My foodie friend who lives in Seattle raved about an appetizer at Poppy called "Spiced Crispies" - basically a bar snack consisting of puffed rice, dried fruit, nuts and spices. We ordered it and OMG, it was so incredibly addictive! I wrote down the identifiable ingredients in order to attempt to recreate it at home. I described the dish to a coworker, who is Indian, and he said "Spiced Crispies" is an Indian cereal mix snack called chivda. There's a whole bunch of different styles of chivda recipes from my google search. The recipe below attempts to recreate the "Spiced Crispies" bar snack I had at Poppy, and is not necessarily authentic chivda.
Its a great snack, one hell of a flavor explosion, crispy because of the puffed rice, sweet from the sugary syrup and raisins, nutty, and so exciting on the palate as the all the spices (cumin, mustard, fennel, poppy, red pepper) burst and pop on your tongue. You should make this with whole spices rather than ground as part of the allure is how distinctive the flavors are as they dance around your mouth. Concept wise, it reminds me of the "sensational gum" whose flavor would change in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the gum that was the undoing of Violet Beauregarde). This would be great for any occasion (TV watching, beer drinking, parties) where you crave snacks.
I made a big batch of it today to send to my friend for Xmas. Here's a picture and the recipe.
6 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
3 teaspoons mustard seed
1.5 teaspoons fennel seed
1.5 teaspoons poppy seed
1.5 teaspoons cumin seed
0.5 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more if you like it spicy)
1.5 teaspoons tart mango powder aka amchur (or a quarter of a lemon, juiced or sumac powder)**
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons corn syrup
4 cups puffed rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
1 cup nuts (I like cashews and peanuts)
0.5 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup golden raisins
** I found tart mango powder (aka amchur) in my local Indian grocery store. It tastes exactly as you would expect, like dried sour mango ground up. If you don't have time to source it, lemon juice or sumac would be fine as a substitute.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with either a silpat mat or parchment paper.
2. Heat oil on medium high in deep 12-inch pan or dutch oven until it shimmers.
3. Add spices, saute for about a minute until spices are lightly toasted. Add tart mango powder, salt and corn syrup. Cook until corn syrup is bubbly, about 2 mins.
4. Add in remaining ingredients. Stir until coated. Place on cookie sheet and bake 20 mins, tossing occasionally, until nuts are toasted.