Sona’s mum makes these spicy kaju (cashews) as an occasional indulgence—but they’re perfect on a dreary day with chai or a mellow whisky (depending on your mood). She fries the cashews till they’re golden brown, then seasons them up with a red-hot masala. This version is pretty spicy, so feel free to adjust the mix for less adventurous palates (zzzzz).
PREP COOK SERVES
2 minutes 7 minutes 6 for snacking
1 lb raw white cashews—not roasted and not salted
2 to 3 cups oil for deep frying (canola works well)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon kala namak
2 teaspoons jeera (cumin seeds), dry roasted and ground into powder
2 pinches hing (Asafetida)
2 teaspoons chaat masala
1 teaspoon lal mirch
1. In a small pan, dry roast jeera until it turns black. Grind into a fine powder. In a medium-sized bowl, mix salt, kala namak, jeera, hing, chaat masala and lal mirch.
2. Heat oil on medium-heat in a deep frying pan or walk. Oil should be hot (around 400 degrees Fahrenheit) but not smoky.
3. Drop in one cashew to test oil. When hot, add cashews and fry two to four minutes, until the pale cashews go a light golden brown. Drain cashews on a few layers of paper towels, then toss while hot with the masala mixture, coating thoroughly. Add additional salt and lal mirch to taste.
Serve warm with Sona’s special adraki chai, or if you’re a real man, whiskey.