Sunday, 3 July 2016




     1)    Shelled peanuts (nilakadala or kappalandi in Malayalam) – 500 gm.
     2)    Hot red chili powder – 1½ teaspoons
     3)    Asafoetida powder – 3 pinches
     4)    Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
     5)    Chick pea flour – 1 tablespoon
     6)    Rice powder – 2 tablespoons
     7)    Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
     8)    Powdered salt – ½ teaspoon
     9)    Coconut oil or other cooking oil – to deep-fry

To make:

          Put the peanuts in a bowl. Keep a small vessel of water nearby. Chop the curry leaves to superfine bits and set aside. Sprinkle the hot red chili powder, the powdered salt and the asafoetida powder over the peanuts (use a glove if you have sensitive skin). Dip your fingers in the water and sprinkle a few drops of water over the peanuts. Mix thoroughly. If the peanuts are not moist enough for the chili powder to stick nicely, sprinkle a bit more and mix again.

          Now sprinkle the chick pea flour bit by bit with a spoon while mixing it in with your fingers. If the peanuts feel too dry, sprinkle a wee bit more water. Once the chick pea flour is finished, continue likewise with the rice flour.

          Mix in the cumin seeds and the curry leaves. The trick is to get the amount of water just right to get the peanuts coated perfectly. Too little water will not allow the masala to stick whereas too much will deposit it at the base. Keep undisturbed for an hour. This will help the masala to bond with the peanuts nicely.

          Set a deep pan or wok on high heat. Pour in the cooking oil (If you wish to deep-fry in a single batch, you will one litre of oil). As soon as the oil is hot, put in the peanuts with your fingers after gently breaking the lumps (They usually bind together after resting for an hour). Two or three minutes later, start stirring gently as you neither want the peanuts at the bottom to blacken, nor the masala to dislodge.

          As the peanuts get ready, you will hear two or three popping. You can also feel them getting crisp on the outside. Now is the time to switch off the heat and to lift them out. Drain off the excess oil. If it is difficult to lift them out quickly, you can simply pour the peanuts with the hot oil carefully into a metal colander with a vessel at the base to hold the hot oil. Keep the peanuts open to cool. This helps to vaporise the excess moisture and makes the Masala Kadala quite crisp and tasty.

          When cool, transfer to an airtight container. This batch of Masala Kadala turned out so tasty, it was consumed by the time we finished writing this recipe. Children and adults alike just love it!


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