Let’s talk about Bombay Mix (chevdo in Gujarati)
Crunchy, salty and totally addictive. It’s a staple in any Indian family home as a snack with a drink of fizzy pop or an alcoholic beverage such as a larger or beer.
In Mumbai it is sold in restaurants, street stalls and served in small paper cups. The mix can be different in many countries from Afghanistan, South Africa, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, USA to name a few and called different names with its variations such as adding dried fruits.
Bombay mix is a section of crispy fried nuts, rice, dal, and chickpea flour noodles (sev), ghatiya ( a thicker chickpea flour noodles), flattened rice. The idea of the snack is to have a salty, sour, sweet and savoury flavour. Red toasted peanuts and sultanas are added and sweetness and adding spices to create heat to pack a punch with deep fried chillies. There are fried curry leaf and fried onions as additions to create interest, colour and texture.
As a family my mum and I would make Gujarati chevdo ( Bombay mix) as a family just before Diwali for visitors to enjoy when they visited during the festive period.
To make chevdo, it is important to buy the correct oil. The best is vegetable oil due to its high flash point. The temperature of the oil must be 180C. We used to fry it in a kadhi ( wok). This ensures whatever is fried, it is crisp and doesn’t absorb the oil and become soft.
To make a tasty chevdo there are lots of stages so allow lots of time. It also includes overnight soaking of dal and lentils.
However, once made it can be stored in an air tight container.
A recipe to share
Bombay Mix - Chevdo ( Gujarati version)
225g Channa dal soaked over night
225g Mung dal soaked over night
450g Waxy Potatoes peeled and grated and water squeezed out thoroughly ( I would ensure it is patted dry with kitchen paper)
100g Cashew nuts
250g Powa Flakes flattened rice
2 tsp lemon juice (adjust to taste)
Spices adjust to taste however here’s my suggestions
2 tsp Salt ( adjust to taste)
½ tsp Chilli power ( adjust to taste)
1 tbpsn. Sugar ( adjust to taste)
½ tspn Turmeric powder
5 Green chillies cut into rings ( adjust to taste)
20 Curry leaves
In separate bowls, wash and soak the Mung dal, Channa dal and peel, wash and grate the potatoes. Add 1/2tsp salt to the potatoes. Allow to stand.
2. Following morning
Drain the Mung dal, Channa dal and wash the grated potatoes to remove the starch and dry thoroughly on a towel and set aside.
3. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or khadi and start the processes of frying. The temperature needs to be 180C ( use a temperature probe or if you have a deep fat fryer)
Fry each ingredient as follows:
• Grated potatoes
• Channa dal
• Mung dal
• Peanuts, cashews and almonds. - turn once and remove from the oil
• Powa flatted rice fry straight away using a large sieve. Add turmeric powder and mix well.
4. Add be spices salt and stir into the Bombay mix. Adjust to taste.
5. Finally Tempering spices
Add the oil into a pan, allow to heat and add the chopped green chillies and curry leaf and then pour the oil over the chevdo mix. Stir well, allow to cook and store in an air tight container.
You can add sev ( gram flour noodles which can be bought from Asian supermarkets) and why not add fried raisins or sultanas.