Sunday, February 28, 2010

Not Your Usual Cereal

To say I'm not a fan of cereal is an understatement.  Aside from snacking on some dry granola or craving Grape Nuts about once per year, I don't eat cereal and I don't miss it.  There's just something about sugary crunchy shapes getting soggy in milk that just grosses me out beyond belief.

The only cereal exception for me is Erewhon organic crispy brown rice cereal (and I promise they're not paying me to write this).  While I wouldn't DREAM of ruining them with milk, I love eating them in savory ways.

They make a great crunchy coating for baked or panfried tofu- I always use them when I make "fish" sticks.  Anytime I need gluten free bread crumbs, I just put some of these rice puffs in a baggie and whack them with my big wooden rolling pin.  Super easy!

I also attempt to make Indian style savory rice puff snacks with this cereal. I first heard about this traditional Indian street food years ago in a book: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.  The book opens with one of the main characters mixing up Rice Krispies and peanuts with lemon juice, salt, red onion and green chilies to make the snack she remembers eating in Calcutta.  I was fascinated with this combination and knew I would love it before even tasting it.  [The book is also one of my all-time favorites]

Last week Everest on Grand Ave. had Jhaal Muri in their condiment bar and it was everything I'd imagined. As far as I can tell, it's pretty similar to this recipe.

So today I mixed up my own version to accompany an Indian meal tomorrow night.  Except I ate it all and now I have to make more for tomorrow!  It's spicy, tart, crunchy and just all around amazing.  I could eat waaaayyyy too much of this!

These black eyed peas have turmeric, ginger, tomatoes, mustard seeds, roasted peppers, tomatoes, fennel, cumin, cilantro and asafoetida.  Yum!


melissa said...

I love cereal but I feel exactly the same in that I do NOT like soggy cereal. I developed this method of eating it when I was a kid (very subconsciously) so that it doesnt get soggy--you eat it from the bottom of the bowl rather than the top. That , the stuff that is exposed to the most milk gets eaten first before it gets soggy, the still-crispy stuff moves down, etc. It totally works.

I still only eat really crispy stuff like shredded wheat and grape-nuts, though, just to be safe. ;)

Catherine said...

I'm not the hugest fan of cereal either -- I'd rather have toast or a muffin or a smoothie or an apple with peanut butter for breakfast.

Anonymous said...

I love The Namesake too--I remember that scene in the book well!