July 29, 2022
Raw peanuts. Not roasted. Not salted. Not honey crusted. Just raw peanuts. I'm not going to lie, raw peanuts are a little tough to find in mainstream grocery stores, but are easily found in ethnic markets. Largely because they are used in various cuisines including Indian. It's what gives my recipe this week, Gujarati Toor dal, that extra layer of crunch. If you are not up against allergies in your home, consider giving this simple ingredient a try in your cooking. In many instances in Indian cooking peanuts and lentils are often used like a spice to boost a certain flavor or texture in a dish. You can add raw peanuts to a simple tarka ahead of cooking rice, you can add them to chutneys, and to dal. I like to keep the skin on for added nutrition and flavor, and I will sometimes dry roast them and take the papery skin off to add to Thai pad thai or papaya salads. If you can't a bag of shelled and raw peanuts, consider buying peanuts in a shell and removing the shell yourself. Remember as well that peanuts grow in a pod, which actually makes them a legume and not a nut and are in the same family as lentils, beans, and peas. Why when someone tells me they have a peanut allergy I always ask if they are also sensitive to legumes. Often the answer is yes. The best way to incorporate raw peanuts into your foods? Soak them first and then discard that soaking water. If you want to roast them yourself, just do so either in a dry pan or with a little oil or in the oven. Then, add some spices - I use my Chaat Masala for a fun snack. It's easy, it's fresh, and you know what went into it. Incorporating nuts into your cooking is easy and it's a great source of protein and healthy fats. If you need an Indian grocer near you, just comment below with which city you live in and I'll be happy to try and help.
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