Firecracker peanuts – baked not fried

Masala peanuts (or spicy peanuts) are popular as a ‘bar snack’. My earliest memories of these are of parties at home: watching the adults scoff down vast amounts while we little ones were restricted to tiny bowls. That adults only rationing made this spicy snack even more desirable. We longed to grow up and, one day, match the adults in their seemingly limitless consumption.

Alas! Now that I am free of these parental controls, I find myself chasing so-called healthy food instead, trying to find ways to limit oil and spice levels.

My search for a ‘oil-controlled’ version that I could make at home was finally rewarded by this recipe, from Cook with Manali. I tried a batch and it tasted good. But I wanted something a little more reminiscent of the bright colours and tangy taste of my childhood. So I leapfrogged off Manali’s recipe, making this one up with a surprising addition.

I would recommend that you try both versions. I still firmly believe that you can never have too many masala peanuts!

Ingredients:

1 cup peanuts with skins on

2 tbsp oil

1/2 cup besan (gram flour)

2 tbsp rice flour

2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder

1/8 tsp haldi (turmeric)

1/4 tsp hing

1/2 tsp amchur powder

1 tsp pavbhaji masala*

2 tbsp water

salt to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, toss the peanuts with oil making sure that they are evenly coated.
  3. In a second bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Whisk together to make sure there are no lumps.
  4. Toss the dry ingredients in with the peanuts.
  5. Use your fingers to mix so that the peanuts are coated with the spice paste.
  6. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  7. Line a baking tray with some foil. Add the coated peanuts in a single layer.
  8. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until a bright russet colour.
  9. Cool and store in an airtight jar.

You might want to make a double batch if you want them to last till the following weekend.

Notes:

  1. I have used pav bhaji masala instead of the chaat masala in the original recipe by Cook with Manali.
  2. Amchur is dried and powdered raw mango and adds a tangy citrusy flavour.

About The Weekend Baker

Weekend baker, cook book collector, gatherer of family recipes.. I have inherited my love for baking, cooking and experimenting in the kitc
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