Chevdo/chewdo – Kenya style Recipe ( Gujarat snack mix with rice flakes, potato crisps, lentils and nuts)

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I had a lovely email from my blog follower Sangeeta who told me that although she had a lot of recipe books, she mainly uses my blog to  find her dishes as it is so much more convenient. She also told me that she has made several dishes from my blog and really enjoyed them as they turned out great.   Fans like Sangeeta really motivate me into making sure that every recipe I write is correct as well as easy to follow.  I spend a lot of time trying out my dishes and spend even more time in writing the recipe.    Anyway – I digress.  Sangeeta asked me if I had a recipe for Chevdo so Sangeeta -thanks for your email and your request.  This recipe is especially for you.  I had great fun making it and will be enjoying chevdo with my tea for a few days now.

Chevdo/chewdo – Kenya style Recipe  ( Gujarat snack mix with rice flakes, potato crisps, lentils and nuts) is a gujarati snack made usually at celebrations like Diwali.  There are lots of variations of chevdo and Kenya chevdo has it’s own unique taste. Kenyan’s like to eat the chevdo with onions and lemon or with the Kenyan tomato sauce which again is an acquired taste.  I have listed the ingredients I used.  You can adjust them to your own taste and add more nuts or even raisins if you like them.  

Preparation required (about 30 minutes).
Cooking time 60 minutes.

Ingredients ( this will make about a kilo of chevdo)

  • 6 Medium sized new potatoes (I used locally grown Charlotte potatoes)
  • 1 cup split chickpeas (Chana dall)
  • ½ cup  whole mung (mug)
  • 3 cups rice flakes (often called Poha or pawa)
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • ½ cup almond
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 2-3 teaspoons sugar (I ground my sugar in a coffee grinder)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chilly powder
  • 2 teaspoons cloves and cinnamon mixture (I ground it fresh using 1 part cloves to 2 parts cinnamon)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 4-5 small sticks of cinnamon
  • 5-6  cloves
  • 3-4 chopped green chillies ( you can use more or less)
  • 5-6 curry leaves (limdo)
  • 2 tablespoons oil for tempering
  • 1 litre oil for frying.

 

Method:

This recipe requires some overnight preparation:

1.  Wash and soak the chana dall in cold water.

2.   Wash and soak the whole mung.

3.  Peel and wash the potatoes.  Grate them and soak them in cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the grated potatoes.  Best potatoes to use for making crisps are new potatoes as they do not have too much starch.  By soaking them in salted water,  it adds flavour to the potatoes plus helps to make the crisps crispy. 

Next morning:

4.  Wash the grated potatoes two more times with cold water and then drain them using a colander and spread them on a clean dish cloth.  Washing the grated potatoes removes the starch and the crisps don’t go dark when frying them. 

5.  Drain the chana dall and mug using a sieve if your colander has big holes.

6.  Heat the oil in a wok or karai.

7.  To check if it’s hot drop a potato chip in the oil.  If it rises quickly, then the oil is ready.

8.   Pat the grated potatoes with a dry dishcloth and then drop a handful of the potatoes in the oil.  Reduce the heat and allow them to cook.  The potato crisps will float to the top.  Allow them to cook until crispy. Once cooked, keep them in a dry bowl.

9.  Next transfer the chana dall to the tea towel and pat it dry.  Then fry the chana dall.

10.  The dall too will float up as it cooks.  Fry it until it’s crispy.

11.  Next pat the whole mung dry using a tea towel and fry them until crispy.

12.  Next fry the peanuts, cashews and almonds.  These cook very fast so don’t leave for too long in the hot oil.  In fact, they don’t taste too bad if undercooked so just put them in the oil, turn once and remove them.

13.  Last but not least – cook the flaked rice.  I tend to cook the flaked rice using a big sieve as they cook very fast.  Take half a cup of flaked rice in a large sieve and transfer this straight in the oil; use a streamer of stir it a bit and the  flaked rice will start to puff up.  Once cooked, transfer them to a mixing tray.

14. As soon as you take out the fried pawa, sprinkle and mix some turmeric to it.

15. Transfer the pawa (flaked rice) to a big mixing bowl or tray.

16.  Now add the fried crisps, fried lentils and nuts to the pawa (flaked rice)  and mix well.

17.  Now is the time to add spices to the mixture.  My suggestion is to use the spices you enjoy.   I added 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of white pepper, ½ teaspoon chilly powder, 2 teaspoons of the clove and cinnamon powder plus 1 tablespoon of sugar.  The real Kenya chevdo has more sugar and if you like it sweet then you can add more sugar.  The fun is in the tasting of the chevdo and adjusting the taste to how you like it.

 

18.  Finally the tempering (or vaghar as the Gujarati’s like to call it).

19.  Take 2 tablespoons of oil and heat it in a saucepan.  Add the cinnamon and cloves to the hot oil.  Once the cloves pop, add the green chillies and curry leaves and allow them to cook for just a minute.  Switch off the heat and spread this on to the chevdo mix. (you can also use a teaspoon of mustard seeds and fennel seeds to the tempering but I didn’t).

20.  Once cooled, you can store the chevdo in an airtight container and enjoy the chevdo for a couple of weeks.IMG_0870

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