Chudvo/chooda/chivda (Konkani style)

This is one of the most popular Konkani chivda/chooda (In Konkani we call it ‘chudvo’). There is a very popular(but very old) restaurant called ‘Alka’ in Kumta(they also sell munchies and sweets). Their ‘chudvo’ is one of the best and loved by all. During the wedding functions, people make this at home. This is served at the wedding and also served to the guests/relatives before and after wedding. One of the perfect accompaniment with a simple upma. Other times we buy it from ‘alka’. Aayi has stopped preparing it these days, but she would prepare this frequently when we were kids.

I had missed Dasara celebrations as I am very busy these days. But Diwali being one of the biggest festival for us, I don’t want to miss it. So I prepared this ‘chudvo’ yesterday. It requires a lot of patience as the thick poha and other things needs to be deep fried in very hot oil on a very low flame. Though this is not very healthy due to the deep frying, I prefer this once in a while. (Non deep frying version is here).

The most important thing I miss here is diwali celebrations with lighting of lamps and the crackers. My dad would decorate the house with colored lights, we would light lamps(or candles) in front of the house. We don’t make any specific food on this day, only normal food with some sweets. But the pooja and rituals performed on the 4 days of diwali were so much fun. Here is how we celebrate the 4 days.

– On previous evening of diwali (Thrayodashi) we decorate the water well as well as the vessels (‘kolse’-Konkani or ‘koda’-Kannada or ‘matka’-Hindi) with a creeper called “Karita vali”. “Karit” is a small ping pong ball sized special cucumber with bitter taste. The bathrooms as well as the place were water is filled and heated for bath called as ‘bhan’ are decorated. In the evening, a pooja is done to the water well and then water is taken out and filled in ‘bhan’. This water is called ‘bhangra(golden) udak(water)’

– Next day, I mean the first day of Diwali, is celebrated as “Naraka Chaturdashi”- Ashweja Vadhya Chaturdashi according to Hindu calender. According to Hindu Puranas, Lord Krishna killed evil Narakasura on this day and returned home. In order to overcome his fatigue, his mother Dewaki gave oil bath to him. To celebrate this event, all members of the house getup early this day, apply oil to body and take bath (from the ‘bhangra udak’). Food is taken only after the bath. According to traditions, a small piece of ‘Karit’ is eaten and then sweet poha is served. Some people also have a tradition of ‘aarti’ this day. Elders of the house make all the youngsters to stand in front of a diya(lamp) and make aarti to them (here also the youngsters first break a ‘Karit’ with their legs and then taste it). I don’t know the significance of ‘Karit’ in this. If anyone of you know, please leave a comment.
In the evening, aarti is done to daughter and new son-in-laws and then gifts are given to them. (After the wedding, the first Diwali has more significance. The couple has to go to the girl’s place and there aarti is done).

– Next day, Amavasye, is celebrated as “Dhana lakshmi pooja”. Dhana meaning money. This is the pooja of ‘goddess of wealth’ – Lakshmi. On this day, pooja is performed to all the vehicles in the house(“Vahan pooja”). The shopkeepers decorate their shops and a Lakshmi photo. Lots of coins are kept in front of the photo and pooja is performed. Some sweets are distributed after the pooja.

– Next day, Padya, is celebrated as “Dhanya lakshmi pooja”. Dhanya meaning grain, in other words it is a pooja of ‘Goddess of food’ – Lakshmi. This day is also celebrated as “Gopooje” – pooja of holy cow. A sweet dosa called Gandarli/surnali is offered to the cows. They are decorated well and the pooja is done.
In the evening, the books are kept in front of the god and pooja is performed. Same time ‘aarti’ is done to small children in the house.
All the 4 days, crackers are burnt and lamps are lighted in the night.

Now coming back to the ‘chudva’ recipe. This is my entry to Vee’s Diwali treats.

Ingredients:
Thick poha(avalakki or rice flakes) 2 cups
Poha masala 2 tea spns
Pea nuts 1 tbl spn
Split dalia(hurigadale/putani) 1 tbl spn
Curry leaves 1 strand
Red chilies 2-3
Sugar 1 tea spn
Salt 1 tea spn
Dry coconut pieces 1 tbl spn
Sev 1/2 cup

Peanuts, dalia, coconut and the powders can be increased or decreased according to taste.
In India, there are 3 types of poha available. Thin, medium and thick. The thick kind is also called as ‘chooda poha or chudva phovu’. Since I was having only medium thickness poha here, I used the same for this. But the thick poha is best suitable for this.

Method:
Mix poha masala, sugar and salt. Keep it aside.

