SRC: Corn Flakes Chivda, a Sweet + Spicy Snack Mix

This Indian snack mix is full of nuts, raisins, and corn flakes. It’s sweet, spicy, and oh so delicious!

Corn Flakes Chivda | thepajamachef.com

Normally I deliberate a bunch on my Secret Recipe Club recipe selection. Not this time! I was assigned to Trisha’s lovely blog, My Hobbie Lobbie. Trisha lives in Sydney, Australia but she moved there from Mumbai. Consequently, her blog is a huge treat of international cuisine! Mainly Indian food, of course, but she has traveled all over and has tons of fun recipes to share. When perusing her blog, one of the first things I was drawn to was this savory snack mix that used cornflakes! I love cereal and just thought it sounded delicious. I didn’t want to be too hasty, so I did consider other things like Homemade Mayonnaise, Samosas, and Crushed Black Pepper Crackers. But in the end, Corn Flakes Chivda drew me in, mainly because I was looking for an excuse to hit up one of the [many] international markets in Nashville.

Corn Flakes Chivda | thepajamachef.com

One of the best things about living in Nashville is the abundance of international groceries and markets. I always say I’m going to check them out, but you know how things go… when you’re busy, you just hit up the local Publix or Kroger. It’s just easier. So I make myself go to these places but picking recipes to make for blog events that REQUIRE a specialty store. Sometimes it stresses me out, but it’s always worth it! So Saturday, Ben and I headed to our favorite local Turkish restaurant [Istanbul Cafe, for local folks] for lunch and then headed to the Indian grocery down the road. It was so fun, and this snack mix is well worth the effort required to get any ingredients you may not regularly purchase.

Corn Flakes Chivda | thepajamachef.com

Ben and I are now totally addicted to this snack mix. In fact, I’m crunching on some right now. It’s sweet with a little bit of spice. It’s not spicy hot, but if you don’t want any heat I’d just leave out the cayenne powder. Trisha’s original recipe includes several types of chiles, but I only decided to use the cayenne. This snack mix is her husband’s favorite, and it’s a great recipe to change up based on your family’s preferences. I used cashews, peanuts, raisins, and chana dal as Trisha’s recipe stated, but you could use your imagination to choose whatever dried fruit or nuts you like. It was pretty cool to read this recipe at the Indian grocery and compare it to the selection of snack foods they sold. There was totally a cornflakes-based snack mix there, and I made my own at home! The one component of this recipe I had to change up was using curry powder instead of curry leaves. I wasn’t able to find any of those, but if you can, use ‘em! This came together in a flash, and I’m sure I’ll be making it again soon!

Corn Flakes Chivda

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 15 minutes
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from My Hobbie Lobbie

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted chana dal [dalia]
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 cups cornflakes
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar [or granulated sugar, pulsed in a food processor]

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let sputter for a minute or so. Add chana dal, cashews, and peanuts and saute for another minute or so.

Add raisins and cook for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle curry powder, turmeric powder, and cayenne powder on top and stir to combine. Slowly add in the cornflakes, tossing gently to combine. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with sugar.

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Notes: amounts of nuts, raisins, and seasonings are totally flexible! Adjust to your liking and consult Trisha’s original recipe for more suggestions.

Be sure to check below for other recipes made by fellow SRC members this month!

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Mystery Dish: Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa + Cookbook Giveaway

These Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa are tied together with a creamy mint-almond pesto. An easy, healthy dinner that comes together quickly!

Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa | thepajamachef #mysterydish

I had a really tough time with this month’s Mystery Dish. I’m not sure why–pretty much ALL the ingredients on the list are things I love. I was just uninspired I guess. But I don’t think my recipe reflects that… this meal was pretty darn delicious. Andi from Weary Chef was our host and she asked us to use three ingredients from this list: pistachios, wine, mint, gluten-free flour, red pepper flakes, fish, agave nectar, applesauce, blueberries, parmesan cheese, milk, and corn.

