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Masala boiled peanuts

At the start of summer, the streets in the major cities, including Bangalore, are filled with vendors who sell push carts and boiled peanuts. They are sold cheaply as treats on the street, and I cannot resist getting a large portion rolled in old newspapers every time I see them. They are perfectly boiled in salted water and have that perfect bite.

The marketplaces are also filled with raw peanuts in their shell. Here are a couple of recipes that I have created because I enjoy them so much.

The first recipe uses the basic "garam masala." The spice is gentle, and the subtle spice balances the sweetness of the peanuts. Do not expect bold flavours; this is about subtlety and elegance.

The second recipe is about a lot more pop. The green chillies give the peanuts a pop of spice, and the lime juice adds a lovely tartness. The recipe is bolder and lovely.

These peanuts are perfect as a snack for kids and with a cocktail drink as a munchie.

For more recipes from Zafar, click here.


Version 1:

With red chillies, cinnamon and bay leaf

1/2 lb raw peanuts in shell

4-5 dried red chillies

1-inch cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

4 green cardamom pods

2 cloves

4 teaspoons salt

4 cups water

Version 2:

With garlic, green chilli and lime

1/2 lb raw peanuts

4 garlic cloves, sliced

4 green chillies, sliced in half longitudinally or to taste

1 lime, sliced with skin

Juice of 1/2 lime

4 teaspoons salt

4 cups water

Bring the water to a boil and add the salt. Taste the water; it must be as salty as the sea. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently simmer for 45-60 minutes till the peanuts are cooked but not mushy. Let the peanuts maintain a bit of their bite.

The water will dry out, so make sure that you have a touch of water at the end; add 1/2 cup if needed. The concentrated salty water adds all the flavour to the peanuts.

Drain and serve warm in bowls.

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