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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Microwave Masala Peanuts / Spicy, Chickpea Flour Coated peanuts

I guess I am still being fired up by the baking marathon event and the inspiration seems to have just rubbed off for this week's marathon as well. The week is new, the theme is new but I chose to clear some of the recipes from my 'to do' list that I had shortlisted  for the baking marathon. I am doing 'Cooking Substitutions' theme for the current week and my first substitution is for the cooking method. I am going with masala peanuts that are toasted in a microwave instead of a deep fried version. 

No Indian living on this planet needs any introduction to this addictive peanut snack. However for the uninitiated, the raw peanuts are lightly coated with a spicy chickpea flour paste and later given a hot oil bath aka deep fried, resulting in crispy peanuts with a spicy, crunchy coating. The seasonings used in the recipe vary regionally but chili powder and salt form the base in all the versions.

Masala peanuts are traditionally deep fried but they can be also toasted in a convection oven or a microwave oven for guilt free snacking. The microwave method is the safest and quickest method among the three, if you ask me. It involves a tiny fraction of the oil compared to the deep frying version and is hard to ruin the dish in the microwave if directions are properly followed. And it gets done in the time in an oven gets preheated. And these taste exactly like the fried version without all the oil, calories and the guilt associated with it.

We like them so much that we had made them already thrice this week. I had made two batches earlier. Today my teenage daughter who can handle spices no better than a toddler decided that she will have her own batch with little spices and made about a cup of peanuts. She is in so much love with these peanuts as her mother is, even though she ends up with a red face and teary eyes each time she tastes the store bought spicy peanuts. She was enjoying the lightly spiced peanuts today saying that these were the best she had eaten so far. 

2 cup peanuts
1 cup sieved besan / chickpea flour
2 tbsp. rice flour (Don't skip it. Rice flour adds crispiness.)
Salt to taste
1.5 tsp. red chili powder (or adjust the quantity.)
1/4 tsp. garam masala (optional)
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
A pinch of citric acid (optional)
2 tbsp oil
Water as needed 

* Wash the peanuts in a colander and drain.
* Combine besan, salt, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric and citric acid in a wide bowl. Add the peanuts to the mixture and combine well. Add the oil next and mix well to coat. Now add water in slow increments until the mixture just roughly comes together. (I added about 3 -4 tbsp. water.) Don't make it watery. The mixture should be dry enough but the peanuts still should have the coating.
* Grease a wide microwave safe plate and spread the peanuts in a single layer.
* Microwave the peanuts until they turn crispy, intermittently turning them once in every two minutes. Depending upon the strength of the microwave, the peanuts would be done anywhere between 6 - 8 minutes. (The timings may increase if the quantity of the peanuts increase.)
* If still not done by the mentioned time, toast them for some more time, checking once after every one minute.
* Let cool and store them in airtight container.

Check the blogging marathon page to see what my fellow marathoners are cooking for BM#52.



Ms.Chitchat said...

Yum yum crispy crunchy snack.

vaishali sabnani said...

Fantastic choice. Very well explained and i am sure the home made nuts must have tasted awesome.

Varadas Kitchen said...

I am like your daughter and we all prefer mild spices in our house. Roasted peanuts make such a good snack.

Chef Mireille said...

perfect movie snack

Sarita said...

What a great simple recipe! Looks yummy.

Srivalli said...

I love making this in MW too..and enjoyed your intro!..:)..looking fwd to the other two cooking subs!

sushma said...

Nice and crunchy peanuts

Priya Suresh said...

Everyone's favourite at home, just love to make this masala peanuts through MW..

Harini-Jaya R said...

That is an absolute guilt free snack.

Pavani N said...

I love these crunchy & delicious peanuts.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Perfect munchy crunchy snack :)

Priya Srinivasan said...

perfect snack to munch on!!