Heat oil. Deep fry pea nuts. Take in a large bowl.

Deep fry dalia and take out. Just for fun, I added few Chana dal also, but it is NOT required.

Deep fry curry leaves, red chili pieces and coconut. Take out.

Deep fry poha, one table spoon at a time. Fry on a very low flame. They before slightly puffed after frying. (If not fried properly, the entire ‘chudvo’ becomes hard).

Add the masalas to the fried poha, sev(mix besan, a pinch of soda, salt with water and press into hot oil using chakli press. Use the disc with many tiny holes to make the sev) and other things and mix well.

When it is cooled to room temperature, store in an air tight container.

Preparation time : 30-45mins

Updated on 25th Oct 2006: Following are the pictures of “Udak bharche”(thrayodashi celebrations – read above) taken at my native Kodkani.

29 Comments for “Chudvo/chooda/chivda (Konkani style)”

Usha

says:

Nice explanation,Shilpa.I surely miss all those here.
We also had ‘Bhaav beej’.I guess it was on the same day as ‘Gopooja’.On that day sisters did arti to their brothers.

says:

Oh Shilpa,

What will I do without my daily dose of Amchigele-ness from you???…

Nice entry. Happy diwali to you and family and thank you for participating!!!!

pelicano

says:

Shilpa-
I very much enjoyed reading your explanation of the Diwali rituals performed in your native place and about your family.

I was reading about a dish called “cheewra”…do you know if this is similar?

Also Happy Diwali to you, your family and all visitors!!!

says:

Enjoyed reading the deepavaLi rituals. The non-vegetarian konkanis in my place do have a ritual of eating fish on the jalapuja day. Dont u guys have that?

My maternal aunt used to make this chudva in lagre quantities, but i guess she does the non deep fried version, which u said u will be posting it soon. Keep it coming…

HAPPY DEEPAVALI.
HAPPY BLOGGING

says:

Hi Shilpa,

I seriously think you should be a food writer. I appreciate all the time you took to write out that lovely description of Diwali celebrations and I’m speechless at the recipe 🙂

says:

i don’t understand how u manage to post on a daily basis!! hmm….hey i was craving for something spicy after seeing all that diwali sweets in the other blogs…he.he… i never thought that chivda is this easy to make at home…thanks for the recipe shilpa.

says:

Shilpa! Shilpa! This is the recipe I have been looking for! My Mom was the only one who made this chivda. It was time consuming and used a lot more oil than the ‘kaccha’ chivda. And, I have had the urge to make it for this Diwali. Except that I only had a general idea of the ingredients but no clue about proportions. My mother used to have a large tava that kind of dipped in the center. She would put the oil in the middle and quickly fry the pohe in the oil and then move them towards the outer edge of the tawa. She would allow them to become a little crisp while she fried some more in the center. Then she would move them out into a large container which had the phodni.

So big hugs to you! I’ll be making this over the weekend or even tomorrow!! yay!

says:

Shilpa, I wanted to tell you about the karit. Karit is a very bitter fruit. It beats karela hollow when it comes to bitterness. In our family, my mother would have us all lined up for aarti, after the abhyanga snana (head-to-toe shower). Each one of us would have a karit behind our feet and rangoli at the front. She would do aarti, then we would break the karit with one foot placed on the end closest to us. It would squirt out its worst bitter gooeyness and we would have to put one finger in the stuff and taste it. According to the tradition in our family, this bitter taste represented all the bitter and sad things that happened to us in the year gone by. That, while we recognize it, we were going to leave it behind us and move on with our lives. As kids it was a big game! We would try to cheat because the thing really tasted awful. We would stick one finger in the gooey mess and lick another! But everyone else always watched with an eagle eye and I always got caught! My mother would then give us our much awaited envelopes stuffed with money and then we did namaskaar to her. After my mother passed away, my sister and I would get together and she would play the role my mother. My sister would make everyone in the house stand in a neat line, side by side. Her maid, her cook, her driver, her husband, her son, me and my husband. It was always a very special time for us. No-one understood why my sister and I always cried during the aarti – it brought back too many memories. 😀

Happy Diwali, Shilpa!

says:

Shilpa,
I am visiting your blog after about three weeks. As expected, you have posted daily and I have a backlog of about 20 odd posts. What do you suggest that I should do to solve this problem? 🙂 🙂
I am gonna have to stay up one entire night especially for this, I guess. 😉

says:

Hi Shilpa,

Happy diwali,ur way of narrating festival celebration was v.nice.

Even in our home we use to do this puffed rice,(in tamil -“pori”).
It is easy+i hope family members can enjoy having it ,as it is home made…

Rajasi

says:

Happy Diwali, Shilpa! May this Diwali bring lot of joy and prosperity to you, your family and all your readers!

