Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fried Masala Peanuts

Among the favorite goodies that my sister got from India were my mother's batter-fried peanuts. I've eaten them a hundred times but have never made them myself. My mother makes them often, always to include in care packages for family and friends in India and abroad and in response to requests. They are addictive little treats and they showcase an important agricultural product of Southern Maharashtra (peanuts grow in abundance here).

Well, yesterday my parents decided to fry up a batch of peanuts just for themselves, and document the method with pictures so I could post it on my blog. I opened my mail and was delighted to see these step by step pictures. All the pictures you see below are taken by my Dad while my Mom fried the peanuts.

The recipe for these fried peanuts comes from my grandmother, my Dad's mother. The ingredients are straightforward; the trick is in the method of lovingly hand-coating the peanuts with the minimum of water. After frying, this results in a thick but crisp shell of spices around each peanut.

Here are the ingredients: raw peanuts, and then clockwise from the top: a small bowl of water, besan (chickpea flour), coriander powder, cumin powder, asafetida, red chilli powder and salt. All quantities are to taste. But I would suggest not skimping on spices if you are going for the addictive kick.

My mother cautions against using turmeric because it burns while frying, resulting in blackened peanuts with a burnt taste.

Notice the container that the peanuts are spread out in? That's termed a paraat in Marathi. It is like a large mixing bowl but with a flat bottom, and is an essential kitchen item there, for mixing doughs etc.

You start by sprinkling spices into the peanuts.

Next, sprinkle a handful of besan.

Now comes the part where you get right into it: dip your clean hand into the bowl of water and start massaging the spices and flour into the peanuts. Keep repeatedly wetting the hand and doing this to give the peanuts a barely moist coating.

What you end up with is this: you'll have lots of water left in the bowl (it will now be cloudy from flour and spices) and the peanuts will be coated like so.

The peanuts should be a little floury rather than wet.

Now it is time to dunk them in a bath of hot oil. My mother uses her heavy cast iron kadhai for this.

Drain the fried peanuts. Notice that there is a pot of tea being brewed on the top right burner. Tea is the perfect accompaniment for fried peanuts! Also beer. Or lemonade.


Dale's Tales

Ever since my sister has arrived, Dale gets a kiss every 3 minutes and a hug every 8.5 minutes. She brushes his coat to sparkling perfection every morning, takes him for long walks and is quite smitten by him. Dale seems to be in two minds over all this extra attention. On one hand, he needs his space and hates being smothered. On the other hand, with yet another human fawning all over him, his plan for world domination is right on schedule.

V took these pics of our pretty boy sunning himself on the back porch. Yes, I outsourced all the photography for this post.

Showing off his best side?

See you in a couple of days with a breakfast idea. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


  1. Thanks to mom and dad for the wonderful recipe and great pictures. That is so very nice of them.

    This is an addictive and very tasty snack and a recipe to make them just perfect.

  2. Great fun to see the step-by-step photos by your dad!

  3. Hey it is so sweet of your parents to send this across. Pass on many thanks to them. Shall bookmark this for future..Ordinarily roasted peanuts just disappear in our place leaving no scope for such spicy fried ones :)

  4. Wow.. Those fried peanuts are definitely a treat. Thanks to your mom and dad for excellent pictorial. Enjoy ur Sunday Nupur.

  5. Thanks to your Mom! Soon it will be part of my repertoire too, promise. Hats of to the generosity of painstakingly taking pics and sharing the recipe. Dalu kissy kissy for starring here. Wait will call Chimi to eye you ;). Thank you Nupur!!

  6. I love Masala peanuts,I am sure gonna make this one.
    Yeah indeed thankyou to your paretns for sharing the pic and recipe.
    Your sis sounds like my daughter, myin laws have a dog and she just gives hime hugs and kisses and she carry him aorung like we carry a small child.

  7. What could be better than freshly made masala peanuts accompanied by hot tea...mmmm!!! That was so generous of your aai baba to lovingly make these and then photo document them for your blog :)
    As for dear Dale, how can anybody resist loving him, he is such a sweetheart! Although,I must admit, with all that pampering, he looks like he still has his four paws firmly planted on earth!

  8. OMG Nupur, loved it when you posted your loot, thanks for sharing , I cant wait to try it out.

  9. loved your mother's hand. it looks so capable and laden with love. so 'mayastha'.....

  10. such a detailed picture recipe! loved it! ur parents did a wonderful job .. loved the pics too!

  11. Such a lovely post! A nice start to my Sunday morning, and thanks to your parents for this recipe.

  12. yummy..I also love your mom's hand and her bangle!Can't even imagine the number of tasty recipes that this hand churned out.

  13. i loved the pic with your mom's hand brushing the besan coating with her hand...sort of made me miss my mom's touch to food :)
    Stay blessed:)

  14. Feel like munching some crispy peanuts,yumm!

  15. Oh I totally love these masala peanuts. Thanks to your dad for the detailed step by step pics. Can't wait to make these...have already added raw peanuts to my today's grocery list :) If I remember correctly some people use to refer these peanuts as "Timepass che Daane" :D

  16. Yummy and delicious.. Favorite snack..

  17. The peanuts look so tempting..have never made them at home since it is readily available here, but this post has inspired me to give it a shot!Dale looks handsome as always, always glad to see his pictures!

  18. Hi Nupur,

    A big hi to you. Good to see you blogging after a silence...and great posts too. Well tomo we are having some guests for dinner and I plan to "steal" some recipes from your blog :)) By the way great to read about Kashmira's latest venture. I defintely plan to personally visit the store next time Im in Blore. I dont know if she would remember me but convey my hi to her and loads of wishes for taking up this super exciting profession/ hobby,,

    If poss do send in ur email id,,seem to hv lost it,,


  19. Nice!!! :-)

    Could you post some Maharashtrian delicacies like thecha and dabeli too?

