There are lots of Indian dry snacks available in most supermarkets these days. Snacks such as Bombay Mix, Gujarat mix etc… Most of them have a variation of nuts and crisps as a base. Chevdo / chewdo is a Gujarati snack made usually during celebrations such as Diwali. There are lots of variations of chevdo / chewdo. One of my favourites is the Kenya chevdo has it’s own unique taste.
Farari Chevdo / chewdo is mainly eaten(by hindus) during the days and months of fasting. On the days Hindus fast, there is a list of foods that they are “allowed” to eat. The list – often referred to as fararli food – includes all the fruits and nuts, milk and milk products including yogurt. It also includes potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, tapiaco, ragigara flour etc…. In fact, the sumptuous delicacies you can eat in place of everyday food makes you feel that you are having a feast because of the variety you can make.
I like to make this Chevdo /chewdo for the fasting months but also all the year round as it has so many high energy nuts in it. It makes a nice snack to serve with drink too.
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. I have also suggested some cheat ingredients – there is nothing wrong in accepting a bit of help at time!! The cheat ingredients will have salt in them so I suggest that you add no more salt to the chevdo if you are planning to adding these ready cooked products to the chevdo / chewdo.
Preparation required (about 30 minutes).
Cooking time 60 minutes.
( this will make about a kilo of chevdo / chewdo)
- 6 Medium sized new potatoes (I used locally grown Charlotte potatoes)
- 1 cup peanuts
- ½ cup almond
- ½ cup cashews
- 1-2 teaspoons ground sugar or sugar substitute such as Splenda/canderal etc…
- 2 teaspoons cloves and cinnamon powder (I ground it fresh using 1 part cloves to 2 parts cinnamon)
- 1 teaspoon ground 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.
If in a hurry you can use the following cheat ingredients:
- ready cooked crisps( I used Kettle hand cooked crisps)
- ready chip sticks (I used a supermarket’s own brand)
- ready fried jumbo peanuts (I used a supermarket’s own brand)
- ready fried cashews. (I used a supermarket’s own brand)
1. Peel and wash the potatoes. Grate them and soak them in cold water for as long as you can. if possible soak them overnight or at least but a minimum of 30 minutes. In my opinion the best potatoes to use for making crisps are new potatoes as they do not have too much starch.
2. 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 won’t go dark when frying them.
3. Heat the oil in a wok or karai.
4. To check if it’s hot, drop a potato chip in the oil. If it rises quickly, then the oil is ready.
5. Pat the grated potatoes with the 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 when cooked. Allow them to cook until crispy. Once cooked, keep them in a dry bowl. I find it easier to cook a few crisps at a time in a metal sieve.
6. Once cooked, keep them in a dry bowl.
7. Next fry the peanuts, cashews and almonds. These cook very fast so don’t leave for too long in the hot oil. Again- I fry them in the sieve so that it’s easy to take them out quickly. In fact, they don’t taste too bad if undercooked so just put them in the oil, turn once and remove them.
7. Now mix all the ingredients together. All the crisps and nuts you have fried together with the half ready made crisps and nuts. If you feel it needs more nuts or crisps – add more. This is all a matter of personal taste.
8. Now add spices to the mixture. My suggestion is to use the spices you enjoy. I didn’t add any salt but added 1 teaspoon of white pepper, 2 teaspoons of the clove and cinnamon powder plus 1 tablespoon of sugar substitute. Taste the chevdo / chewdo and adjust it to how you like it.
9. Finally temper the chevdo (vaghar as the Gujarati’s like to call it).
10. 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.
11. Your Farari (Farali) Chevdo /chewdo is ready. Mix well and store it in an airtight cupboard. This should be fine for a couple of weeks.