Nut and seed clusters with a spicy chickpea flour coating. These are uber-crisp and addictive.

Bonus: no added oil.

Any nuts or seeds – cashews, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans – will work. We used to make this in the microwave, but found that the end result is much more crisp and uniform after oven-baking. Moreover, you can make a very large batch in the oven in practically the same amount of time.

Adding the chickpea flour in two batches – first wet and then dry – prevents the nuts/seeds from clumping together into what Jon Stewart would call a royal clusterf#@k.

We don’t bother to pre-roast the nuts or skin them.

A note about peanuts: You can use the roasted and skinned Planters peanuts or the pain-in-the-ass peanuts with the skin from the Indian store, or the self-actualised pre-skinned but raw peanuts from the Thai store. (Details in this post.)

We like the ones from the Thai store. These disappear fast, so make a double or triple batch. They stay crunchy for a few days.


Preheat the oven to 400F.

Measure out and mix
1.5 cups chickpea flour (kadala maavu/besan)
salt to taste
spices of choice

**we used
3/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/3 tsp ground ajwain (bishop’s weed)
1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)

1.5 tbsps rice flour (brown or regular)
**This is optional. It makes the end result crisper.

Take half the mixture in a bowl. Add 1/3 cup water. Mix it until it has no lumps. The consistency should be very thick.

It goes drip …. drip … drip into 1.5 cups nuts/seeds.

Mix the whole thing.

Another batch with pumpkin seeds.

Add the remaining chickpea flour-spice mix.

There will be some dry flour and that’s fine. If there’s too much loose flour, barely wet your hand and mix gently.

Try to break up the clusters and spread them on a baking sheet. There’s no need to use a liner ‘cos there’s enough dry flour to ensure it won’t stick. Besides, putting them directly on the metal sheet makes them crisper.

Bake for 15 minutes, stir around and bake for another 10 minutes or so. They should turn golden with just a few hints of darker spots in some areas. If they don’t disappear right away, cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Good with tea, better with Scotch.

Spicy nut and seed clusters – our entry for Heart of the Matter: Finger Foods hosted by Michelle @ The Accidental Scientist.

Event Details HERE

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Photographer: Jai
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: 100 mm macro
Shutter speed: 1/5 sec
ISO Speed: 400
F-stop: f/4

DEADLINE: March 30, 2009

- Jai

Filed Under: , , , , , , , , ,



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