Masala Peanuts or masala sing (मसाला सींग) hold a very special place in my heart for they make me nostalgic. It takes me back in time, about 12 years ago when I was in junior college. Finishing school and entering the college life was an amazing experience. My friends and I were going to do things we had never done before; like going shopping without being accompanied by an adult, bunking a class once in a while and drive around town, go for a movie and so on. These things might sound very childish now, but they used to mean a lot for the young teenagers that we were.
The Chronicles of Masala Peanuts
Going to the movies were the most favorite thing that my friends and I did. But snacks is something you just cannot do without while watching a movie. And we were just naïve 17-year-olds with a pocket money that was just enough to pay for commuting, books, occasional visits to the café or the cinema. Buying a bucket of popcorn at the movie theater was way beyond our means. It cost a fortune. So one of my friends suggested we smuggle food into the movie theater. How crafty! I being the Miss Goody-Two-Shoes was a bit stunned at the notion. But a part of me was craving for adventure. Trust me, that’s a lot of adventure for the young, simple girls like us.
After going back and forth a couple of times, all four of us finally agreed to give this wild idea a chance. What should we carry that will last us for the entire movie and won’t get us all caught during the security check? Potato chips was not an option. The sound of the bag would get us caught. We needed something that can be condensed into small packets. The Gujarati friend had the eureka moment. She had been sitting innocently and suddenly,there she goes, “Chalo su apde masala sing ma danchori karie? E to sauthi chatakedar chhe!” And boy did we love that idea! Our smiles affirmed to the idea unanimously.
She had known how her mom prepared masala peanuts. A day before the movies, we all gathered at her place to make masala peanuts and pack them in ziplock bags. One of us roasted the peanuts in batches; two of us peeled them, as the mastermind spooned out the spices from the jars in perfect proportions. After about 45 minutes, we had a skillet of masala peanuts ready to be binged on. We slapped each other’s hands as we tried to eat them, reminding each other they were for the movies. Once the masala peanuts cooled, we packed them in small ziplock bags and placed them strategically in our college backpacks. We also carried some Sprite in our transparent water bottles to wash the peanuts down with.
The next day we reached the movie theater and stood in the queue waiting for our bags to be checked by the security guard lady. I can say that the primary reason of such superficial searches is finding and confiscating outside eatables that are being smuggled in. My friends had already been let go. They had been gesturing from the other side, telling me to stay calm because I was sweating water bottles. I felt like a drug trafficker at the airport being subjected to scrutiny as the guards distrustfully watched my every move. I breathed a sigh of relief when she just looked around a bit in my backpack and then let me go. We had a smug smile on our silly faces as we walked right in.
I hope you get it why masala sing is so close to my heart. It’s weird that food can function like a time machine. When the world changes, memories are all you have got. Oh, sweet nostalgia! I wish I could relive those days.
A Very Simple Recipe for Masala Peanuts
I have tried packaged masala peanuts; a lot of brands. They have an unending list of spices added to them. They key to make good masala peanuts is simplicity. Add lesser ingredients, just the necessary ones and you will see what I am talking about. I have made these masala peanuts without using any besan or chickpea flour, so they are very light too. I use these masala peanuts for dabeli and garnishing chaat recipes. You can check out the recipe of dabeli at the link given down below.
Type of Peanuts for Making Masala Sing
Although you can make masala peanuts with the regular peanuts or groundnuts that we have at home, i would be nicer if you could get the other variety. This variety of peanuts has lower oil content. They are longer, larger, and darker in color. Ask your grocer about these peanuts and they would definitely help you out.
How to Make Masala Peanuts
- Peanuts – 1 cup, lightly roasted & peeled
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Hing/Asafetida – ⅛ tsp
- Red chili powder (Byadgi mirch) – ¾ tsp
- Powdered sugar – 2 tsp
- Salt – ⅓ tsp
- Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the hing/asafetida and let it sizzle.
- Add the peanuts, red chili powder, salt, and powdered sugar.
- Sauté the peanuts on very low heat while tossing it around constantly. The powdered sugar should melt and coat the peanuts evenly.
- Masala peanuts are ready. Let them cool completely and transfer them to an airtight jar. Masala peanuts stay fresh for 2—3 weeks depending on the freshness of peanuts and cooking oil used in the recipe.
Masala Peanuts Recipe with Step by Step Pictures Below
You need only 6 ingredients to make dry masala peanuts as you can see in the picture.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a skillet. Add 1/8 tsp hing/asafetida and let it sizzle.
Add 1 cup peanuts that have been lightly roasted and peeled, ¾ tsp red chili powder (byadgi mirch), 1/3 tsp salt, and 2 tsp powdered sugar.
Sauté the peanuts on very low heat while tossing it around constantly. The sugar should melt and coat the peanuts evenly.
Masala peanuts are ready. Let them cool completely and transfer them to an airtight jar. Masala peanuts stay fresh for 2—3 weeks depending on the freshness of peanuts and cooking oil used in the recipe.