Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Spice, Crackle And Pop

This sweet/salty/tangy/crunchy recipe literally takes minutes to make, but have all the ingredients lined up before you start cooking, as they are added in quick succession. While traditional recipes for this mix use beaten rice flakes, this one uses crunchy Rice Krispies.

Watch the heat carefully with this recipe, as the cereal can burn easily. Once you have mastered this basic recipe, you can alter it and make it your own -- try adding dried cherries or dried cran-raisins for color and zing. I love to add crushed red pepper just before serving.

This recipe uses sev, gram flour vermicelli, a very versatile ingredient. When I was growing up, a distant aunt showed me how to make it -- a long, tedious and involved process of making gram flour dough and then making tiny vermicelli noodles with it. It is now available ready-made at Indian markets. You can sprinkle the sev on salads, top plain yogurt with it or even just munch on it as is.

Serve this recipe with drinks, as an after-school snack or, as my son often asks, "Can I have the Indian Rice Krispies for breakfast, please?"

This recipe will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

Makes about 8 cups

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

3/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts

1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews

6 cups rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)

1 cup thin sev (gram flour vermicelli)*, optional

3/4 cup golden raisins

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon dried mango powder*

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and stir until the seeds begin to pop, about 30 seconds.

Reduce heat to low and add the turmeric, peanuts and cashews. Stir for about 30 seconds or until the nuts are completely covered with the flavored oil. Keep the heat on the lowest possible setting.

Add the cereal and stir until it is completely covered with spiced oil and golden throughout, about 1 minute.

Turn the heat off and remove the pan from the stove.

Add the sev, raisins, sugar, coriander, cumin, fennel and mango powder. Continue to mix (your hands are your best tools here) until the cereal is well coated with the spices, about 2 minutes.

Let cool completely.

Serve or store in an airtight container.

*Available at Indian grocers.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit