Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Peanuts, two yu-Mmm-y ways.

First, my posts become erratic (to put in kindly). And now I'm going on a much-needed holiday, which means that there won't be any million-calorie food photos for you to wake up to, for another week. That needs to be made up for. How about two recipes, then?

You know, like on Top Chef. Lamb, two ways, jicama, two ways or whatever. Nothing weirdly exotic, though. Of all the ingredients I could work with, I choose peanuts.

Peanuts. Yeah. That little nitrogenous legume which everyone discards in favour of masala cashews, plump hazelnuts and Irani pistachios, at my household. I'd take peanuts any day. In any and every way.

The masala pori peanuts sold at the beach? E.coli, Psch.coli. For masala pori virgins, it basically is a disproportionate mix of boiled peanuts tossed with puffed rice, shaved carrots, chopped onions, a handful of furiously red masala, juicy tomato, twist of lime, deftly dropped into a paper cone. Best ten bucks of the day.

Reese's peanut pieces? Salty peanut filling and chocolate. OK, I'm not even going to go into the details, it's a little too intimate for me to share with the world. Not like I haven't been accused of food porn enough. Still. Chocolate and peanut. MMMMM. In fact, I've eaten so many kilos of Peanut M and Ms over the ages that I can't face them any more. At least for the next few months. It's that serious.

Another peanut delicacy is the roasted peanuts you get on the Suburban trains. Women selling various roasted grams, fried daal and peanuts, screaming their wares out to the world. Makes you feel like you're in Sarojini Naidu's poem when your day hasn't involved getting cussed out at and patients dying (aka a rare good day). On a bad day, you contemplate shoving them off the train at the next stop.

For those who don't take the electric train, there's another option. The wholesale merchants who have hole-in-the-wall shops with mechanical weighing scales. We buy our wholesale peanuts, aval (beaten rice), pori, jaggery-candied pori balls from this little shop at Amjikarai and they are just unbeatable.

And while Madras is choc-a-bloc with stores of that kind, other peanut-based goodies are a little harder to find. Like authentic honey-roasted peanuts. And The Peanut Butter factory's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter.

So I leak the two recipes that have given me such joy. A Nutella-like concoction made out of peanuts that I got from LA Times. And the other is honey-roasted peanuts you can munch on during game nights! Go nuts.

Dark chocolate Peanut Butter.

1 cup raw peanuts
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tsps peanut oil (I used Saffola)

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Spread the peanuts evenly over the sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, shaking them and turning the tray around halfway.
When they darken slightly, take them out.

It's easier to skin them after roasting. If you're using toasted peanuts, 3-4 minutes is more than enough.

2. In a mixie or food processor, pulse/blitz the cooled peanuts.

Some of it got too dark. Make sure you remove the over-ly burnt peanuts,
even a couple of them can spoil the whole thing!
 Keep pulsing them until the oil separates out. Scrape down the bits that have splattered on the sides of the food processor.

3. Add the cocoa, sugar, vanilla, salt and 2 teaspoons oil to the food processor and continue to process until well blended, about 1 minute.

That definitely needs the extra oil!

Scrape down the sides as needed. You'll notice that it's coming together.

The spread is ready.

If it isn't the consistency of Nutella, you might want to add a wee bit more oil in. Spoon it into a container. Or start eating right away. After the spread has cooled down to room temperature, store it in the refrigerator. It'll keep for at least a week. If it remains uneaten for longer than that, let me know.

Honey roasted peanuts


1 cup raw, skinned peanuts (I used roasted)
1 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.

In a microwave safe bowl, mix the salted butter, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Microwave for 15 seconds or so.

Massage the honey-butter mix into the skinned nuts.

Spread coated nuts on aluminium foil in a single layer.

Bake coated peanuts at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes, then remove nuts quickly and stir them around to even the coating. Bake for another 5 minutes until golden brown. Do be careful, the difference between roasted and burnt is roughly 20 seconds!

Take them out, and pour it into a dry, clean mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the granulated sugar and salt. Taste. Add on salt and sugar more if necessary.

Transfer this to an airtight box and store at room temperature.

So. I hope the chocolate-peanut spread keeps you going for a while. Make the honey roasted peanuts and the corn syrup towards the end of the week. I'll come back and tell you how to make a caramel-brownie-cupcake-love child that tastes freakishly like Snickers.

Au Revoir.


  1. THIS LOOKS SO EASY! What the hell!!

  2. It's such a dangerous (read easy+delicious) recipe to have. I could eat a bottle of the spread in one sitting.