Kerala Peanut Snack

Kerala Peanut Snack

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.


(Serves 3)

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.

Cool and store in an airtight container.

Atta Biscuits (Whole wheat flour biscuits)

Atta Biscuits (Whole wheat flour biscuits)

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.

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight jar.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was a favourite with my son when he was in primary school. I would make a batch every Sunday so that I could pack a couple in his lunchbox or recess.


All-purpose flour 1 1/4 cup

White sugar 1/2 cup

Brown sugar 3/4 cup

Egg 1

Baking soda 1/2 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Unsalted butter 1/2 cup, melted

Chocolate chips 1/2 cup

Dark chocolate 1 cup, roughly chopped


Sift the flour, baking soda and salt.

Mix the sugars and butter in a bowl.

Add the egg and beat with a electric whisk till the mixture is a light brown and fluffy.

Fold in the flour and both kinds of chocolate.

Leave the dough in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

Scoop out small balls of the dough and arrange on a greased tray. Leave enough space for the dough to spread.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 12-15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes and take the cookies out when they turn a light brown.

Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container when completely cool.


Khaman Dhokla

Khaman Dhokla

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.


(Serves 5)

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

For tempering:

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.

Slice and serve.

Cracker peanuts

Cracker peanuts

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.

Healthy version of the old fried favourite


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.

After 4 minutes
When done

The peanuts should be ready in about eight minutes.

Cool and store in an airtight jar.