Traditional American rice krispie bars have always been one of my favorite snacks. Especially if they’re of the peanut butter variety! Some of my earliest memories center around the simple–yet delicious–rice krispie bar. It’s true. I remember stirring the pot of melting marshmallows on my grandmother’s stove-top while my aunt, Patty, supervised–well over 20 years ago! (Man, I’m getting old…)
My husband, being the picky guy he is, doesn’t love the simple rice krispie bar the way I do. In fact, he flat-out dislikes them. Crazy, I know. Determined to make him love the sweet and crunchy snack-bar, I decided to make a version with flavors I knew he’d love.
The inspiration for these Indian flavored rice krispie bars came to me one day while I was cleaning out our pantry. It was a gloomy and wet day outside and I thought I’d have a steaming glass of chai and a snack ready for Piyush when he got home from work.
As I dug through the pantry I found bags and bags of half eaten (and completely forgotten) Indian snack mixes. Eureka! That was it! I knew what I’d make Piyush for tiffin (between meal snacks, commonly enjoyed with tea in India).
I tossed about 3 cups of Bhel (lightly spiced puffed rice, peanuts and lentil “noodles”), 3 cups of Haldiram’s Khatta Meetha (sweet and spicy gram flour noodles, peas, puffed rice, peanuts and lentils), 1/2 cup of Haldiram’s Aloo Bhujia (spicy potato noodles) and 1/2 cup of honey roasted peanuts in a bowl.
If you like your snacks a little on the sweeter side, you could also toss in a handful of dried fruits. Golden raisins or chopped dried apricots would be wonderful. I think chopped cashew nuts would be great too!
Once I had approximately 6 cups of mixture and mix-ins, I got started on the bars. I grabbed a big pot to mix everything together.
I tossed 1/2 a stick of butter (1/4 c.), some turmeric, garam masala, chili powder and a few other spices in the pot and turned the heat to medium-high.
Once the butter melted and the spices were cooked (you don’t want raw spices!), I tossed in a 12 oz. bag of mini-marshmallows.
It doesn’t take long for the marshmallows to melt, so stirring them is pretty important. Burned marshmallows would not be a good thing.
Once the mixture is smooth and looks like this:
To easily press everything in the pan, it helps to grab a sheet of wax paper and place it on top of the sticky mixture. Using your hands, press on top of the wax paper to easily spread and smooth everything out. I tried it without using the wax paper, but everything stuck to my hands.
I sprinkled a little extra aloo bhujia on top of the bars, just because. 🙂
After they sat for about 15 minutes they were ready to cut. I cut them into squares and Piyush and I enjoyed them with a steaming hot glass of chai.
I really enjoyed these bars. But, honestly…I’ve never met a “rice krispie” bar I didn’t like! The flavor is intense and quite different…in a good way!
The only change I would make would be to add a little more chili powder. I only used a small pinch because the Indian snacks are already spiced and I didn’t want the bars to be overly “hot.”
Indian Snack Bars Recipe
- About 6 cups of your favorite Indian snack mixes (available at Indian grocery stores or online)
- About 1 cup mix-ins (dried fruits, nuts, chocolate–whatever you prefer), optional
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- chili powder, to taste
- small pinch of ground cinnamon
- small pinch of ground clove
- small pinch of ground cardamom
- small pinch of ground nutmeg
- 12 oz. marshmallows (I used mini)
- In a large bowl, mix together the Indian snacks and any mix-ins you’d like to use. Set aside.
- Heat 1/4 c. of butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Once the butter starts to melt, toss in the ground spices. Stirring continuously, allow the spices and butter to cook for about 2 minutes–until the spices no longer smell raw.
- Add the marshmallows to the pot and stir. Keep stirring until the marshmallows are completely melted and smooth. About 4 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the Indian snack mixture to the pot. Stir to combine everything.
- Line a pan with parchment paper and press the marshmallow and snack mixture into the pan. Garnish with chopped nuts or any additional snacks you’d like (I used aloo bhujia). Let the snack bars cool.
- Once cool, cut into individual servings and enjoy!