Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Bhone Badaam (Spicy Almonds)

These are from Julie Sahni's Indian Regional Cooking. Mom first made these several years ago, and I can't now think of any other food that is quite so... addictive. They are sweet and spicy and, if you go into the upper range of red pepper, hot. And proteinaceous and perfect. I made these for a party in Provo once... a little nervous, since they're kind of strange for-- well, you know-- a party in Provo. I declare: they were the life of the party even though I undercooked the sugar and they remained kind of sticky. Ms. Sahni suggests as variations raw cashews or shelled walnuts. There's just something so perfect and sweet and earthy about an almond, though.

Bhone Badaam (Spicy Almonds)

2 t ground cumin
2 t - 2 T ground red pepper

1 t coarse salt (I always use regular salt)

1/2 c vegetable oil

16 oz (about 3 c) whole unblanched almonds

1/4 c water

2 t lemon juice

1/4 c sugar

1. Combine the cumin, red pepper, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the almonds and fry, stirring constantly, until the nuts are puffed and give off a roasted fragrance, about 5 minutes. Do not overfry, or they will taste burned. Drain the nuts in a sieve and set aside.

3. Heat the water, lemon juice, and sugar in a small pot over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the syrup rapidly for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the nuts and mix well to coat. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle them with the spice mixture, turning to coat evenly. Cool completely before serving.

1 comment:

Taina said...

These have been the life of every party I've ever brought them to, Provo and otherwise. You do need to cook the syrup longer than she says, however.