Afternoon Snack: Chivda, Indian Peanut Trail Mix

Suvir Saran decided to toast up some chivda, “Indian Trail Mix” for our book signing at Sundog Books later this afternoon. Thanks to the NATIONAL PEANUT BOARD, we were spoiled with treats–everything from travel peanut butter snacks to delicious ROYAL OAK Peanut Brittle, a favorite of the participating writers.

Suvir Saran making Chivda


Delicious Peanut Squares, courtesy of the National Peanut Board, photo D. Schumacher

As he searches for spices, I hear him say, “We have no black mustard seed, but we have hopes and dreams and so can make anything.”

Essential Ingredients: Royal Oak Peanuts and a Korin knife

What goes into the Indian Trail Mix? Thin Poha–rice pasta–grated coconut, curry leaves, raisins, cinnamon stick, Royal Oak peanuts (courtesy of The National Peanut Board), turmeric, paprika, cayenne, a little salt and sugar, thinly sliced serrano or jalapeño chiles–thanks to Korin for a super sharp knife–all toasted in a hot wok with Canola oil.

“It’s a perfect afternoon snack,” Suvir says, “and you can keep it in a sealed container for up to two weeks, if you don’t eat it all first.” I will improvise for now until the recipe is available to all in his forthcoming cookbook.

Chivda Indian Trail Mix

Chivda, Indian Trail Mix, photo Dan Schumacher

7 comments... read them below or add one


  1. June 9, 2010 12:46 pm by sonja lother Reply

    At this year’s 2010 Floating Island’s workshop in Seaside, I was delighted to discover that I participating in a week of first class writing exercises, and that I was also welcome to enjoy the delicious food that was an integral part of our week.

    It began simply enough, with peanuts supplied from the National Peanut Board. The peanuts were unlike other varieties I have enjoyed over the years. These jumbo peanuts were lightly salted, and unbelievably crisp, delivering a unique combination of crack and crunch when chewed. We enjoyed them throughout the week, and incorporated them into many recipes.

    Also not to be missed during the workshop was the peanut brittle, provided by the National Peanut Board as well. The candy confection consisted of the savory peanut, encased in a light syrup, crafted into oh so tasty mouth-sized pieces. The peanut’s salty/sweet combination was just the right thing to enjoy when revising our stories during the Floating Island’s Workshop.

    I know I plan to return to the Workshop for the writing sessions (led so effectively by Kim Sunée), but I have to admit, I’ll look forward to the food opportunities as well.
    Sonja Lother

  2. June 14, 2010 6:08 pm by Charlie Reply

    Peanuts, curry leaves, raisins, spices, rice, oil, and LOVE! What else could possibly be better. My darling Suvir knows that there is practically no snack I love more than his Chivda, and luckily for my wasteline he only makes it on special occasions (hence Floating Island).

    And it must be said that having American Peanuts makes all the difference – big, fat, flavorful , and beautifully crisp and crunchy! Yum! I only wish we had gotten the chocolate covered nuts from Royal Oak Peanuts too, talk about addictive!

    Until the next adventure…

  3. June 21, 2010 8:11 am by Stacey Reply

    The Peanut Squares and the Chivda look divine. Looks like a great time @ the beach too.

  4. June 22, 2010 9:16 am by suvir saran Reply

    Chivda – A heavenly snack, made by a mortal and shared with mortals. But exalted by the presence of incredibly yummy and also healthful ingredients.

    Peanuts, raisins, curry leaves, spices and turmeric and some peanut oil. Of course poha (rice flakes) is the feature. But little gems packed with flavor and texture, adorn it, embellish it and take it to wonderful heights.

    American peanuts make a difference. We live and house our bodies in America. Peanuts are from the Americas. They are local. They are easily available and are little morsels packing great flavor, nutrition and health. Called brain food by some, heart food by others and addictive food by almost all that eat them. But such an addiction is nothing you need worry about. Unless of course you are like me, and can finish off an entire Royal Oak Peanut tin in one sitting or standing, whatever the case might be. Those nuts are simply too good to leave for another. LOL! But really, those eccentricities aside, there is nothing here to fear. This is a snack that celebrates taste, flavor, texture and deliciousness. All at once. And in ways most unexpected. Buying American Peanuts ensures you are buying the freshest peanuts money can buy. You also support the same farmers that support each of us and our country when in time of need. Do you remember Katrina? Do you remember Haiti? Peanut butter, peanut flour and peanut based items were the essentials that were supplied generously by our nations peanut farmers and peanut processors, sometimes free, other times at cost, and always with pride and love for the sustenance and well being of the afflicted. Such is the devotion to life and humanity of the farmers that grow them for us. Now only if we could live more mindfully and ensure they are not priced-out by the peanut lobbies of China, India, Vietnam and every other country that is desperate to push their peanuts and other comestibles. Remember, even if the foreign nuts are cheaper – it does not mean they are as tasty or fresh. It takes weeks if not months for the nuts to get here, then the customs issues, and then shipping within the US. Why then are we so desperate for them? We are not! Sadly, we have just become careless in our shopping styles. We do not pay attention. An issue that is affecting us beyond just peanuts and rice. It has affected us in more ways than one. When we learn to live and be mindful at the same time, we will be at a better place. No better place to begin this exercise than buying the most American of all nuts, the peanut. And ensuring it is American all the way. And while we speak of this nut, it is also important to note that it is not a nut. It is a legume, a ground nut.

    Move over Trail Mix. Chivda is here. And as more people are exposed to it, they will not only find a great snack, but also find appreciation for life and the journeys that makes it special.

    I also miss the camaraderie and wonderful energy I found packed in the house at Seaside. Cannot wait to reunite with all I met and to embrace some new faces and spirits into our fold, and have them join us in our journey while we also celebrate theirs.

    • June 22, 2010 10:25 am by kim Reply


      Thanks for sharing all this insight into our very own American legume. I will never be without Royal Oak Peanuts again.
      And your heavenly Chivda makes my mouth water every time I think of it. I love the balance of salty, sweet, and hot. Once again, another grand recipe from an even grander chef.

      I can’t wait to see you in October at our Chapel Hill gathering. I hope you and Charlie can join us.

  5. August 7, 2010 1:00 am by exercise Reply

    Thank you for such a nice blog. It was what I looked for.

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