Sunday, January 08, 2006

Q is for QUICK BHADANG

This article is part of a special series called "The A-Z of Marathi food". India is the land of diversity. Each of the 28 states in India has a unique cuisine but the Indian food served in restaurants represents only a tiny fraction of our culinary heritage. I come from the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Capital: Bombay (Mumbai). Population: 96 million (only 11 countries in the world have a population higher than Maharashtra). Language: Marathi. Traditional Marathi food is earthy and humble, diverse and very tasty. It also remains relatively unknown to non-marathis. Its time to change that. I invite you to join me on an alphabetical culinary tour of my state. We will go through the letters A to Z and make a dish with each letter to show-case Marathi cuisine.

Q is for Quick Bhadang.

The letter "Q" presented me with a challenge...this is the first letter for which I am unable to come with any Marathi food, so I am treating as a "wild card" to look at some foods that we missed along the journey. Q certainly stands for "quick", and here is a quick post with a quick recipe. Almost every home in India is stocked with a few sweet and savory snacks, for unexpected guests that might drop in, and for snacking on when mid-meal hunger pangs strike. We already looked at one such snack, Chivda, and this one called bhadang is a close cousin. Bhadang is made with puffed rice and can almost be considered "Indian popcorn". In my home-town of Kolhapur, fiery hot bhadang is sold in small paper cones by street vendors, and can be spiked with chopped onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice on request. It is one of life's little pleasures to eat handfuls of this spicy crunchy mix while sprawled on the couch reading a good book.
I made this bhadang today as part of the "chai hamper" that I pledged for the Menu for Hope fundraiser. The winner of the chai hamper is none other than Cathy! In my original pledge, I promised some chivda as part of the hamper, but Cathy visited me recently and I had made chivda then, so for a change, I made bhadang instead. I hope she likes it! Cathy, your hamper will be on its way tomorrow morning so please keep an eye out :)
Bhadang
bhadang
Ingredients:
6 cups puffed rice
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 cup peanuts
5-6 garlic cloves
8-10 curry leaves
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
Method:
1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add cumin and mustard seeds and let them pop.
2. Add peanuts, garlic, curry leaves and saute till the garlic is lightly browned.
3. Add salt, sugar, turmeric and chilli powder and saute for a few seconds.
4. Add the puffed rice and raisins and saute on low-medium heat, stirring often till all the puffed rice is coated. Turn off heat after 3-5 minutes.

Cool and store in an air-tight tin, where it keeps indefinitely at room temperature. The garlic and curry leaves can be eaten as part of bhadang, though of course you can pick those out if you like. To make instant bhel, add some fresh lemon juice, chopped onion and cilantro to the bhadang. Come to think of it, Rice Krispies cereal could be substituted for the puffed rice, those too are very similar.
We shall meet very soon with a look at "R" so stay tuned!

21 comments:

  1. That looks yummy!
    and I know where to get some puffed rice YAY!

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  2. Oh goodie! I hadn't remembered that the hamper included a snack as well! I can't wait to try it. I'd also forgotten that you'd posted the recipe for the chivda before - that was so good, I'm going to have to make it for myself.

    Thanks so much Nupur! I will definitely be on the lookout for your chai hamper!

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  3. Nice one Nupur. This is 'the' staple food for a lazy afternoon.

    There is one recipe though which could've started with a 'Q', well at least it does now. I was thinking of 'Quoshimbir'. Now mind you this is just an adjustment, i don't want everybody to start saying 'Quolhapur'.. :-)

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  4. 'Quick' thinking there with the Q. The only thing I could come up with last week(all world's cuisines put together) was 'Quesadillas' :-)

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  5. I am so impressed with your trek through the alphabet! This snack sounds great and I can't wait to try it!

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  6. Nupur,down south here in andhra we make this too ..the only additions to the above recipe being dried coconut pieces and dalia.

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  7. I have come across this blog only today. I think it is great. Thanks Nupur for introducing people to Marathi cuisine. I wonder what you'll come up with for 'R'.

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  8. Maybe 'R' for Rataalyachi kheer or Rataalyache upwasache kaap? Ravyaache ladoo? Yum...

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  9. Hi Clare, nice to see you :)

    Cathy, hope you enjoy all the contents of the hamper!

    Hi Parag, I thought of doing that :D but did not want to be accused of murdering the language so I refrained!!

    Hi Garam Masala, you are so right...Q words are few and far between. "queso" is cheese in spanish so all cheesy dishes would fit in....but a wild card letter is not so bad either.

    Hi Darlamay, thanks for stopping by!

    Hi Sailu, yes, I have seen coconut chips being added too...they taste delicious but I did not have any on hand.

    Vaishali, I'm glad you found me :) and I love your "R" suggestions...I was thinking of making a "ratala" dish this saturday for "R"

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  10. Nupur -

    Chanced upon your blog and enjoyed reading every bit of it. Took me back a couple of decades and a couple of thousand miles eastwards. You have a gift..

