Traditions die hard. Especially if it involves devouring a hot plate of boiled peanuts. I wish there were kadalawalas standing in every corner here in the US serving the ever green snack. What do these hot dog selling guys know what they are missing. Anyways, my sad story apart, I was totally craving for this after having a big long discussion with my friend over the phone about our kadala days. So, I decided to just go ahead and make it.
You can soak the regular store bought plain shelled peanuts and then pressure cook them to match the inshell boiled peanuts. I also use this type of peanuts to make a garlicky spicy vetha kuzhambu – famously called mallatta kuzhambu by my Cuddalore friends. Apparently, peanuts are called mallatta in the Cuddalore – Pondicherry area. I learnt this the first time my Cuddalore friend told me she was going to get mallatta cake – and I was expecting something like a black forest or chocolate cake and she hands me over some chikki. Sometimes life’s lessons are learnt the hard way.
What you mix with the peanuts is entirely up to you. Eat them plain or eat them overly dressed up – they never disappoint.
Wash and soak about 2 cups of raw peanuts overnight. (With or without the cover is fine)
The next day, wash the peanuts again and pressure cook with lots of water. Add about 2 -3 tsps of salt to the water before cooking so that the peanuts pull in the salt from the water.
Cool until the peanuts turn tender but not mushy. A little bite to it is also preferred.
You’re almost done. You can taste a whole cup of just the plain stuff. No one is watching.
Chop up some green chillies, onions. tomatoes and cucumbers into small pieces. One classic ingredient I did not have at home was raw mango. If you can get it on time to make this, chop up into fine pieces like the cucumbers too. And btw – this kind of a peanut masala dish is also called ‘Monkey Nuts’ in many places. Sure, I’d go monkey over this any day.
Add all the ingredients to the boiled peanuts. Sprinkle some red chilli powder on top for a little spice. Taste and add salt only if you need to. Top off with some fresh cilantro and mix well. You can squeeze juice of half a lemon if you like the flavor. I don’t go there.
Mix up well and serve fresh.
Traditionally in India, this is served wrapped in old newspapers. Maybe those toxins do add to the flavor. But, all that gave us immunity – what do you say? Anyways, LA Times does bleed when I touch the paper with wet hands so I know the ink is pretty fresh on there. So, I do a double wrap – first wrap with plastic foil and then cover with the newspaper for the traditional look. I know – I never cared for all this before but I’m a mom now and this stuff freaks me now.
Now that my peanuts are ready, all I need is some girlfriends and some gossip – because at my stage in life we all realize no matter how high you rate guys – they are all the same - their clothes never hit the laundry basket right and the toilet seat does not come down to the correct position. Ever.
Enjoy. Peace out.
Click here for a Printable Recipe