Lime Chili Peanuts – With a touch of honey and oven toasted!

Disclaimer : A super quick post. Still have not gotten around to using my cannon after the vacation. Inertia , I suppose.. So smartphone shots it is !

Well the Masala Peanuts lasted but a few precious hours in the house .. There was still some awesome raw peanuts left and I wanted something with enough spice and zing in it . And I did make it 🙂

Crunchy, and perfectly spiced  with tanginess of lemon with chili flavor in it and just a kiss of honey. Oh this would be totally addictive in the snacking department . Whip up a bowl in minutes and prepare to be amazed..

Lime Chili Peanuts - With a touch of honey and oven toasted!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2.5 cups of raw skinned peanuts
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice : 2-3 Tbsp.
  • Oil of your choice : 2 tsp ( can increase up to 1 Tbsp. if you prefer)
  • Honey :  1.5  Tbsp.
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp.
  • Red Chili Powder : 2 tsp.
  • Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp. ( optional)
  • Hing : A generous pinch
  • Optional : dried mint flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .
  2. In a large mixing  bowl, combine all the ingredients except the peanuts. Whisk it well. The honey especially needs to be homogeneously distributed in the spice mixture.
  3. Add the raw skinned peanuts and toss it well in this so it well coated. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so the flavors and spice have a chance to adhere to the  peanuts.
  4. Line a baking sheet  or tray with parchment paper or  non stick sheet.
  5. Scoop the peanuts allowing the  excess spice mix if any to drain off ( I did not have  to really drain  it or so) and spread them out on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake them for about 15-17 minutes ( oven times may vary so keep an eye)
  7. Let it cool before you dive in.

Options , Variables and Notes:

  • This is one of the most basic recipe. Feel free to add in some flavors and experiment. 
  • Add dried Oregano leaves  or some Italian seasoning mix, Red chili flakes and season for a different take on flavor.
  • Add dried mint leaves, garam masala and season and you would be pleasantly surprised by the Indian twist!
  • Add just honey, asafoetida and Oil along with a hint of ground black pepper and you will be amazed..
  • Always keep an eye out while toasting nuts in the oven. They go from perfectly crisp to burnt very fast.

Lime Chili Peanuts - With a touch of honey and oven toasted!

Quick and No Oil Masala Peanuts – Crunchy, spicy and Irresistible

A very short post. In all honestly did not even take pictures on my Cannon. Cause today was such a day that paid homage to the ” need a vacation after the vacation” kind of thing. After a long and exhausting road trip , and I mean really exhausting, laundry and stuff needed something to munch. But since we had loaded up with enough calories for a lifetime twice over and then some, was not willing to really rack my brain or stretch my time . And then of course a pack of raw unroasted peanuts caught my fancy. We love peanuts here and except for my oldest who treats it like his mortal enemy !! Our road trip introduced us to a particularly unappealing one  – too much vinegar and a crusty outer layer that had us gagging and reaching for the nearest bottle of water. Sigh ! A good masala peanut should have enough coating to give you the crunch but not overwhelm you so you have to dig for the nut !!

This is a spin off of my mom’s take on masala crunchy peanuts. No deep frying.. Just regular microwave option ! Simple and quick made in a jiffy. I would definitely advise to make in smaller batches cause unlike deep frying, microwave method  requires you to ensure the wet coated peanuts are spread out on a plate and cooked in 2 minute intervals.

Quick and No Oil Masala Peanuts - Crunchy, spicy and Irresistible

Preparation Time : 5-7 minutes

Cooking Time : 5-8 min

Ingredients:

  • Raw peanuts with skin: 1/2 cup
  • Chickpea flour / Besan : 1/4 cup
  • Hing : A generous pinch
  • Red Chili powder : 1/2 tsp.
  • Garam masala : 1/2 tsp.
  • Amchur: A pinch
  • Salt : 1/4 tsp.
  • Water : 2-3 Tbsp. 
  • Baking soda : a tiny pinch 1/8 tsp.
  • OPTIONAL : 1 tsp. of oil

Method:

  • Wash the raw, unskinned peanuts very well and drain in a colander and set aside.
  • In a wide mixing bowl, add the flour and 1/8 tsp. of baking soda and whisk well.
  • Add the rest of the spices and mix well again.
  • Add the drained peanuts and toss it well with the flour-spice mix.
  • Sprinkle the reserved 2-3 Tbsp. of water as required and  in stages so the peanuts get coated in spice mix very well and they sort of clump/ adhere together.
  • OPTIONAL : I did not use oil at all. But if you desire to and need an extra crunch, add in 1 tsp. of oil and mix it with the nut – spice mixture.
  • Spread this mix on a microwave safe plate. Spread it out in a single layer as much as possible.
  • CAUTION : Microwave for 5-6 minutes in full power in 2 minute intervals please ! You will burn the peanuts of you bake it at one stretch and you will need to stir it a bit in between intervals.

Verdict: Awesome and crunchy peanuts. I made mine without any oil and it was really crunchy. Optionally you can also add Chaat masala.

Notes and Variables :

  • Microwave cooking power would vary the time but you should generally anticipate it being done in this time frame .
  • Quality of the peanuts and the size – smaller ones tend to crunch up faster so keep an eye out
  • Stirring it in between would keep it from burning of course.
  • Mine was done in about 5 minutes.
  • Adding oil is definitely your choice. Mine was crunchy without any. 
  • Take care so the flour – spice mix coats it evenly. You do want it too lumpy or watery.

