Sunday, March 05, 2006

Poha/Atukula Chudwa - Perfect Sunday Afternoon Movie Snack

If you just would like the recipe and don't want to get bored with my story, click here!

It was early this afternoon, was getting ready to watch a movie and I wanted something salty and spicy. I ruled out all the options. The first food that came to my mind was popcorn. I thought I should just microwave some popcorn. But then, I wanted something MORE than POPCORN. I was longing for something Indian. I thought of bajjis or pakoras but they seemed too much work. Then "chudwa" came to mind.

My memories of eating chudwa are from when I was a child. For every wedding in the family(aunts and uncles), I remember my grandmother and few other ladies in the neighbourhood would start the food preparations about a week-ten days before the wedding ceremonies actually started. Among the elite "pelli vantakalu" (wedding foods) were Boondi Laddu, Badusha, Kajji Kayalu, Murukku, Boondi Kaara (Mixture) and Chudwa. I remember all the old ladies about 10-15 of them, talking, having fun, joking, making these all day long for 4-5 consecutive days. They used to set up the kitchen outside :) because it would get so hot inside with all the cooking. Mind you, these women would make any where from 1000-1200 boondi laddus.

Gone are the days where cooking during weddings was a family affair. There was always one grandfather of mine, one uncle of mine, one grandmother of mine who was good at making a particular dish. It was almost customary for certain people to make certain dishes at weddings. I remember the night before the wedding where every relative that came for the wedding would be assigned a chore - be it chopping vegetables, cooking, prepping etc.

Gone are those days (atleast in my family)! Now everything is catered and usually it is a cook and his/her assistants that make and deliver the food.

Now to the actual recipe!

  • 4 cups thin poha/atukulu
  • 2 green chilis/1/2 jalapeno
  • 3 red chilis
  • 3 tbsp cashew (raw and broken)
  • 5 tbsp peanuts (raw)
  • 5 tbsp dalia/putnalu
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves (broken/chopped into pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil/anyother oil you fancy


  • One pan


  • Put the pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil.
  • Add the peanuts to the oil and stir so they move around in the oil. After a minute or so, add the green chilis, red chilis and cashews (in that order) and move them around too until the nuts are golden brown.
  • Then add the curry leaves, the turmeric powder and stir.
  • After the curry leaves splutter, add the dalia or putnalu and stir again.
  • Now, reduce the heat to low and add the poha, a cup at a time, stirring so all the poha pieces are coated with the turmeric and the oil. Keep stirring and keep adding the poha.
  • After all the poha is added, keep on low for another 5-8 min stirring in between.
  • Taste to see if the salt is enough. If not, add more salt as you please.
  • Let it cool and serve.

This will keep in an air-tight container for about 10-15 days. Goes really well with chai/Indian tea. For a wonderful chai post, visit Saffron Hut's blog post here


sailu said...

Your recipes are very well-written.I was reading your post on family gatherings for festive or auspicious true,now most homes just cater everything.Gone are those days..but the memories live on..:)

Luv2cook said...

Thanks, Sailu. I am really loving the blogging experience. I hope my enthu stays on for a while :).

Garam Masala said...

Software and Hardware... I love your new perspective to cooking! Method... you must have wanted to say 'Algorithm' right :)

Welcome to blogging!

Mika said...

Seems like a nice recipe to go into my list. I don't know many things to do with poha. I will have to try this.

Luv2cook said...


Thanks for your comment. I did think about algorithm but stuck with the "method" coz I thought with method, it could work both ways :).


It is a very cruncy - "can't stop eating" kinda snack. A very different preperation than the usual upma or payasam. Please try it and let me know how you like it.

ss said...

it was a really gud recipe.can u
please give some more recipes for snacks

FATIMA said...

I was searching for a good chidwa not very spicy one,for my kids,Thanks a million it came out very well.keep up the good work

Kari and Sravs said...

Very nice intro to the article and cooking recipes. So which do you think is greater passion for you: writing or cooking or family or IT...must be a medley... :). Thanks for the mouth-watering recipe. We are just newly married and spending time on Cooking recipes these days.

Anonymous said...

I love this chudwa..remember my school days when I used to wrap some in a paper n run out to play in the park..and we never carried bottles of water..the hand pump near the park gave sweet water to quench our thirsts..the picture in the blog got me I though I should try this..
...sadly it was a disaster..:( Lotsa factors led to the failure..
1. Fried the groundnuts little more (in other words burnt them)
2. The putnalu I had at home were a bit old
3. Had put less oil

I dint give up hope though...will try again..:)

Garret said...

The recipe seems like a good movie snack. I will have to try it out!