A couple weekends ago, we were going to grill turkey burgers [Ben makes a to die for turkey burger with Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper] but we were rained out and I had some ground turkey thawed in the fridge. We could have grilled indoors, but instead I decided to make some Mystery Dish magic with these Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa. And you guys… they are so good! I love a good turkey meatball anyway, but add some fresh mint to your typical garlic and onion mixture and they’re definitely amped up a notch. To fulfill the ingredient requirement, I used gluten free flour to help hold the meatballs together and red pepper flakes instead of normal black pepper. In hindsight, I wish I would have used more flour because the meatballs didn’t hold together super well. Though that was three ingredients, I decided to make the flavors even more apparent by making a mint pesto to serve over the meatballs and to toss with the quinoa I decided to serve on the side. If quinoa isn’t your thing, try rice, pasta, or some other grain/starch. Though my pesto wasn’t a true pesto it was still pretty addictive and a great sauce that was nutty, minty, and creamy all at once.

Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa | thepajamachef #mysterydish

The mint in this dish balances perfectly with the crushed red pepper. I was somewhat generous with the red pepper flakes, but it was definitely an approachable level of spiciness so if you aren’t a spicy person you’ll be okay here. I was supposed to tell you that that description was Ben’s idea, and I was threatened with a lawsuit if I didn’t. :) Ha ha, a lawsuit from my husband. Moving on… I loved how minty this dish is… enough flavor to make things interesting but not so much you think you’re eating toothpaste. I love having a great repertoire of healthy, easy dinners and I know this dish will go into my usual rotation. Hope you give it a try!

And, as a special treat since we’ve been Mystery Dishin’ it up for a YEAR now [whoa], we have a special giveaway for our lovely readers… copies of cookbooks from MasterChef Season 3 Winner Christine Ha and Season 4 Winner Luca Manfe! I wish I could win! Go HERE to enter.

Enjoy!

one year ago: Roasted Peach Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel 
two years ago: Brown Rice, Feta, and Tomato Salad
three years ago: Healthy “Fried” Rice –> I make this ALL the time with different veggies, meat, and/or tofu. A must try!
four years ago: Cornmeal Pizza Dough in the Breadmaker

Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

for meatballs

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour [or other flour, gluten free or otherwise + more if you need it]
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • crushed red pepper flakes, about 1/2 teaspoon or to taste

for quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water [or stock if preferred]
  • 1 cup prepared pesto [above]

for pesto

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint
  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons half and half
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan
  • crushed red pepper flakes, about 1/4 teaspoon or to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs–garlic, green onion, mint, flour, egg, turkey, and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. Mix well with your hands, then shape into 16 meatballs. Place half the meatballs in the preheated skillet and cook on each side for about 2 minutes per side until browned all over. Remove meatballs from skillet and place in a large oven safe dish, misted with cooking spray if not nonstick. Repeat with remaining meatballs then bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.

While meatballs are cooking, prepare quinoa according to package directions. Bring rinsed quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed.

Prepare pesto by combining mint, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons half and half, and almonds in a food processor. Pulse until combined, adding more oil and/or half and half if desired. Stir in parmesan and red pepper flakes to taste. Pesto yields about 1 cup.

When quinoa is ready, pour about 3/4 cup pesto in the quinoa and stir to combine. Serve meatballs with quinoa and reserved mint pesto, along with sides like green beans or crusty bread.

Be sure to check out what my Mystery Dish pals whipped up this month:

Mystery Dish | thepajamachef.com

  1. Tuna Tacos with Avocado Corn Salsa by The Weary Chef
  2. Blueberry Scones by Yummy Healthy Easy
  3. Parmesan Crusted Tilapia by Culinary Couture
  4. Minty Berry Fruit Roll Ups by I Want Crazy
  5. Baked Blueberry Donuts by Chez CateyLou
  6. Hearty Minestrone Soup by Joyful Healthy Eats
  7. Blueberry Lemon Pannacotta with Pistachio Tuilles by Flavor the Moments
  8. Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa by The Pajama Chef
  9. Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake by I Dig Pinterest
  10. Pistachio Drop Scones with Blueberry Compote by The Well Floured Kitchen
  11. Grilled Corn & Blueberry Flatbread with Whipped Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Basil Vinaigrette by Baking a Moment
  12. Pistachio Crusted Tilapia and Peach Salad by Blahnik Baker

