snack peanuts (Indian masala peanuts)

May 13, 2021

What a super-healthy and delicious way to kick some flavor into peanuts! This recipe by indianhealthyrecipes is wonderful and savory. Seasoned peanuts with NO sugar and barely any oil!

1 c peanuts

1/4 c besan

2 T rice flour or corn starch

1/2 t chili powder

1/4-1/2 t garam masala

1 t ginger-garlic powder

1/2 t ajwain/carom seed

1 sprig curry leaves or mint leaves finely chopped

salt to taste (she suggests 1/3t)

oil (optional)

1/2 t amchur powder or chaat masala powder (optional)

1/8 t turmeric (optional)

The original recipe suggests lining a baking sheet with parchment, and heating your oven to 180C (which is 356 Fahrenheit). I HIGHLY recommend 425F – keep reading to find out why.

Rinse peanuts in water so the spice blend sticks. Add all your seasonings, and then the flour blend. Drip about a tablespoon of water over the peanuts, drip by drip, so the flours stick. She warns that with too much water, the flour will clump together and fall off the peanuts. You can also coat or drip with oil if you like them crunchy!

Sprinkle the oil over the nuts and bake for 10-12 min. If peanuts are still soft, keep baking. You can also deep fry these peanuts if you like them extra-crunchy!


recipe by Swasthi of Indian Healthy Recipes

I tried the recipe as written, at 350F. The peanuts ended up a bit soft, and without that lovely golden brown color I was dreaming of. I think that may be too low to trigger the Maillard reaction. After 15 minutes, the peanuts still had a sort of pale look to them, and had developed an almost soft and chewy texture. Kicking up the heat to 425F and roasting for an additional few minutes lent the peanuts more of a roasted peanut texture and a toasty flavor. In fact, the flavor of toasted rice is AMAZING, and used in Thai and Lao cooking as a seasoning! The texture of the besan is…. we’ll say “an acquired taste,” as it’s a bit grainier than the delicate rice flour. Definitely adds something, and if you like that “something” – go for it! Although I LOVE chickpea flour in socca/farinata, I may leave it out next time.

I used just water to stick the seasonings and flour onto the peanuts, and next time I will definitely try a bit of oil to see if that improves the crunchiness.

Since raw skin-on peanuts are dirt cheap at my local Chinese grocery store, without a doubt I plan to make about a million more batches of these peanuts. If I tweak the recipe at all, I’ll update this page.

Do you have a favorite snack nut recipe? I made these “special nuts” in 2011 – not quite as healthy, but definitely delicious if you have any “special butter” to use. Drop your favorite snack nut recipe in the comments, and let me know if you try Swasthi’s recipe!


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