Bengali 5-Spice Roasted Nuts

13 Sep

Roasted, toasted, salted, sugared, and spiced. Pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. Ajowain, cumin, mustard seed, kalunji, and methy. A 5-spice blend of 5 different types of nuts. Oh heavens, what have I done?!

I walked into a specialty food store and spice shop in New York City called Kalustyan’s and I walked out with bags of special seeds that I toasted in the oven and ground up in my coffee grinder to create my very own Bengali 5-spice blend. Oh, and if you get confused like I did, “methy” is another name for fenugreek and “kalunji” is another name for caraway.

Buying all of these great spices and seeds inspired me to semi-organize my spices. Well, it really started with A Cozy Kitchen. She did a great job organizing her spices and took the time to be creative with her labeling. I decided to put my new seeds and spices into labeled air-tight containers. Then I decided to move all of my spices from the cupboard up high to a pull-out drawer in the kitchen. Ok, so everything is still kind of a mess, but an organized mess nonetheless. At least I can see everything now. Short little me was having a tough time getting on my tip toes trying to see which spice was behind the last in the high shelves.

I really like the little blurb on the ajowain seeds:

Oh gee…

To toast your spices, heat the oven to about 350 degrees F, throw your spices onto a baking sheet, and toast for about 3-5 minutes. It goes very quickly. Remove them from the oven and immediately put them into a room temperature bowl. They will continue to toast slightly once they come out of the oven just because of all the heat.

Bengali 5-Spice Blend

recipe from Print Restaurant, makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of spice blend

2/3 cup cumin seeds

1/3 cup ajowain

1/4 cup mustard seeds

3 tablespoons kalunji seeds (I used black caraway)

2 tablespoons methy seeds (aka fenugreek)

Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees F. Place all of you seeds onto a baking sheet. Toast in the hot oven for about 3-5 minutes. Immediately remove and pour the seeds into a room temperature bowl and let them cool.

Once cool, grind the seeds in your coffee grinder.

(To clean your coffee grinder, throw some plain rice into it, grind, dump out the rice, and wipe with a paper towel)

Bengali 5-Spice Roasted Nuts

also from Print Restaurant

1 or 2 egg whites

5 cups of mixed UNSALTED nuts

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika (I used smoked paprika)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon Bengali 5-spice

Preheat oven to about 350 degrees F.

Whisk your egg whites so they are just getting foamy but are still clear. Add the nuts and make sure they are coated.

Combine all of your spices, salt, and sugar. Add to the nuts and stir or use your  hands to make sure everything is coated.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, lay out your nuts in a single even layer. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, take the nuts out and stir/separate them with a spatula (the egg whites and sugar tend to make the nuts want to stick together). Put the nuts back in for another 5-7 minutes until toasty and fragrant. Stir again and then let cool. Once cool, the nuts will regain their hardness.


5 Responses to “Bengali 5-Spice Roasted Nuts”

  1. Barb Lang September 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    I was there when the spices were purchased. I can smell the spices from here. Love it!


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