Tuesday, October 08, 2013

How to roast cashew nuts the really easy way.

Cashew nut roasting sounds like a task fraught with complexities, but it doesn't have to be so. I regularly roast cashew nuts because I love the opportunity to tinker with different flavourings. Sure enought there are plenty of flavoured nuts for sale in the supermarkets but there's not much variety, there's much too much salt and the flavours tend to be a wildly dialled up versions that bear little resemblence to food that humans eat.

In order to roast your own cashew nuts you will need just three things: unsalted unroasted cashew nuts (we buy them in bulk from Suma), a shallow baking tray and an oven.  Pre-heat your oven to about 180oC, spread your cashews across the tray and then sling said tray in aforementioned oven. When the nuts start to turn slightly brown take them of the oven. DONE. Simple hey?

It's worth noting that you have to watch the nuts very closely as they go from lightly brown to burnt and buggered in the blink of an eye. Roasting a tray of cashews usually only takes about five minutes. You don't need to add oil as the nuts themselves are pretty choc full of their own oil (you can hear the nut oil 'fizzing' when you liberate the nuts from the oven).

Flavoring your home-roasted cashew nuts.
Here's where the fun begins. As long as your nuts are reasonably oily it's very easy to add flavouring as whatever powder mix you coat them with sticks to their oil. I tend to add plenty of finely ground salt and a mixture of things from the spice rack to a Tupperware container, add the still hot nuts, seal the lid and give the whole shebang a good shake. My cats are wary of this phase but my toddler loves it. 

If your nuts are a little dry when they come out of the oven gently drizzle a very small amount of ground  nut oil over them before adding them to your 'flavour tub'.  

Recently I have been coating my roasted cashews in various curry powders purchased from my local international food store.  The nuts in the picture that accompanies this recipie are madras nuts. 

My favorite coating is Jalfriezi, which consists of one tablespoon of ground coriander, one tablespoon of ground turmeric and two of cumin. I then salt to taste. Good noms. 

I'd love to hear what coatings you come up with, please share your concoctions in the comments section below.