    I've spent last 3 years in Pune, and being a hard core Punjabi kudi, I missed north Indian street food like anything while I was in Pune...and now when I am back to Delhi, I can't help missing the awesome vada-pavs and dabelis!

  20. I sort of expected you would write about Kashu in this post so was eagerly reading when I found it was a complete family affair..excellent!!Loved it all, the writing & the pics..and will try the fried shengdane too!! Love Rani tai

  21. It is sad how the rush of daily living deprives us of the simple joys that are all around us. This snack is not just quick, easy and tasty, but also healthy cuz of the nuts, and I usually stay away from the deep fry by dry roasting the nuts and rubbing them with olive oil before throwing the batter matter in and then microwaving it for 30-45 sec on full power. A real time travel snack.

  22. This is wonderful! I like peanuts but my significant other LOVES them. We get shengdana chutney from Sholapur when we visit India :)

    Thanks Nupur!
    PS: I am so happy that your are posting more often.
    PPS: I LOVE you dog, he is freaking adorable!

  23. indosungod- Yes, it is extremely nice of them, especially knowing how busy they are! Glad you like the pics :)

    Lydia- Thanks!

    harini-jaya- These fried peanuts are a treat for special occasions, and yes, they disappear quickly.

    Cooks- My parents are reading the comments so thanks for saying that :)

    Anjali- Awww I miss Chimi pictures. How is she? Did she travel with you to Mumbai?

    Happy Cook- LOL yes if Dale was not 80 lbs, I am sure my sister would have carried him around too!

    Namita- I agree, it was super sweet and generous of them!

    Sreelu- You are welcome, I hope you enjoy making them.

    Arati Prabhu- What a sweet thing to say!

    Sarah- I know, I was overjoyed to see the detailed pics.

    Anonymous- Thanks!

    GKB- Thanks :) Yes, those hands have fed us well over all these years!

  24. aks- I agree, food tastes better then it is literally made by hand! By loving hands, that is.

    Priya- Yumm indeed :)

    Amruta- Timepass che daane is an excellent name for these!

    Nitha- Thank you.

    Madhuli- If you get the time to make them, do try it because nothing store bought comes close. Dale says hello :)

    raakhee- So what is your dinner party menu? I'll definitely mail you.

    akanksha- I have vada pav and dabeli already posted:

    Rani tai- Thanks :) Kashu and I are having a blast here, wish you and the girls were here too. Love to you all!

    Subhorup- We occasionally enjoy the fried type as a special treat :)

    Sharan- Oh your significant other would love this snack- extreme peanuts ;)
    Dale says thanks, he is blushing :D

  25. Hi Nupur,

    I often refer to your blog for long-lost Indian recipes. I am scratching my head for lunch recipes to bring in to work. Bored of sandwiches. Tried poha once in a while. Any ideas you have blogged on?

  26. Hi Nupur (and family!)

    How lovely to see these photos from your family -- makes the recipe all the more special. That array of goodies from India was amazing, and I loved seeing Kashmira's handiwork as well. Looks like talent runs all over your family :)


  28. My question to your mom is: How do you stop yourself from eating ALL the peanuts at one go? :) because that's what I'd do if I ever got my hands on homemade masala peanuts that looked like this.

  29. Nupur
    I have always wondered how these peanuts are made… Thanks to your aai and baba for step by step picture presentation. I have tried it once and made the batter too runny and ended up with peanut pakoras… they were not so bad but were nothing like crispy masala peanuts. I am sure you are having a blast with your sister … Enjoy your time with her :)

  30. OMG! I've tried like a million times to make these fried peanuts called "sing bhajia" in Gujarat. I crave from them in Bangalore where you get a slightly different version here but it is not quite the same. I am so going to try this out the second I reach home tonight!

    Thanks a ton for the recipe, Nupur!

  31. How sweet of your parents to do this for you! I will most certainly try the recipe now that I have such excellent step-by-step directions and photos. I love masala peanuts, and I love the idea of custom-making them fresh.
    As for Dale, what can I say? Like fine wine, he only gets better and better! He deserves all the hugs and kisses he gets, whether he likes them or not!

  32. Linda- Hello :) Yes, we all seem to love doing arts and crafts and it has been lovely growing up in that environment!

    Bliss- I don't know, you'll have to try for yourself.

    Shammi- I think her secret is that she gives them away! Otherwise there's no way you could keep from eating the whole batch at one go!

    Meghna- Exactly- the trick to coating the peanuts without getting it watery is what I tried to describe here. Hope this method works for you!

    blinkandmiss- Let us know if the recipe worked for you :)

    Kamini- Dale says hello :) my sister went out of town for a few days and he's missing her in spite of himself!

  33. OMG... how did I miss this post?!
    TP khau! I love these snacky shengdane. Many , many Thanks to ur Mom :)

    I am sure Dale is missing Kashmira, I'd have done the same thing! He is so squeezworthy! Muuuah!
    I also approve of his plan for world dominance and support him with a great big hug :) Woof!

  34. I love your posts when it involves Dale..and I can imagine your sis going gaga over Dale..who wouldn't?I have made so many recipes from your blog in the past few years...LOVE Kala Koyree..I am going to buy them for my daughter and its perfect for Montessori classrooms!!

  35. Great recipe. Thank you! Regards from Russia

  36. Could you please share exact quantity of ingredients..Tia

  37. What an awesome step-by-step tutorial - many thanks! A rainy day here made me crave some and thanks to your post, it was easy. :-)


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