The best place on earth to enjoy the monsoons is Kerala at the tip of the Indian peninsula. And there’s is no better snack during those rainy days than peanuts roasted with curry leaves and coconut oil. And I make it in the microwave making it an extremely healthy option as I use just 1 teaspoon of oil for a cup of peanuts.
Raw peanuts with skin 1 cup
Fresh curry leaves, a few sprigs
Coconut oil 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Wash the curry leaves and dry it with a kitchen towel. Transfer to a microwave safe dish.
Add the peanuts to the dish.
Add the oil and mix well.
Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for another 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for 1 minute.
Add the red chilli powder and salt. Mix well. Use your fingers to crush the curry leaves, which will be crisp by now.
These biscuits are very similar to those that I had as a child. My dad would take ghee or clarified butter, atta or whole wheat flour, and sugar to the local bakery and they would turn the ingredients into the most delicious biscuits. Through these biscuits nostalgia meets taste.
Atta or whole wheat flour 1 cup
Ghee or clarified butter 1/2 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
Milk 3 tbsps
Mix the atta, ghee and sugar till they resemble bread crumbs.
Add the milk a tablespoon at a time and make a soft dough.
Flatten it using the heel of your palm to a 1/4” thickness disc and using a cookie cutter, cut out the biscuits. I used a cake scraper to make a light pattern on the biscuits.
Arrange them on a greased baking tray. Bake in a 170 degree C oven for 20 minutes.
This is actually known as just khaman in Gujarat, but as a pan-Indian dish it is known as dhokla. Filled with protein, this is a light snack that is good any time of the day.
Chickpea flour or besan 1 cup (136 g)
Semolina or suji 1 tbsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Water 3/4 cup
Sugar 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Baking soda 1 tsp
Ginger 1” piece
Green chillies 3
Grated coconut 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Curry leaves few sprigs
Coriander leaves for garnish
Asafoetida 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Green chillies 5
Mix the chickpea flour, suji, baking soda and turmeric together in a bowl.
In another bowl mix the water, oil, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Stir well till the sugar dissolves.
Add to the dry ingredients and whisk well to form a batter.
Pour into a greased tray and steam for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds. When they stop sputtering, add the curry leaves and asafoetida. Add the asafoetida and salt and add three tablespoons of water. Stir till the sugar dissolves. Add the green chillies and cool for two minutes.
Pour over the cooked dhokla. Garnish with scraped coconut and coriander leaves.
Peanuts are my weakness. I can have it in any form — raw peanuts made into a Thai curry, crushed in a Maharashtrian salad, salted like those sold outside movie theatres in Kerala when we were kids, or made into snacks à la Haldiram or Bikano. This snack where raw peanuts are coated with chickpea flour and fried is a favourite. I have, however, made it healthier using the microwave, using just one tablespoon of oil.
Raw peanuts 250 g Chickpea flour (besan) 5 tbsps Salt 2 tsp Red chilli powder 1 tbsp Sundrop vegetable oil 1 tbsp
Soak the peanuts in water for five minutes. Drain and keep aside.
In a microwave safe dish mix the chickpea flour, red chilli powder and salt.
Add the drained peanuts and oil and mix well.
Microwave for two minutes. Take the dish out and stir the peanuts to break up any lumps. Microwave again for two minutes.
Repeat this till the raw smell of the flour is gone and the peanuts are crispy. The colour will change from yellow to medium brown.
The peanuts should be ready in about eight minutes.