Indian Sev - Good Snacking?

I recently found myself in a well stocked Indian grocery, and was impressed with lots of foods and ingredients I hadn't seen before.

One was "sev" which is apparently a fried chickpea (a.k.a. gram a.k.a. besan) noodle / snack.

It makes a guest appearance in one recipe but is otherwise not mentioned much here at SE.

Can anyone tell me more about it? Does it make a nice snack out-of-hand? Is it usually used as a topping, like crunchy Chinese noodles? Any particular recommendations on styles, brands, freshness, good dishes, etc.? Is it incredibly fattening?

It seemed appropriately greasy and attractive (pretty much like any thin fried noodle, except short and curly) but I neglected to actually buy any. The store had a lot of different varieties and sizes, and I wasn't sure where to start.

Hmm, from -- sounds yummy:

Sev are crisp fried sticks of extruded chickpea-flour dough (the word sev might be derived from a word for 'thread' which came from the root siv, referring to sewing). To make sev, chickpea flour is combined with salt, spices and water to form a dough. The dough is then pressed directly into hot oil to cook the noodles.

Lord Krishna's Cuisine has this description of sev:

Sev rivals peanuts as India's most popular munching snack. Anywhere people gather, a sev vendor is sure to appear with an assortment of freshly made fried noodles. Some noodles are spicy and spaghetti-thick, while others are very fine and unseasoned.

In The Glorious Noodle, Linda Merinoff writes "...[sev] is used to make the Indian version of the American trail mix, deep-fried sev refried in clarified butter with dried fruit, boiled potatoes, diced onion, puffed rice, or other ingredients and more hot spices." The product on the right side of the photo is one example of a snack mix with noodles.

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