Chire Bhaja or Masala Chivda is a healthy snack prepared with flattened rice. Chire Bhaja is Bengali version of Poha Fry, a crispy snack that pairs best with a cup of Masala Chai. It barely takes 15 minutes to prepare and stays good for 2 weeks stored in an airtight container.
There are various different version of Masala Chivda/ Poha fry and it is one of those dishes that doesn’t really call for exact measurements.
My Mom often makes it really simple with just flattened rice/ chira toasted with little oil and nigella seeds, some dry red chili and peanuts.
This simple version is what I often make too.
Somedays however I like to go overload with all things I could think of adding for the perfectly crunchy chire bhaja.
Ingredients for Chire Bhaja
Flattened Rice: This is easily available in Indian stores. Often you will find, three different varieties of poha/chire; thin, thick and medium. I always pick the medium as it works on different recipes. But if you want to specifically buy poha for chire bhaja/ masala Chivda, then do get the thin variety.
Boondi: I used store bought boondi which is again easily available in Indian store. Boondi is also added in raita, and other variety of Indian summer drinks.
If you want to make Boondi at home, try this recipe I had shared earlier. But don’t soak in the sugar syrup instead use it dry after frying.
Papadum/Papad: You can use the plain variety, or the spice quoted ones too.
Fresh Curry Leaves
Dry Red Chili
Spices that I added:
- Nigella seeds
- Dry Mango Powder
- Chili Powder
How to Store:
Once you prepare the Chire Bhaja, layer it on a plate to cool it down completely before you store in an airtight container.
Don’t do the mistake of storing it while warm. It will turn soggy. So, make sure it’s completely cooled down before you store.
Serving Chire Bhaja:
It is best served with chai, unbeatable combination!
You can toss the chire bhaja with some chopped red onion, cilantro leaves, green chili and serve with chill beer.
Chire Bhaja/ Masala Chivda stays good for 2 to 3 weeks in an airtight jar, kept at room temperature. If often make a big batch, and we enjoy it every day with our evening tea. It’s definitely a great guilt free indulgence.
- ¼ cup peanuts
- 2 papadums (each about 8 inch diameter size)
- ¼ cup fresh curry leaves
- ½ cup dry boondi
- 3 cups chire/poha/flattened rice
- 4 dry red chilis
- 1 tablespoons nigella seeds
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon dry mango powder
- ½ tablespoon kashmiri chili powder
- salt as taste
- 2 tablespoons oil
- In a heavy bottom wok add the oil and once it heats up fry the peanuts then take it off. To the same pan fry the curry leaves and dry red chili, let it crisp up and then take it off. Next tear the papadum and fry in the oil then take it off.
- Finally, add the nigella seeds and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Add the poha and toss it around. Add the salt, sugar, chili powder, dry mango powder and toss it around. Toss and continue roasting the flattened rice until it's crispy.
- Once done, add all the fried peanuts curry leaves, dry red chili, boondi, papadum and toss everything around.
- Taste for salt and add more if needed.
- Once done, layer the chire bhaja on a big plate and let it cool down completely before storing.