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.
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.
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.