Roasted Masala Nuts

This tasty snack recipe was inspired by my dad’s delicious Kerala mixture.

If you’ve never had Kerala mixture before, I highly recommend getting some from an Indian store.

If you don’t have an Indian store near you, Trader Joe’s Indian Spicy Chakri Mix tastes quite similar and is a great substitute!

What is Mixture?

Mixture is a crunchy snack made with a variety of ingredients.

The main component are crunchy bits of fried dough or batter. It is made with rice or chickpea flour, spices, and water. The batter version is dropped into hot oil forming little balls, while the dough version is pressed into noodle shapes.

Then nuts are fried separately, followed by curry leaves and sometimes whole red chilies.

Everything is mixed together for the perfect spicy and crunchy snack! It’s a lot of work, or at least it seemed so when my dad made it.

To make it easy on myself, I decided to make only the nut portion and bake them instead of frying.

I kept the curry leaves and red chili peppers since they are a quintessential part of the dish.

Closeup of dried red chilies and curry leaves.

Though red chilies are easy to find, curry leaves are not as common.

However many Indian stores now carry them and it’s a great ingredient to have on hand if you’re interested in making other South Indian dishes.

The leaves can be stored in the freezer or dried and kept in a jar.

How to Make Masala Nuts

Start with 2 cups of your favorite combination of nuts. I like cashews and peanuts since they are commonly used in Indian cooking. However any kind of nuts will work, like almonds or pecans.

Next mix them together with a handful each of dry red chilies and curry leaves, 1-2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and 2-4 teaspoons oil, and 1 tablespoon water.

Then pour nuts out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly into one single layer.

Roast them at 250℉ for 40-55 minutes until they appear dried out and become darker in color.

Taste for salt and add more if needed. Then stir and let cool so they harden properly. The nuts will still be soft right out of the oven.

Transfer roasted nuts to an airtight container. They will last at room temperature for several days.

Allow the spiced nuts to cool completely and then store them in a jar for several days though I don’t think they’ll last that long!

They make a great party snack or a nice holiday gift. Try a batch and see how you like them.

here are other snack recipes to try

Roasted Masala Nuts
A baked mixture of cashews, peanuts, and Kerala spices.
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen jar of roasted masala nuts with Kerala spices.
Gourmet Flavored Popcorn
Here are two easy ways to flavor plain popcorn, one sweet and one savory!
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen 2 bowls of flavored popcorn.
Apricot and Coconut Granola Bars
Chewy granola bars full of dried fruit and coconut make the perfect grab-and-go breakfast!
Check out this recipe
Fiberful granola bars on cutting board.

Joby's Test Kitchen jar of roasted masala nuts with Kerala spices.

Roasted Masala Nuts

Joby’s Test Kitchen
A baked mixture of cashews, peanuts, and Kerala spices.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup raw peanuts
  • 1 handful curry leaves, dry or fresh
  • 1 handful whole dried red chilis,broken
  • 1-2 tsps Indian chili powder or cayenne powder
  • ½-1 tsp turmeric
  • 2-4 tsps (10-20ml) oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ¼-⅓ tsp salt plus more for sprinkling on top

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 250℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix together all the ingredients.
  • Spread the nuts in an even layer and roast for 40-55 minutes, till they appear dried out. Taste, and if not salty enough, sprinkle with either fine or coarse ground salt. Stir and let cool so they harden properly. They will still be soft right out of the oven.
  • Transfer to an airtight container. They will last at room temperature for several days.
Keyword cashews, Kerala, nuts, peanuts, spices