Last week, as you may have read on Mark's blog, we had a very enjoyable visit to the Hoo Hing Chinese Supermarket. We stocked up on all kinds of lovely ingredients - some hard to find, some simply a lot cheaper than in local supermarkets.
One bargain was a big bag of "redskin" peanuts, ie raw unsalted ones, just as they are when they emerge from the shell. I used some of them to make a savoury nibble that I used to make regularly when we lived in Hong Kong - Chilli Garlic Peanuts.
These are delicious as a nibble with drinks. And the powerful spicy flavour means you only need a few of them, so you don't overfill on them, something that's far too easy to do with conventional peanuts.
To make a batch that will serve 4 people, you need
100g raw peanuts
about 2 tsp cooking oil - use one with little or no flavour such as sunflower or groundnut oil
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin seed
½ to 1 tsp chilli powder, depending on how hot your chilli powder is and how spicy you want the nuts to be
½ tsp salt.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the nuts and gently cook until the skin starts to darken. Stir in the garlic, cumin seed and chilli powder and mix well, then continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and mix in the salt. Drain on absorbent paper and serve when cooled.
Don't make too many at once as they tend to go soft with storage, although they will be fine for a couple of days in an airtight container (If you've managed to resist gobbling them all!)