    Looking forward to (if you so choose) Rataalyaacha Kees, Sabudana Khichdi, Zunka, Usal ?

    Some others (Panhe, Kobiche Bhanola, Ghavan and Aluvadi) may require more incarnations, perhaps moving to 'ta tha da dha na, ka kha ga gha dn, pa fa ba bha ma' etc. on later incarnations of you excellent blog.

    - Sandeep

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  11. Hey Nupur,
    Bumped into ur blog while googling ....
    I tried ur quick bhadang recipe as it was simply irrestible and yet so simple. However I ran into a lil problem....all the nuts & raisins inevitably manage their weight to the bottom of the dish and never stay on top....I know the store stuff doesnt have such an issue...Any ideas where I goofed up? I didnt actually measure the nuts so do u think I put a lot?
    Anyways gr8 website and I love ur alphabetical sequencing....kudos!
    Cheers
    Aps

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  12. this is the another one which I was searching :)
    thanks for posting , liked the idea of adding garlic to it, again a must try for me now :)
    ~preeti

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  13. I am looking for traditional bhadang recipe. Now a days you do get kolhapuri bhadang in Indian stores and I tried it; it was real bhadang.

    This recipe is more of typical puffed rice chiwada and not of bhadang.

    Now I will be looking for traditional recipe in books; couldn't find anything on internet.

    You get seperate bhadang puffed rice in store for bhadang and they are little firmer than puffed rice showed in the picture and there are some other spices too. I need to find out which are those.

    Regards,

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  14. I have a slight diff way of making Bhadang. I think my recipe is good for people who are weight conscious.

    firsly to make thin slices of dried coconut, deep fry it til golden brown n strain all oil. take just 2 table sppon of oil, put one tea spoon of mustard seeds, then add powdered hing, curry leaves, green chilli pieces, powdered sugar and salt. try this. thanks

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  15. Just now finished this making for Diwali, used some coconut pieces and used much more kurmure. It has come out decent.
    Happy Diwali and thank you.
    Tushar

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  16. Hi, Its a sunday afternoon, a couple of hrs after lunch, too early for dinner and its really cold. I felt like eating something hot with Chai and your recipe looks so good, reminds me of My marathi friends chivda from nasik. Am going to the kitchen now to make it. I hope it tastes as good

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  17. Frankly, your bhadang does not look as spicy and scrumptious as mine :P
    Well, I follow a slightly different method..

    WARNING: FIRE ALERT! :P
    This recipe may set your taste-buds on fire. Large doses of water to be kept handy! :D

    500 gm. puffed rice (kurmure)
    4 tbsp. sugar- (to be powdered in a grinder)
    2 tbsp. salt
    1 1/2 tbsp. powdered hing
    2 tbsp. dried garlic powder
    2 tbsp. cumin seeds (to be powdered in a grinder)
    1 tbsp. turmeric powder
    1 1/2 tbsp. red chili powder
    1 cup cooking oil
    1/2 cup peanuts

    1. Powder the cumin seeds and sugar in a grinder. So now essentially all your spices are in powder form.
    2. Heat the oil in a large pot, add the peanuts and remove 'em when they're getting red. Keep them aside.
    3. Let the oil cool for a minute. Now add all the spices to the oil and mix it well.
    4. Add some puffed rice in this mixture. Keep stirring and adding rice puffs till all the rice puffs are evenly coated.
    5. To this, add peanuts and mix well. Let the bhadang cool down a bit. Then store in an airtight jar to preserve the crunch.

    Your spicy bhadang is ready to eat!

    NOTE: Well, if you can't get dried garlic powder, you can use 6-7 garlic cloves. You need to fry them with the peanuts and set them aside as well.

    The signature taste of bhadang is contributed by the garlic and hing.
    The sugar is added to even out the riot of spices on your tastebuds. Do not miss out on them.

    You may also try adding raisins, dalia and coconut chops.

    This is a crude recipe by me but its the closest I got to the real Kolhapuri Bhadang!

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  18. Nupur,
    I just made this (minus the raisins). We're having this with chai as I type this out.
    Thank you so much for the recipe for a quick snack.:)
    So when are you going to post something, huh? Missing your posts!
    Hope all's well at your end.
    Take care.

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  19. Hello Nupur

    Tried the Bhadang recipe today. It turned out fantastic and yet it was so effortless to make.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  20. Hi Nupur,

    I bumped into your blog a few years ago while google-ing Imperial from Kolhapur! I found out you went to the same dance class as my sister when I mentioned your name to her =). Love reading ur blog!

    Here's a twist to your recipe (from my mom's recipe) - add some Metkoot along with the puffed rice to the fodani. Adds a nice toasty flavor. yum!

    Snehal
    http://veggiemania.blogspot.com/

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  21. Hi Nupur,

    This recipe has been regularly made by me upon request from my family members. We all love it. Thank you so much for such a wonderful and quick recipe

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