Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Indian Spiced Krispies, An Old Favorite Grows Up

   Did you ever notice that when we were kids a lot of stuff that was considered cute and fun just all of a sudden wasn't anymore. When did running out into the living room in your underpants  and bursting into song when company was present suddenly become a "no no"? And picking your seat didn't just happen on airplanes? Cute gets old and kind of creepy fast.
We all know what happens to a lot of child stars, they go from this...

To this...

...in light speed.

   And what about favorite treats of childhood? Fizzies, Turkish Taffy, Chuckles, Spaghetti O's??? Tasting them today would not bring the same rush of pleasure. Trust me here, I've done this. There is however one thing that seems not to have changed a bit. One treat that makes me want to sort of quote Shakespeare:

   "Age cannot wither them, nor custom stale their infinite variety."

   That's Enobarbus talking about Cleopatra, and how Anthony will forever be her stallker in Anthony and Cleopatra.  But... it could just have easily been written about Rice Krispies Treats. No matter how old we get these things just continue to taste so damn good!

   The first time my mother made Rice Krispies treats I thought she'd gotten some  kind of magic power. They were so above and beyond anything my little 7 year old mouth had tasted before, I loved them. And then, time passed and I didn't eat them anymore. When I grew up I never made them. They were just a sweet memory, a forgotten piece of childhood food fetishism. Farewell Rice Krispies Treats, you were great while you lasted. Until last week.

   What happened last week? My friend and fellow food writer Marocmama created a wonderful post about making Rice Krispies Treats for her kids. She called them  Indian Spice Krispies. I was immediately intrigued and sent her a Tweet letting her know just how knocked out I was and  how I couldn't wait to try making them myself. My mind immediately started racing, thinking of all the varied spices I might try, and since I wasn't going to be making these for kids, I decided to try more adult flavors. Hot, salty, spicy, sweet, How can you beat that. I decided to take my Basic Chaat Recipe and go from there. Which is what I did.

Indian Spiced Krispies

Here's What You Need:

One bag of marshmallows (I used the minis, as they're easier to melt)
5 and 1/2 cups of puffed rice cereal
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 Tbs of finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp of cardamom powder
4 Tbs of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of frozen peas
1 tsp of kashmiri chili
1/2 tsp of garam masala
3/4 tsp of cinnamon
a pinch of cumin
1/2 cup of raw unsalted peanuts
1/3 cup of chopped pistachios
1/2 cup of toasted cashew pieces
1 tsp of salt or to taste

Here's What To Do:

Lightly grease an 11 by 7 inch baking pan with butter.
Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a skillet.
Saute each batch of nuts until they brown lightly set them on a paper towel to drain.
Melt the other two Tbs of butter, if you need to add a bit more butter that's ok.
when the butter is completely melted add in the ginger, chili, and spices.
Saute the spices for a few minutes.
Add in the frozen defrosted peas.
Stir them around for a minute or two.
Turn down the heat a bit and add in the marshmallows.
Stir them around until they melt.
Check the marshmallow spice sauce for flavor. If it needs more of anything add it to your taste.
Stir  the puffed rice into the melted spiced marshmallows with a rubber spatula
Add the sauteed nuts.
Pour the mixture into the greased baking pan.
Smooth it with the spatula.
Press some waxed paper firmly down on top of the mixture to flatten the surface.
Let it cool for at least an hour.
Cut it up into pieces and serve.

There they are, salty and sweet with a hit of chili, a great adult version of everybody's childhood favorite.

   I was worried at first about the marshmallows being too sweet for these spices but no way that was true. The combination of spices and sweet was just right. We really enjoyed these and the thing I like most about this recipe is that it can be adapted to whatever your family likes. There are no rules here. Marocmama added in raisins and saffron and her kids loved them. Whatever you've got a taste for, toss it in. These are definitely going on my short list for winter movie watching nights at our house. Another good part, they're gluten free.

   As to everything else, I'm still a dehydrating fool, working on my second batch of tomatoes and I've got big plans for a very special jerky. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


  1. Now WHY didn't I think of this??? Probably because I've never used marshmallows in cooking before - or eaten them hardly ever, even. :) Sounds gorgeous, can't wait to try it!

    Have you tried making Indian-spiced peanut butter (originates in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh)? It's officially called a "chutney" but I've always considered it to be spicy peanut butter! :) And of course you can make it as thick or as runny as you like. Basically, heat 1 tsp oil, fry 1 small chopped onion and 2 cloves of garlic along with dried red chillies. Grind this with 1 cup roasted peanuts and a piece of dried tamarind about the size of a large marble (or use 3/4 tsp tamarind paste) with salt to taste. Heat 1 tsp oil and add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp urad dal, a few fresh curry leaves and 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder. Pour over the peanuts and tadaaa... good on toast or with dosas/idlis.

    1. That's exactly what I said!! Can't take credit for the origin of the idea, just my twist. Marocmama came up with the first version. Your recipe sounds great! I've really got to get my dosa on and this looks liker a perfect accompaniment.

  2. Hmmmm....Sounds yummy!
    I make a version of rice krispy treats with dates & coconut for Eid.
    Sometimes I put a little ground cardamom in them just to 'Indianize' them a bit more.
    You can also roll them into balls like laddoos or press them in a buttered pan & cut them into bars when cooled.
    They do however contain eggs so they aren't 'veg' in the Indian sense.

    1. Bibi,
      that sounds great too..would you send me the recipe. Intrigued by Krispie Balls!

  3. Hi, It looks yummy and mouthwatering.i tried this at home , my family and lid loved it. Thanks for this good posting.Your description is very nice any one can follow easily.
    All the best keep posting..........

  4. Best idea EVER! Must try with my vegan marshmallows!



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