potato chips

Snacks are small portions of food eaten between meals. These are generally smaller than a regular meal often had, to energize the body or to satisfy cravings. They can also be had when one is hungry.

Snacks are the most addictive of all foods and are mostly unhealthy especially packaged and processed foods. When made at home using fresh ingredients they are mostly healthy, with certain exceptions like deep-fried foods.

A snack can be just anything from a humble biscuit or cake to rich desserts or pastries, puffs, and other such savory stuff. And then there are the traditional ones which vary from place to place.

Is there anyone who does not like to snack? The kids esp, when they are at home keep clamoring for it and many a time moms run out of ideas.

kara sev

We had nutritious and simple snacks as we grew up and very few of the packaged foods. Ours usually comprised of maravalli kizhangu or stir-fried tapioca, sutta sakaravalli kizhangu, or grilled sweet potatoes.

And then there was the pressure-cooked groundnuts or corn on the cob. Sundal or cooked and stir-fried lentils like chana, green gram also served the purpose. Simple snacks were also made out of aval/poha or beaten rice.

At times we would buy pori / puffed rice or roasted kadalai(peanuts) from vendors who go around with big sacks fastened on their cycles calling out loudly.

masala pori

We also had a lot of traditional sweets and savories which were made during festivals and these served as snacks during the festive part of the year.

When mom had time she would make some vada, bajji, bonda or pakoda. These are all deep-fried stuff and so not given much preference. There was also this culture of ‘ Nalu mani palaharam’ or 4’o clock snacks.

Most schools on those days closed in the evening after 3 pm. The kids usually came back home from school at around 4 pm. The stay-at-home moms would freshly prepare some snacks for the hungry kids which is how the name came into being.

Since mom was working, I always yearned that she was at home 🙂  . Nevertheless, she ensured that we had something to eat when we were back from school.

So here I shall be posting all those 4’o clock snacks, the traditional ones as well as those from around the world. Sweet snacks you can find in the dessert section and baked ones here.

Do give them a try…

Traditional Indian snacks

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Naalu mani palaharam (4’o clock snacks)

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Snacks from around the world


french fries







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