 

 

 

Thai Fusions – Quinoa Veg salad with Crunchy Cashews

#30days30salads

Day 2

 Day 2 dawned bright and early! Yay! No thunderstorms today. Plus its TGIF moment/ day/ revelation. While the hankering for tangy , spicy is inbuilt in my genes, the heat outside also meant I was not willing to eat something that was “right of the stove” kind. So needed something, that is cold and crunchy and yielded all nutrients as well and Voila!

Thai fusions – Quinoa Veg salad with Crunchy Cashews

 Cooking time : 15 min   Prep time : 15 min  Serves : 4

  •  Cooked Quinoa : 2 cups
  • Broccoli slaw : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • Cucumber : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • Red Cabbage : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • Sweet mini peppers : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • Raw or firm Mango : ¼ cup finely diced
  • Cilantro: ¼ cup finely chopped
  • Toasted Cashews : 12-14 halves
  • Red Onion : ¼ cup thinly sliced ( optional)

Dressing:

  • Peanut Butter : 3 tbsp
  • Fresh Ginger or Mango ginger, grated :1 tsp
  • Soy sauce : 2 tsp ( optional)
  • Honey : 1 Tbsp 

  • Red wine Vinegar : 1 Tbsp
  • Olive oil : 1 tsp
  • Sriracha hot sauce : 1 tsp ( optional )
  • Luke warm water : 3 Tbsp
  • Wedges of Lime /Lemon : Garnish

Prep work, Assembly and Serve: 

For the dressing:

  • Add in all the ingredients for the dressings in a bowl and stir until smooth and creamy.
  • Add in more water , if you would like to thin it out a bit more.

Salad Combine:

  • 
In a large bowl combine the vegetable ingredients of the salad and toss in gently with most of the salad dressing.
  • Gently fold in the quinoa.
  • Add in the remaining dressing to your taste.
  • Garnish with cilantro and chill in the refrigerator.
  • When ready to serve, add in a wedge of lime for garnish and preference.

  

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Quinoa Vegetable Melange -Versatile Quinoa to the rescue! One pot meal :-)

I so seriously am not pregnant. There is no justification for this craving for quinoa, other than the fact that I am now ” flu -recovered”. And I am looking for a quick fix dinner  or lunch ensemble that has all the veggies and proteins channeled through nuts ( ok in this case restricted to the peanuts) in a one pot meal. Whew!

In all fairness, I suppose brown rice or broken wheat could provide this similarly. But hey, like i said ..its a craving ! Now until the few years ago, Quinoa blissfully did not exist in my world. I did indulge guilt free in the basmati rice version of this .. Aaah heavenly! What is it about the age and mid riff..I fear they are directly proportional. Wisdoms dawn on you with age and a good cup of tea :-)..

I am digressing , folks. Anyways back to Quinoa..which apparently is a pseudocereal and is related to beets and tumbleweeds ( see what I mean about family 🙂 ..) has taken a rather prominent  place of pride in our grocery errand run.

Anyways, back to the one pot meal that can be cooked in a jiffy and can be indulged guilt free and can satisfy the spicy tooth ( hey if you can have a sweet tooth and , I presume there is a spicy one as well ..) and yes actually taste good and not like the “health protein bar , that is mostly tasteless but is g(o)od for you” kind.

Assemble it up 🙂

  1. Cooked Quinoa : 2 cups or so. (Dry Quinoa : 1 cup  is to 1.5 cups of water. I just pressure cook it in and it is nice and  sprightly. Not mushy at all ) 
  2. Thai Chillies : Green : 4 : Minced  ( adjust the spice according to your plate)
  3. Frozen peas and carrots : 1 cup . Thawed or nuked in the microwave for about a min.
  4. Bell pepper : choose your kind. I used the red one. 1/2 to a 1 ,deseeded,  chopped finely
  5. French beans : 1/2 cup chopped finely
  6. Onion : 1  Chopped finely.( I did not have one one hand and had no intention for running to the store either ). Again Viewers/ cook’s discretion.
  7. Dry roasted salted peanuts : 1/2 cup chopped roughly
  8. Olive Oil : 2 -3 tsp
  9. Mustard Seeds : 1/4 tsp
  10. Urad Dal : 1/4 tsp ( the washed, dry, halved kind !)
  11. Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
  12. Asafoetida : a pinch
  13. A bunch of fresh cilantro : finely chopped
  14. Salt : to taste

The Process :

  1. In a  large wok or skillet, add the oil.
  2. Once the oil is heated, add the tempering of mustard seeds , Urad dal, green chillies and turmeric powder along with a pinch of Asafoetida. ( yep the mustard seeds are sputtering and the dal with turn a lovely shade of light brown.)
  3. Add the Onions if you decide to include it, and let it brown. Then add the peppers and the rest of the veggies. The idea is to keep the veggie cooked but crunchy. This should take about 5-7  minutes depending on a variety of factors including the freshness of the veggies and simmer of your flame on the gas  stove.
  4. Once this is done, toss in the cooked quinoa. And add the salt.
  5. Add the chopped peanuts as well. And mix well again.
  6. By now your kitchen will smell heavenly and the mix on in your skillet will resemble the picture below 🙂
  7. Add the cilantro and dig in!

Variations:

  • As always, the choice of your veggies are your personal preference. Cauliflower and broccoli are great variations to this fare.
  • Now most of the spices , I used here are very basic Indian spices. Again you can experiment with fennel seeds and sticks of cinnamon here or a bay leaf to the temper mix and completely have a different flavor to this dish.
  • This can be made totally nut free.. Just don’t add the peanuts. On the other hand, I have experimented with toasted almonds and it tasted just awesome as well !
  • A dash of lemon just before serving will refresh the dish as well.