Infuse poha (rice flakes) with a spiced oil to make this sweet-hot-sour snack mix, or substitute Western breakfast cereals for the poha, as Hema Alur-Kundargi often does. Store the mix airtight up to 1 week. Similar snack mixes may also be purchased ready-made, but they're often very spicy.
6 cups thin poha or 3 cups each toasted rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies) and toasted corn-ball cereal (such as Kix)
3 fresh jalapeño chilies (2 1/2 oz. total)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup roasted unsalted cashews
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (or 1/4 teaspoon each ground coriander and cumin)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
How to Make It
Spread poha in a 12- by 17-inch baking pan. Bake in a 200º regular or convection oven, stirring occasionally, until flakes are very crisp, about 20 minutes. (If using the cereals, omit this step.)
Meanwhile, rinse and dry chilies. Cut each lengthwise into quarters (do not seed). Pour oil into a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat; when hot, add cumin seeds and stir until they begin to brown, about 30 seconds. Add chilies and stir for 1 minute. Add peanuts, cashews, raisins, and cranberries; stir until fruit is puffy, about 1 minute. Add lime juice, sugar, salt, garam masala, and turmeric; stir until blended.
Reduce heat to medium. Add poha or cereal and stir until completely infused with spiced oil and golden throughout, about 6 minutes. Remove and discard chilies. Let mix cool completely. Serve or wrap airtight.