How To Roast Peanuts Indian Style: Salted N’ Spicy

Roasting peanuts Indian style is a simple process that transforms raw nuts into a savory, spiced delight frequently enjoyed as a snack. I’ve discovered that this technique not only infuses the peanuts with an array of spices characteristic of Indian cuisine but also enhances their inherent nutty flavor. These roasted peanuts make for a healthy snack option as well, being rich in protein and heart-healthy fats. The way I prepare them is by leveraging spices like turmeric, chili powder, and sometimes a dash of asafetida to impart that distinct Indian-style taste.

Peanuts sizzle in a hot pan, releasing a nutty aroma. Spices and herbs are added, infusing the nuts with Indian flavors

In my kitchen, I opt for an easy recipe that requires only just a few simple ingredients and can be executed without specialized equipment. It’s a perfect snack not just because it’s satisfyingly crunchy and flavorful, but also because of its health benefits. The best part about this style of roasting is that it’s versatile; whether you prefer a fiery kick or a milder, aromatic flavor, you can easily tailor the spice blend to your taste. I like to ensure that the peanuts are evenly coated with the spices before they hit the pan or the oven, resulting in that perfect, consistent masala layer.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Peanuts being coated in a blend of Indian spices and oil, then spread out on a baking sheet ready to be roasted in the oven

When I prepare Indian-style roasted peanuts, I meticulously select each element to ensure optimal flavor and texture. The right kind of peanuts and a carefully crafted spice blend are crucial for creating a snack that’s truly authentic and delicious.

Selecting Peanuts

I always start with raw, unshelled peanuts. These are ideal because they roast evenly and offer a wonderful, fresh taste. It’s important to inspect the peanuts for any signs of mold or rancidity to ensure they are of the best quality for roasting. Freshness is key, so I often source my peanuts from a local farmers’ market or a trustworthy specialty store.

Spice Selection

The spices are what really bring the Indian-style roasted peanuts to life. My go-to spices include:

  • Red chili powder: For a robust heat that’s characteristic of many Indian dishes.
  • Black salt (Kala Namak): Provides an earthy, sulfurous accent that enhances the other flavors.
  • Cumin powder: Adds a warm, nutty essence.
  • Garam masala: A blend of ground spices which can include cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and others, offering depth and complexity.
  • Chaat masala powder: Optional, but it gives a tangy kick and a touch of umami.

Choosing your favorite spice or combination thereof allows you to customize your roasted peanuts to fit your taste preference. Keep a list of ingredients handy to ensure that each spice is measured and ready to mix into the peanuts before roasting.

Other Flavor Combinations of Roasted Peanuts

Peanut FlavorIngredientsDescription
Classic RoastedPeanuts, SaltTraditional roasted peanuts with a hint of saltiness
Honey RoastedPeanuts, Honey, SugarSweet and sticky roasted peanuts coated in honey
Spicy RoastedPeanuts, Chili Powder, SaltRoasted peanuts with a spicy kick from chili powder
Garlic RoastedPeanuts, Garlic Powder, SaltSavory roasted peanuts seasoned with garlic powder
Cajun RoastedPeanuts, Cajun SeasoningBold and flavorful roasted peanuts with Cajun spices
Sriracha RoastedPeanuts, Sriracha SauceTangy and spicy roasted peanuts with Sriracha sauce

Preparation Techniques

In my experience with Indian-style roasted peanuts, the two critical steps involve creating a flavorsome spice mix and preparing the peanuts correctly. A meticulous approach to these preparation techniques is essential for a perfect batch of roasted peanuts with an authentic Indian twist.

Creating the Spice Mix

I usually start by preparing a dry spice mix that will coat the peanuts. For this, I combine gram flour and rice flour for a crispy texture, and then add a blend of Indian spices which typically includes, among others, red chili powder, asafoetida, and salt to taste. Sometimes, adding lemon juice helps in binding the spices to the peanuts. This is done carefully to ensure the spice mix is evenly balanced and ready to impart a robust flavor to the peanuts.

Preparing the Peanuts

When preparing the peanuts, I make sure to start with raw, shelled peanuts for the best results. I wash the peanuts and pat them dry. Then, I toss the peanuts in the prepared spice mix until they’re well-coated. After coating, I spread them out on a greased baking sheet in a single layer. The peanuts should be roasted in the oven preheated to 180°C (360°F) till they attain a golden brown color. Post-roasting, I transfer the peanuts to an airtight container to maintain their crunchiness; ideally, they should cool down to room temperature before storage to prevent any moisture from softening them.

Photo: Engin Akyurt

Cooking Methods

When roasting peanuts Indian style, selecting the appropriate cooking method is crucial to achieve that authentic flavor and texture. Each method, from dry roasting to using an air fryer, affects the peanuts differently, and I’ll guide you through the specifics.

Dry Roasting

For those who prefer a traditional touch, dry roasting peanuts is the way to go. I typically spread the peanuts in a single layer on a flat pan and roast them over medium heat. Vigilance is key here—continuously stirring the peanuts ensures even roasting without burning them. The cooking time usually ranges between 10-15 minutes, depending on the quantity.

Deep Frying

When I’m in the mood for a richer flavor, I opt for deep frying. I heat the hot oil on a medium flame and add the peanuts. They fry up quickly, often in less than 5 minutes, but it’s essential to keep them moving to achieve an evenly golden crunch. I recommend using a slotted spoon to remove the peanuts and drain excess oil.