As far as the karit goes, i think it represents “evil” – i mean symbolically, so you kick it and get rid of all the evil in the life and welcome all the blessings.

Shilpa

says:

Thanks for reminding Bhavu beej Usha.

Thanks Vee.

Pelicano, Chivda, cheewra, chooda all are same. Everybody follow their own recipe with small variations.

Manjula, no we dont eat any meat/fish on these days. I am surprised to know about it. Thanks and I will try to find out more abt it.

Thanks Linda, Shaheen, Maneka.

Thanks a lot Manisha for the comments. Yeah, this festival definitely brings back a lot of memories. If not for my aayi, I would never known this recipe. That is one of the main reasons I started AR.com. To save such amazing recipes. The aarti rituals you mentioned were not followed at my home, but our neighbors would call us for this aarti. So your description brought that picture infront of my eyes. I too tried my best to avoid Karit, but my parents would catch me.

Vaishali, I donno what to say to you. I am very happy that you want to read all the posts even in your busy schedule. Thanks dear. I am taking a long break after a few days, may be you can read at that time :D.

Thanks Usha.

Happy diwali to you too Rajasi. Enjoy..thanks for the wishes.

Happy diwali Krithika. Thanks

Aruna

says:

Thanks Shilpa for a very neat and detailed. You got lot of patience to write after cooking so many sweets for Diwali. GR8. Abt the arti and karit. We never had these at my place anytime or i have never seen in native place too as ypu mentioned. But after marraige my MIL did the aarti to us, as she is from Goa and this was followed at her moms place. Manisha thanks for the details and the explanation. The only diff was we gave envelopes with money to my MIL for doing the aarti (i.e. my FIL, hubby and me not the kids). Now i know why karit is used. Thanks

Supriya H

says:

Hi Shipla,

I am a lil late ( was too busy gorging on sweets and missing the shor-gul of Diwali back home!)…we have the karit tradition back home too…..from wot I can remember elders telling us, it symbolizes Lord Krishna crushing the demon Narakasura.

We barely licked a molecule of the karit followed by hazaar sweets!Another explanation that my mom gave me was that bitter represents sorrow or failure and sweets represent happiness and success. So you ask God to give u only a pinch of sorrow followed by tons and tons of happiness!

Shilpa

says:

Shubhada, my mom uses a spoon with many small holes(I think it is called jharo) to take out the fried poha. I used a big strainer(usually available in supermarkets in US). Use anything big enough to take out all the poha in 1-2 times because they get burnt soon. Keep in mind to fry them on medium heat.

amanda

says:

Hi Shilpa,
I made this tonight in preparation for Diwali and it turned out wonderfully! I love the poha masala powder and am looking forward to using it in other recipes of yours.

This year is my first year preparing foods for Diwali. I am American and my boyfriend is Indian, so this is all new to me. I have been cooking Indian food for the past year or so and have come a long way through the help of blogs like yours. Your posts have been of extraordinary help to me. Thank you.

Hopefully I’ll have time to prepare a few more things, and will let you know how they turn out.

-amanda

p.s. whenever i tell my boyfriend that the dish i have prepared comes from your blog, he tells me that he knows it will be delicious!

tehmina

says:

hi,
u gave very good simple process to make chudva,i tried it it turn out to be very deliciousand appealing ,thanks for open hearted method of cooking,looking forward for ur response keep mailing me with best konkani snacks .i love it .bye best wishes

Rashmi Sudheer

says:

Hi Shilpa,

I am new to this website and I just love the way u have come up with it. Its marvelous and I prefer this site to check for any recipes. Keep posting, i am eager to try every recipe u have provided in it. Good job Shilpa. And thanx too.

Rashmi !!!

Amita

says:

About the karit – there is one more story.
Lord Vishnu took ‘Vaman’ avatar to get Indra’s authority back from Mahabali. The symbolism is – Vamana taught King Mahabali that arrogance and pride should be abandoned if any advancement in life is to be made, and that wealth should never be taken for granted since it can so easily be taken away. Vamana then took on the form of Mahavishnu. He was pleased by King Mahabali’s determination and ability to keep his promise in the face of his spiritual master’s curse and the prospect of losing all his wealth. Vishnu named the King Mahabali since he was a Mahatma (great soul). He allowed Mahabali to return to the spiritual sky to associate with Prahalada (the demoniac Hiranyakashipu’s pious son, also a descendant of the demon race) and other divine beings.

Since Lord Vishnu placed his feet on Mahabali’s head, kids step on the karit.

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