A delicious snack that takes just minutes to make and one that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Relish this addictive crispy crunchy Chana Dal/split pea snack guilt-free. Today's recipe tries to make a couple of other such 'swaps' aimed toward creating a more wholesome dish.
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Picture this all too familiar scenario: It's nearly midnight, you are still awake binge watching your favorite show on Netflix and even though you had dinner few hours ago, your stomach begins to growl. You're not really hungry but it's more like a craving. 🙂 It's like when I go to the theater to catch a movie, I have to order popcorn. It doesn't matter that I just had lunch or dinner. When at the movies, I have to have popcorn! So when I'm at home, plopped on my couch and watching a lat night movie, I have to munch on something. If you are nodding your head in agreement, then a big virtual hug from me to you. We all know the feeling - when that forbidden bag of chips or that box of cookies in the pantry sings its alluring siren song and your stomach says - gimme!! Also that feeling of shame once the misdeed is done - all that time in the gym, wasted :(! I could so easily call myself the 'Queen of Midnight Cravings'.
I decided to do something about this - a conscious decision to have a few jars of dry, homemade, preservative-free snacks that I could enjoy guilt-free. These crispy, crunchy dry snacks are the most consumed snacks in our house and that is the reason I need to keep making them on a weekly basis. I try to prepare something new every week so that we do not get bored of the same snack and begin to crave for a bag of chips instead. My crunchy snack for this week was Crispy Vegan Split Peas/Chana Dal. This is a popular Indian snack that is sold in small packets by huge brands. I wanted to make them at home as I like to know what's going in my food rather than rely on the labels on the back. Since the aim was to enjoy this snack guilt-free, I tried a few 'better-for-you' ingredient swaps to make the dish more appetizing. First, I used Himalayan rock salt instead of the regular salt as it contains slightly lower amounts of sodium when compared to regular table salt. Secondly, I chose to use split peas for a specific reason. Per cup, split peas are 100 calories lesser than chickpeas, making them a better alternative to the current trend of roasted chickpeas.
Third swap I did was to use Mazola Corn Oil instead of ghee or butter. Why Mazola Corn Oil? It's an all-purpose cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy choice for your family. It has a variety of uses including baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinade or dressing. The best thing is that it's easily available all over the US across many grocery stores. Mazola Corn Oil has a smoke point higher than most cooking oils at 450°F. Many home cooks may not realize that all cooking oils have a smoke point that, once exceeded, not only negatively affect the food’s flavor but also its nutritional value. This Mazola Corn Oil is made of 100% pure oil with no additives. When I make this recipe, I want the natural flavors of the herbs and spices to stand out. Sometimes butter overpowers those flavors, but the neutral taste of the Mazola Corn Oil allows the spices to shine.
Without much ado, let me quickly get to the recipe. Stay with me till the end and I promise you, you will love this snack so much that you will be tempted to make it right away! This recipe is Dairy Free, Grain/Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free and Vegan. You need (lots of) split peas/Chana Dal for this recipe. You should be able to get this from your nearby Indian grocery store. Wash and soak them for 4-5 hours at least. Drain the water, pat them dry using a kitchen towel and spread them out on a plate to speed up the drying. You need the lentils to be thoroughly dry before we begin the cooking. Add Mazola Corn Oil to a wok and once it is hot enough, add all the seasonings like Himalayan rock salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, mixed herbs, crushed Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek), dried Cilantro and roasted cumin powder. Fry them all together for 15-20 seconds and then add the split peas or Chana Dal. Give it all a good mix stir cook it on medium flame. Keep tossing them frequently until they turn golden in color and get a crunchy texture. This could take 8-10 minutes. Do not burn the lentils.
Once done, take it off the flame and transfer to an airtight container. You can even try a baked version of this but keep in mind to regularly toss the split peas to ensure they are cooked evenly. You can also try these with any lentils! Now you can do two things here - either take a handful and begin to munch on them right away or save them for later! They stay good for weeks. You need not store them in a refrigerator. Just any airtight container is good enough. You can even sprinkle lime juice on top if you like that extra tangy flavor. I bet they would even be good with honey & cayenne glaze. Otherwise, these crispy split peas are already spicy, crunchy, tasty and super addictive! Try them out today!!! Split peas have a long list of health benefits, including helping to lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels. One cup contains 65% of your daily intake of fiber. Per cup, they have 100 calories less then chickpeas, making them a better alternative to the current trend of roasted chickpeas. It's almost unbelievable that this crunchy snack with split peas is homemade, super easy to make and with only 3 better-for-you swaps, you can enjoy this dry snack guilt-free! Bring on the midnight cravings now!
If you want to check out all the savory snack recipes that can be made for Diwali, check out this post.
Crispy Vegan Split Peas or Masaledar Chana Dal
- You need (lots of) split peas/Chana Dal for this recipe. You should be able to get this from your nearby Indian grocery store. Wash and soak them for 4-5 hours at least. Drain the water, pat them dry using a kitchen towel and spread them out on a plate to speed up the drying. You need the lentils to be thoroughly dry before we begin the cooking. Add Mazola® Corn Oil to a wok and once it is hot enough, add all the seasonings like Himalayan rock salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, mixed herbs, crushed Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek), dried Cilantro and roasted cumin powder. Fry them all together for 15-20 seconds and then add the split peas or Chana Dal. Give it all a good mix stir cook it on medium flame.
- Keep tossing them frequently until they turn golden in color and get a crunchy texture. This could take 8-10 minutes. Do not burn the lentils. Once done, take it off the flame and transfer to an airtight container. Crispy Vegan Split Peas or Masaledar Chana Dal are ready!
Fan of dry snacks that can be made at home, then check out these recipes - Honey Dipped Cashews, Spicy Garlic Almonds, Kurmura Chiwda, Chickpea & Edamame Crispies, Sukha bhel, Moong Dal snack and Chickpeas Sundal. Some recipes with chana dal/split peas that you can try are Steamed Quinoa Chana Dal Idli, Masala Dal Vada/Lentil Fritters, Dal and Poha Vada, Kale Adai | Kale & Lentil Savory Pancakes and Sambhar Powder.