Snacks made with Chillies
Spicy snacks and Chillies are so closely linked; it is difficult to imagine one without the other. Be it peanuts that have been coated in Chilli powder, Bombay mix, Jalapeno poppers or Chilli Bites, when Chillies are combined with snack type ingredients, the results are almost magical.
In this section, explore fantastic recipes to make your favourite spicy snacks with Chillies.
Recipes for spicy snacks
More about spicy snacks
Make or buy your snacks?
Sometimes you don’t want to have to go to too much effort to make a snack. This is where pre-made snacks come onto their own. These snacks can however mean different things in different parts of the globe. Popcorn might, for example, be popular in the USA. Latiao (spicy strips made with high gluten content wheat flour and Chillies) is a favourite in China, and Chilli sticks a hit in South Africa.
One of India’s favourite snacks, Bombay mix, is also popular in the United Kingdom. As the name implies, Bombay mix is a mix of fried chickpea noodles (Sev), fried onions and lentils, dried peas, nuts, and puffed rice and other pulses combined with spices. The spice blend typically contains cumin, mustard seeds, coriander, turmeric, Chilli powder and salt. There are many variants of these blends, each having different spices.
Bombay mix is one exception to this that you may want to make. While it can easily be bought, the homemade version is just so much better. What's more, it makes a great gift that your friends and family will appreciate. Make a big batch, vacuum pack it and you are away!
Why not give it a try?
How to make Bombay mix
While it is possible to make Sev at home, it is a laborious process that uses a particular utensil called a Sev Sancha . Thick chickpea batter (made with spices, oil and water) is poured through the Sancha to create noodles. These are then fried in large pots until they are golden brown.
If you have decided to make your own Bombay mix, I suggest buying ready-made Sev. It is readily available online and at Asian supermarkets. Assuming you have ready-made Sev, you will need the following.
What you will need
- Brown lentils – one cups.
- Roasted split chickpeas -one cup.
- Split mung beans – one cup
- Onions – half a cup sliced.
- Peanuts -one cup
- Lotus nuts -one cup
- Cashew nuts – one cup
- Sev – 3 cups (ready-made)
- Chilli powder - two teaspoons
- Fennel seeds -one teaspoon
- Turmeric powder- ½ a teaspoon
- Sugar - one teaspoon
- Chilli flakes – two teaspoons (optional)
- Oil – one tablespoon (and a little more).
- Salt to taste
- Soak the brown lentils and mung beans in separate bowls of water overnight.
- The next day, drain the water and pat the lentils and mung beans with a paper towel until they are dry.
- Heat the oil in a skillet or wok. Add the above and fry in batches until they are crisp. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- Add the peanuts, fry for a minute in the skillet. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Following this procedure for the chickpeas, cashew nuts and lotus seeds, one at a time
- In the same skillet, add the remaining oil and bring to medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are starting to become crispy.
- Now add the turmeric, Chilli powder and sugar. Stir for a minute.
- Place all the pulses and nuts in a big bowl. Add the Sev, Chilli flakes (if using) and fried onions.
- Mix well. Add salt to taste.
- Place the Bombay mix in airtight containers. It will stay fresh for about three weeks.
The spicing of Bombay mixes is a matter of personal trial and error to get the exact level of spicing right for your palette. Other spices like Chaat masala and mustard seeds can be added to achieve this.
It is normal to may reasonably big batches of Bombay mix, not only because it makes sense to do with all the work involved. It also doesn’t last exceptionally long, because it usually gets devoured quite quickly!