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

Book Review: Tide and Tempest

Today I have Elizabeth Ludwig’s Tide and Tempest to review for you. I’ve had this book for a few months because at first, when I requested it from Bethany House’s book review program, I didn’t realize it was part of the Edge of Freedom series! It’s the third book in a series about Irish history and life in the late 1800s New York City, so I had to read the first two books before tackling this one.

Tide and Tempest - a book review on thepajamachef.com

Here is a description of the book from the publisher:

It’s been two years since Tillie McGrath last saw Captain Keondric Morgan. He’d let her visit her ill fiance before he died. Now the dashing captain has found her at the boarding house where she lives and has swept back into her life. But all is not well. He seems to be trying to protect her–from whom or what stays a secret.

Even years later, Keondric never forgot the heartbroken lass from his boat. When a crewmember’s death-bed confession hints that her fiance’s death may have been murder, the captain knows he must try to save her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well, dangerous men who believe Tillie may have the last bit of evidence needed to put them away. And trying to stay safe may put them both in more danger than they could have ever imagined.

As usual, my five point review:

  • This novel, like the other two in the series [No Safe Harbor and Safe Road Home], is rich in historical detail. It’s obvious the author has spent a lot of time researching the history of  revolution and freedom in Ireland. The group that’s heavily discussed in this series is the Fenians, and it was very interesting to learn about their work during this time.
  • I really enjoyed how detailed the author was in regard to Irish customs, language, and names. However, there was SO many new names/cultural items/groups in this book and the series that I got a bit confused. The story was just so broad and there were so many characters that I really had to pay attention to keep up with the action.
  • The suspense, not the romance element, was my favorite part of the book. It was so intriguing! I couldn’t wait to learn more about Tillie’s story–her past and her future.
  • Captain Morgan and his brother, Cass, play a huge role in this book. It was fun reading their interactions and their dual feelings towards Tillie. :)
  • Overall, this is just the kind of book I love. History, romance, suspense… and well researched and written to boot! Though it’s the conclusion to a great series, it definitely works as a stand alone novel. You’ll love it!

What are you reading lately?

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this great book!

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

These heavenly Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins are reminiscent of treats found at your local coffee shop. They’re so good, so make a batch to impress your loved ones this weekend.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for fall. I’m ready for all things pumpkin, falling leaves, crisp 50 degree morning runs, and curling up under cozy blankets. I recently heard that Pumpkin Spice Lattes will be at Starbucks really early this year–August 25 in some places. That, to me, is crazy. Summer’s still happening outdoor! While I won’t be loading up on PSLs [I'll probably have 1-2 over the course of the season and then make some pumpkin spice syrup to enjoy with my coffee at home.] I can’t wait to bake up lots of yummy muffins to enjoy this fall.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I do make muffins year round, but there’s something special about warm muffins with your coffee in the fall. These bakery-perfect muffins combine two of my favorite things: peanut butter and chocolate. And the best part is that the peanut butter and chocolate are DOUBLED in this recipe… you’ll find them in both the muffin itself AND in the streusel. It’s double the love, y’all.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I hope you’ll love these easy muffins just as much as we did!

one year ago: Chocolate Chip Orange Cookies
two years ago: Brown Sugar Squash Muffins
three years ago: Roasted Tomato Sauce
four years ago: Creamy Lemon Squares

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour – divided
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed – divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons peanut butter – divided
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips – divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, prepare streusel by combining 1/4 cup flour with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chips then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together remaining butter and peanut butter for about 30 seconds or until combined. Add 1/2 cup of remaining flour, the rest of the brown sugar, half the milk, the egg, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat on low until combined, then add remaining flour and milk, mixing until combined. Stir in remaining chocolate.

Divide batter between muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with streusel topping then bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.