Using an Air Fryer

For a modern and healthier twist, I use my Ninja Foodi as an air fryer. I place peanuts in the air fryer basket, ensuring they’re not overcrowded. A light oil spray can help the spices stick to the peanuts. They roast up perfectly in less time—usually no more than 10 minutes. The exact cooking time may vary, so it’s best to check halfway through and shake the basket for uniform roasting.

Serving and Storage

Peanuts roasting on a hot skillet with aromatic Indian spices, surrounded by jars of various spices and airtight containers for storage

When I roast peanuts Indian style, ensuring they’re served fresh and storing them properly is crucial for maintaining that delectable crunch. Here’s how I handle these spicy peanuts for both serving and keeping them as tantalizing as when they first come out of the oven.

Ready to Serve

As soon as my Indian-style roasted peanuts are done, I serve them immediately to invigorate the taste buds. They pair wonderfully with a cup of chai during a midday break or as a crunchy addition to movie nights. I make sure to toss the peanuts in their spices while they’re hot and then spread them out in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate. This helps them cool without becoming soggy.

Storing for Freshness

To keep my roasted peanuts as fresh as the day they were made, I store them in an airtight container. This helps to lock in the flavor and maintain the peanuts’ satisfying crunch. For road trips or work lunches, I portion the peanuts into small bags or a snack box, they’re the perfect grab-and-go treat that doesn’t require a lot of water to quench thirst induced by spiciness. If the peanuts seem to lose their crispness, a quick toast in a hot pan can revive their texture.

Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits

Peanuts roasting in a pan with Indian spices, emitting a savory aroma. Nutritional facts and health benefits displayed nearby

When roasting peanuts the Indian style, I’m not just preparing a crunchy and flavorful snack; I’m also tapping into their impressive nutritional profile. Peanuts are a great source of various nutrients beneficial to my health.

Understanding Nutrient Content

Peanuts, integral to numerous diets, provide a substantial amount of protein—an essential macronutrient for muscle repair and growth. I have found that they are indeed a healthier option, especially for those seeking to increase their protein intake without consuming animal products.

Available Nutrient Data:

  • Protein: On average, a quarter-cup serving of peanuts provides about 9 grams of protein, which constitutes a significant portion of the daily values recommended for personal consumption.
  • Healthy Fats: They contain heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, known for supporting cardiovascular health.

Incorporating roasted peanuts into my diet presents a healthier alternative to many snacks that are high in refined sugars and saturated fats. Moreover, the fiber in peanuts helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system, making them a prudent choice for a medically restrictive diet or a lower calorie diet. It is crucial, however, to monitor portion sizes to align with my personal consumption goals and dietary needs.

It’s rewarding to note that peanuts are not just delicious but align with my pursuit of a balanced and nutritious diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions about roasting peanuts in the Indian style. My goal is to provide precise, clear answers based on traditional methods as well as some modern adaptations for preparing this beloved snack.

What is the traditional method for roasting peanuts in Indian style?

The traditional method involves dry roasting peanuts in a heavy-bottomed pan, such as a kadai, over a medium flame. I would stir the peanuts constantly to ensure even roasting and to prevent them from burning. Once they develop a golden-brown color and a fragrant aroma, they’re done.

How do you prepare masala peanuts without using oil?

To prepare masala peanuts without using oil, I would coat raw peanuts with water or a sticky binding agent like lemon juice, then sprinkle with spices such as turmeric, chili powder, and salt. Finally, the coated peanuts can be baked in an oven or air-fried until they’re crunchy.

What are the steps for making peanut masala in a microwave?

To make peanut masala in a microwave, I’d start by placing raw peanuts in a microwave-safe dish, then cook them on high power in short intervals — stirring between each — until they are evenly roasted. Afterwards, I would toss the hot peanuts with masala spices and allow them to cool.

Can raw peanuts be roasted in a kadai? If so, how?

Yes, raw peanuts can be roasted in a kadai. I’d heat the kadai over a medium flame, add the peanuts, and roast them, stirring frequently until they’re evenly browned and aromatic. This typically takes about 8 to 10 minutes.

Is it necessary to soak peanuts before attempting to roast them?

It is not necessary to soak peanuts before roasting them. Roasting them dry helps to bring out their natural oils and flavor. Soaking might be required in some specific recipes, but it’s not a general requirement for roasting peanuts.

Are there ways to roast peanuts on the stove without burning them?

To roast peanuts on the stove without burning them, I would use a thick-bottomed pan and set it to a medium-low heat. I’d add the peanuts in a single layer and stir them frequently for even roasting. Using a low heat and constant stirring are key to preventing the peanuts from burning.

Roasted Peanuts Indian Style

Recipe by kitcheneasylifeCourse: LunchCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



These peanuts are perfect for munching on during gatherings or as a tasty snack any time of the day.


  • 2 cups raw peanuts (with skins)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (adjust to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)

  • 1 tablespoon chaat masala (optional, for extra flavor)

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (for garnish, optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  • In a large bowl, toss the raw peanuts with vegetable oil until evenly coated.
  • Add cumin seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, salt, and chaat masala to the peanuts. Mix well to ensure the peanuts are evenly seasoned.
  • Spread the seasoned peanuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Roast the peanuts in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until they are golden brown and crispy.
  • Once roasted, remove the peanuts from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, transfer the peanuts to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro leaves, if desired.
  • Serve the spicy and salty roast peanuts as a snack or appetizer, and enjoy their delicious Indian flavors!

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