Tag Archives: nuts

Nuts about … nuts

6 Jun

It’s really quite amazing what some of my friends and family are doing to gear up for the World Cup this Friday. Buying jerseys to support their favourite teams, placing bets and even purchasing High Definition TV sets — World Cup fever is definitely here and temperatures are high. Now, since the TV is going to be everyone’s  best friend for the next month or so there is one other thing to prepare: snacks to eat while watching the games. I’m a TV snacker so this is of prime importance for me.

It is in this vein that we decided to devote this months Don’t Call Me Chef (a monthly column I write with Marty Thyme and The Hungry Caterpillar in The Star) on munchies for the World Cup. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been preparing my repertoire. For the column, I made yummy cheese straws: they’re addictive, let me warn you. I also made sweet potato home fries, onion rings, breaded mozzarella sticks and breaded tempe sticks (an alternative for vegans) for this blog.

Today I decided to bake some nuts. Regular nuts are great but I also like coated nuts, the spicier the better.

You need raw, skinned peanuts and a batter to coat them in. For the batter, I mixed plain flour, 5 spice mix, salt, pepper and sugar. To bind the nuts with the batter, I used an egg with some minced garlic.  First, beat the egg with the garlic (3 cloves). Pour the egg over the nuts (300 gms) in a bowl and mix. Whisk together the flour (75 gms), 5 spice powder (1/2 tbsp), salt (1tsp) and sugar (1.5 tbsp). Add the dry ingredients to the egg coated nuts and mix well. Though I usually use my hands to mix my ingredients, I recommend using a spoon as the batter gets sticky making it a little bit tricky mixing everything together.

Now you can either fry the nuts or bake them. Both ways are good but I opted for the oven as it was a slightly healthier option. Heat the oven at 180C for about 10 mins. Spread the nuts on a greased baking sheet and slide the tray onto the middle rack. Bake for 10 or 15 minutes, remove tray, toss the nuts and put it back in for another 5-10 mins. Remove when the nuts turn golden and crispy. If you prefer frying, heat a saucepan with oil. When the oil is hot, spoon the nuts (a little at a time) into the oil and fry till golden. You will have to turn them midway. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain oil on a paper towel.

You can season the batter with a host of other spices. Chilli powder or curry powder work too. If you like the coconut cream coated nuts, you can substitute half the egg with thick coconut milk. The thing to remember is not to add too much egg/coconut cream as the batter has to be sticky and stick to the nuts. If you accidentally add to much liquid, just add on a spoonful or so of flour.

That’s it. Takes just about 25 minutes to make and 300 gms should see you through one match.

Candied Walnuts rock my world

16 Dec

Syrupy walnuts: a treat that can't go wrong.

I rarely have  any deserts at home. No biscuits  (do saltines count?), no chocolate, no cake. I have a quarter tub of ice cream in my freezer but it’s been there for a while  — remnants of  a get together with my cousins some months back. yes, months. Anytime I make a desert, it’s for someone else.

What you will find in my pantry are nuts. Cashew nuts, pecan nuts, peanuts, walnuts … even candle nuts for cooking curries.

So when my friend called to ask if she could drop by for a bit — her daughter wanted to play with my dachshund Mojo, I panicked. What would I offer the kid to eat?

I did a quick inventory of what I had.   Saltines? Get real.  Apples? The kid would probably kick me. Old ice cream? Her mum would probably kick me. Instant noodles? That’s just pathetic. Then I recalled a jar of walnuts and a recipe for candied walnuts I bookmarked some time back. The kid would like it, right? Oh well, she’d just have to.

Kid came. Kid payed with dog. Kid drank soda and then I brought out the nuts. She looked at them suspiciously, reached out her hand and picked one small syrupy walnut.

Ten minutes. Thats how long it took her to finish the bowl of nuts. Heck, she didn’t even keep some for me. I know I don’t like desserts, but I love nuts, candied or not.

Oh well, better me deprived of nuts than an unhappy kid without a treat. So maybe this X’Mas, you can ditch the candy cane for some candied walnuts…. ya think?

Candied Walnuts

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups raw walnut,  halved
pinch of  salt
pinch of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 – 7 minutes or until toasted. Just be sure not to burn them. Remove and cool.  Mix sugar and water in a saucepan and cook on medium hear, stirring. When the sugar has melted, add the  walnuts and stir, making sure all the nuts are coated with the sugar before it hardens.  Once they’re all coated, remove from heat and spread on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle the nuts with the salt and, if you wish, cinnamon. Seperate those that are sticking together and let them cool.
More desserts at Nodessert? Look at

Nuts about granola

12 Oct

I love muesli and granola; more so if they come in the form of a bar and are coated with yoghurt of filled with nuts. For a while, muesli bars were all I ate for at least a month. Then I found something else I loved (will save this for another post).  Anyways, Ifound myself spending a ridiculous amount of money on granola bars — they aren’t cheap; well, not the really good and tasty ones. So I decided to look for a great recipe  for granola/muesli bars and make my own bars. I consulted one of my all time fav cooks (Martha Stewart) online … well, I went to her website … and a couple others and made my very own granola bar. And I haven’t bought a store bought bar in quite a while now.

Save a bundle; make your own

Save a bundle; make your own

If you want to try it:

Delicious bars ♣

1½ cups rolled oats
2½ cups pine nuts, cashew nuts, walnuts or any other nut
2 tbsp butter
1 heaped tbsp apricot (or any other) jam
1½ tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon

Lightly toast the oats and nuts (you can add pumpkin seeds, raisins and dried
fruit too) in a skillet till aromatic. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Melt butter in a skillet and mix in jam, syrup, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cook till it thickens and starts bubbling. Pour into the toasted mixture and combine well. Transfer to a 17cm baking pan (lined with cling film) and press the mixture flat and tight. Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to set. Cut into bars or squares and enjoy!