh aa jaayega. ) So much for discipline!

Last night the little one slept early and M and I were just about to watch a movie, we were
looking thru our dvd's to decide when looking up I saw my baby standing in the bedroom 
doorway, blanket clutched in his small fist and his beautiful doe eyes brimming with tears,
just looking at us. My heart lurched, casting the dvd's to a corner I ran and scooped him up
in my arms and held him tight and kissed him. 
At that moment, I felt, like so many times before, he is is everything to me , holding my 
precious baby in my arms, laying my cheek against his oh-so-soft one, to look into his 
beautiful innocent eyes and read every emotion in them.

We both love it when it rains - my baby and I run out on the lawn and skip about for a couple of minutes and he informs me that it is raining- pauss!
I enjoy it when he and I share a bowl of snacks, such times (rainy days) call for chivda ( a spicy mix, call it the Indian Trail Mix!). Where I am concerned, I like chivda anytime and am glad my son also seems to like it :)


Before I get on to the chivda recipe, here is how I go round to making it. About 3 years ago, I was talking to my Father and we got to talking about chivda, which we both like a lot. He mentioned that if I want to kick up the taste a few notches, I should add Coriander seeds and Fennel seeds ( roughly pounded in a  mortar-pestle) and add the mixture to the 'tadka'. Now Dad denies having given me this tip, insisting that he would never - ever say such a horrendous thing, fennel seeds indeed! Pshaw!
Neither will budge, however, what matters is, the chivda is delicious and makes me want to refill my bowl every time. Even M, who dislikes chivda liked it and asked for a second helping.



There is really nothing that can go wrong when making chivda. Not even if you eyeball all ingredients ( just be careful with the salt, a little goes a long way)

You need: ( these are approximates, use your judgement, you won't go wrong)

2 cups of THIN poha
2-3 Tbsp of Raw Peanuts ( or you can use roasted peanuts if you have those handy, but with a slightly different  taste)
2 Tbsp Dalia (Roasted gram)
1 tsp. Mustard seeds
1 tsp. Cumin seeds
1 tsp Sesame seeds
5-7 Green chillies Chopped ( seeds intact) - Adjust to your heat tolerance
4 fat Garlic cloves ( peel and chop)
1 tsp each Fennel seeds (saunf/ badishop) and Coriander seeds ( pound roughly)
Salt to taste
10-12 Curry leaves
1 tsp Turmeric powder
2 tsp Sugar (optional) 
4  TbspOil

Heat a wok on medium high heat.  Add a fistful of the thin poha  and roast for a minute or two ( this is to make the poha light and crisp). keep a watch, you do not want the poha to curl up, that will make it too crisp. 

Transfer all the poha  to a plate. Heat oil in the same wok. Add the raw peanuts and mustard seeds. The peanuts will start browning and the mustard seeds will pop, add cumin seeds, asafetida.
*If using roasted  / roasted and salted peanuts, add them just before adding thin poha

Add the chopped garlic, green cillies and curry leaves. 
Let the garlic turn a nice golden brown. Add the dalia, sesame seeds and the fennel- coriander seed mix and turmeric.

Stir well till well incorporated

Add the poha and mix well so that the poha is coated with the spices. Add sugar and mix. Done.

Switch off the stove (if you have an electric stove, the heat from the coil will keep the poha chivda warmed for a while) 

Let the chivda cool, store in an airtight container. Enjoy with a cup of tea or anytime you want! 
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13 comments:

  1. Chivda luks so tempting and the clicks are awesome...

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  2. ohhh...wow..Manasi..just simply I enjoyed reading your post...wonderful writeup..
    you have beautifully presented as I visually seen your enjoyment with your little love...:)
    Have fun dear..
    chivda sounds lipsmacking..wanna giv a try..
    Tasty Appetite

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  3. The chivda looks amazingg and the clicks are too good. Diwali prep is full on in M's world I guess. So badly wish you could stay closer now...rain, T and chivda..what more could you ask for. We add amchur powder also.. just for the kick, and then make dry bhel from the leftover chivda and shev after the festivals...some good food and good days...Love Ash.

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  4. First time here and a very lovely chivda and an even more lovely post. Beautiful write up. Glad I landed up on your space and do stop by mine when time permits www.sensibleveg.com

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  5. CHivda looks super yummy and wonderful..

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  6. Its hard to imagine but of all the snacks in the world out there, simple or exotic, this one is always my top favorite. I really like how you write, very heartfelt!
    USMasala

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  7. Lovely write up dear....Chivda looks yummy...

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  8. I loved reading ur post Mansi, could really relate to it. It was when Anushka was 3 months old that my parents returned to India and with Manoj off at work I used to be so panicky and cranky all the time. And that blanket scene happens so often. Its amazing how our little ones just take over our world.
    Chivda looks very tempting and is one of my favorite snacks.

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  9. I can so relate to this post.. can't believe that my baby is 3 and in school.. but now I have another baby and I am reliving the earlier memories..how time flies!

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  10. Manasi, your post made me want to laugh and cry. You've captured how all of us immigrants feel at various times-- it's a hard transition and yet it's also such a growing experience, in many ways. Your son sounds so precious, and your times with him are very much so. BTW, I loved reading Marathi again (written in English) :)

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  11. We r sailing in the same boat dear....read word n word of ur post....precious...
    Ended up into laughter n tears.....resemble u...
    Manatali goshta tu shabdat sangitali...
    Making myself strong as little H wil b going to preschool soon n facing the world...Soon the day wil come when I wil b saying....tujhya vina karmena(I wil b lonely n alone without u)
    Best wishes to u n chivda looks Yummo...
    Sanyukta
    http://creativesanyukta.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happily following u..
    Lastly ur son looks so so adorable....god bless...wil hop over ur space more often...
    Sanyukta
    http://creativesanyukta.blogspot.com/

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  13. Pallu, I miss you so much..I am making this chivda for haldi kumkum occasion at my home today...Thanks Much for for such a rocking recipe :)

    ReplyDelete

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