Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spiced Millet Puff Snacks - AKA Spicy Balls

Are you bored with the run-of-the-mill snacks?  Tired of chips and dip or a veggie platter?  Do you think that hummus is overdone these days?

Do I have the snack for you!




These spiced millet puff snacks are like a rice crispy treat's super-aggressive badass cousin.  They will take your tongue and attack it with flavor.  As my middle little one put it, they are "a tornado of flavor"!

There's also the endless entertainment of your friends discussing your spicy balls.  It never gets old.

I found this recipe in Susan Feniger's cookbook, Susan Feniger's Street Food.  A book which, for anyone interested, is topping my Christmas wish list this year.  So many flavors of the world packed into the pages!  Susan says that these are similar to snacks that you would find in street stands in India and other parts of Asia.

Once you find all the spices and ingredients you need, these are easy to throw together too!  I went to the bulk spice section at Whole Foods for most of the spices that I didn't have on hand, because I can get them in small amounts and not waste.  WF is also where I found puffed millet, in the cereal section.  It's a delicious grain.  You can also find it on Amazon, if you don't have a natural foods store close by.

Here's the spice run down: 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon tumeric, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.  You'll also need dried currants (again, I went to the bulk section), mini marshmallows, and butter.


Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan until it is frothy.  Add 5 ounces of marshmallows and stir them gently until they are starting to melt.


Then mix in the spices and a half cup of the currants.  Keep stirring to combine and toast the spices a bit.


Add in 3 cups of the puffed millet, remove from the heat, and combine everything well.


Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls.  Remember, these are aggressively flavored, so you don't want to have too much at once.  Serve right away, or store in am air-tight container for up to 3 days.


I didn't originally consider these kid-friendly, but middle little loves them.  I mean LOVES them.  So go ahead and give your kids a go at them.  If nothing else, have your camera ready to snap pics of their face when it hits them with that flavor tornado.  ;)


Free free to mix things up and use what you have.  Try these with other puffed grain cereal, or sub in another dried fruit for the currants.  These are perfect for any cold-weather get together, like, say, tailgating.  Fantastic for a Halloween party.  An unexpected appetizer for your Thanksgiving gathering.  Use any excuse you want, but I'm telling you, you'll want to try these somehow!