Monday, August 31, 2009

Spicy Indian Peanuts

I know, you are asking yourself just what the heck does an Indian recipe have to do with Polynesia? Well, lots. Really.

This recipe comes from Fiji. Yes, I know that *technically* Fiji is Melanesia, not Polynesia. But if you look at the boundaries of Mela- and Polynesia, you'll see that geographically Fiji should be Poly. I quite understand the classification of Fiji as it is not only linguistically based but also based upon settling/migration waves.

But there has been so much Poly influence on the Fijians over the last few hundred years that their foods nowadays have a much more Polynesian tone to them than Melanesian. Especially during all their wars with Tonga in which prisoners from both sides would be taken as slaves and servants which vastly influenced the food.

But dave, what do the Indians have to do with all this?

Good question. It deserves a good answer!

In the late 1800's and early 1900's over 60,000 Indians (60,533 to be exact) came over to Fiji to escape economic bad times bad in India. The worked in the sugar cane fields and in the sugar refineries.

Needless to say, they've rather flourished lately and there are now more Indians than Native Fijians living in Fiji. They've also brought a lot of their cuisine with them. I think this'll be the only Indian/Fijian recipe I'll put up, all the other Fijian recipes will be much more traditional island goodies.

Oh, I do know that peanuts are not nuts. They are beans. Buuuuuuut since we all know them as nuts, I'm keeping them as nuts. Aw, nuts.

Spicy Indian Peanuts from Fiji

What you need:
1 pound of shelled, roasted peanuts --you know, the kind you buy in the store, ready to eat
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) OR coconut oil OR peanut oil OR olive oil --I use olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp to 2 tsp chili powder --just how hot do you want them?
sea salt

What you do:
This is pretty simple... Heat the oil or ghee in a frypan, then fry the garlic, curry powder and chilli powder for 30 to 45 seconds (DON'T BURN THE GARLIC!!!). Add the peanuts, turn the heat way down, toss to coat the nuts, and fry (while shaking those nuts) for a minute or two.

Put em in a bowl, sprinkle with your sea salt and enjoy with a crisp lager.

A note to all you Barkeeps, Taverners, Hoteliers, Publicans, etc. Make these nuts and also my spicy almonds in a large batches, keep em on the counter. You will be GUARANTEED to sell boatloads of cheap beer at highly inflated prices!

BTW; Barkeeps, Taverners, Hoteliers, Publicans translates to bloke or blokette who owns a bar, tavern, hotel, or pub.

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