More than 20 years ago, a cartoon by Jack Ziegler appeared in the New Yorker. In it, a man sitting at a bar is helping himself to a bowl full of snack mix. Behind the bar, a huge sack catches his eye. The sack is filled with the snack mix, and stenciled on the side is the label "FILTHY LITTLE THINGS."
I've never forgotten that cartoon, and I think of it and laugh whenever I come across a bowl of miscellaneous snacky stuff. And so it was when I picked up a bag of Australian-made Majans Bhuja Original Mix at Ocean State Job Lot. I looked at the illustration on the label, immediately thought "Filthy little things!" and bought it.
Bhuja Mix is an Australian version of a common Indian snack known as chevda or chanachur in India. Chevda has a wide variety of ingredients , and there's no standard "recipe" per se - much like Chex Mix in the US, every family seems to have their own traditional way of making it. Majans' version consists of noodles and crackers made of chickpea flour, fried green peas, and peanuts, mildly spiced with coriander, red pepper, cumin, turmeric, and fennel seed.
I bought it on a lark and was amazed to find that I liked it a lot.
In fact, it's practically addictive. Crunchy and awesome, with just a hint of spicy heat. Don't be fooled by the flames on the bag label - you won't catch anything but your appetite on fire by eating this mix.
Also, Bhuja is good news for celiac sufferers - it's gluten-free.and almost delcious enough to make you forget about the Chex Mix.
Majans Bhuja Mix Blog. You'll find info about the product, and a list of stores that carry it.
Oh man I love this stuff. I have some Indian friends who make this themselves...talk about addicting...good lord. Plus they add a fair amount of heat. I should really ask them their recipe...it's incredible. I could live of this stuff.
I have friends and the hubby lived in India for a year and man can they put on a spread. I'll have to check this stuff out.
Oh Man! Somewhere deep in my boxed up belongings I have a copy of the "Filthy Little Things" book of cartoons! It was a gift from a high school friend who is now passed, but it's pretty often I have a flashback to those laughs we shared from it. Nice to know I'm not the only one with that zaniness floating around in my gray matter.
Yum, I've never seen this stuff before. Looks like it would be good for my lovey and his beer drinking friends (one of them has Celiac). This will be on my 'Whole Foods' List...
I recently discovered chanachur when a Bangladeshi guy opened a small convinece store in my small town. Very tasty, good beer food. It should be easy to make at home too so long as one has chickpea flour (or chickpea and a blender!)
Jim in Yellowknife
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