My parents used to tell me about these sweet, Kerala memories of walking home from school only to be greeted by the scents of freshly made snacks wafting through the afternoon air. Crunchy snacks like pazham boli (ethakka appam) or big and crunchy, flower-shaped achappam right from the vat of hot coconut oil. One snack I remember mom introducing me to was aval. She’d usually place it in a medium-sized bowl on the kitchen table with a few spoons in it for sharing. Maybe sliced bananas to go with it. I was uninterested back then, but, recently, it came back into my kitchen just like that sweet memory wafting in through the breeze. So, I am bringing you my little ode to aval in the form of bite-sized granola bites!
Aval requires just a few ingredients. The star ingredient is poha (aka aval) which is just flattened rice. To make this more granola-like, I added in some rolled oats and increased the amount of melted, butter sugar that typical aval would have. If you are looking to enjoy plain, old Aval, just cut the butter and add the coconut when you’re melting the sugar.
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If you have any questions when making this recipe reach out to me @thefamiliarkitchen on instagram. I’d LOVE to see how it turns out for you so be sure to tag me when you make it 🙂
Aval Granola Bites
- Laxmi Poha Aval, 2 cups
- Rolled Oats 1/2 cup
- Ghee 1 tbsp
- Raisins ½ cup
- Cashews ½ cup, chopped
- Grated coconut ½ cup
- Black Sesame Seeds 1 tsp
- Cardamom 4-5 pods, ground
- Cumin ½ tsp, ground
- Pinch of salt
- Butter ¼ cup (1/2 stick)
- Brown Sugar 1/2 cup
- Water ¼ cup
- Start by getting a square baking pan and spraying it with oil then lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Toast the poha and oats in a skillet over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Once it smells nutty, you can remove it from heat by transferring it to a large mixing bowl.
- In the same skillet, add the ghee. Once melted, add the raisins and cashews. Roast until the cashews are lightly browned and the raisins have plumped up.
- Transfer the roasted cashews and raisins to the mixing bowl along with the grated coconut, black sesame seeds, cardamom, cumin, and pinch or two of salt.
- Let’s make the binder for the poha. To the same skillet, add the butter, brown sugar, and water and keep the heat at medium high. Allow the sugar to completely dissolve and reduce to a slightly thicker consistency. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
- Pour the melted sugar into the mixing bowl with the poha and work quickly to mix well so everything is well incorporated.
- Pour this mixture into the square baking pan and use a silicone spatula to very firmly press the mixture down. Freeze this for about 30 minutes.
- After it has set in the freezer, cut into bite-sized squares. That’s it!