I first tasted this chivda at my house in Mangalore when my mom made it. We kids were eating her head to give us something to eat in the evening and she quickly whipped this up for us hungry souls. And I have loved it ever since. Poha is made of beaten rice (yes it is rice that is flattened) and is usually eaten for breakfast. I guess it is a dish native to Maharashtra though we do have other versions of it in Karnataka and other states as well. This chivda is a sweet and spicy variation made by roasting the add ons in a little bit of oil and then mixing the crispy beaten rice flakes to it. It’s great to have as a tea time snack with hot chai and is a breeze to make.
The original chivda contains peanuts in it but since I didn’t have any peanuts on hand (thanks to a certain somebody who always eats the stock I keep) I substituted them with cashew nuts. You can add both as well!
In a big vessel, dry roast the beaten rice till the flakes curl slightly and are crispy. Keep stirring continuously to avoid burning. Alternatively you can roast them in the microwave or oven. Spread it in an oven safe pan and place in pre heated oven for 15 minutes or microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and keep in a bowl. In the same vessel, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, chilies, chana dal, peanuts and curry leaves. (Keep all these ingredients ready on a plate as they need to be added quickly to the oil. If you delay it will get burned!!!) Stir and roast all ingredients on medium flame for 2 minutes. Add the roasted beaten rice, salt, turmeric powder and sugar. Taste and adjust salt. Mix well for a minute and turn of the heat. Cool completely and store in an airtight container or finish it immediately like I did!!
You can also add thin flakes of dried coconut, sesame seeds and other spices like cumin powder, asafoetida (heeng) etc for a variety of tastes!