My copy of Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery (published in 1982 by BBC books and purchased by me circa 1993) is so well-used (i.e., splattered and sticky) that the pages fall open to my favorite recipes on their own. So I was thrilled to get an early copy of her new book At Home With Madhur Jaffrey (out in October 2010 from Knopf) and discover that none of the pages are stuck together and try some new dishes. This doesn’t mean I’m forgetting my old faithful, but I’m really enjoying her new collection and am happy to share some of my experiences!
When was the last time anyone said “oooo” and “aaaaah” and “you must give me this recipe” about the bowl of nuts you put out with drinks? Never? Well, make Madhur’s black-pepper almonds and that will change. I actually made these using macadamia nuts because my local Whole Foods doesn’t stock blanched almonds in the bulk bins or anywhere else and we still don’t have a Trader Joes in Denver. I didn’t feel like figuring out how to get the skin off an almond (I’m sure it involves boiling water and burnt fingers . . . ) so I needed to pick another meaty but not too highly flavored nut and the raw macadamia seemed like the obvious choice. I doubled the recipe in the book because 5 1/2 oz of these delicious nuts isn’t enough for 2 of my friends let alone 6-8! Here’s the doubled recipe:
2 cups whole blanched almonds
2 teaspoons olive oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
Freshly ground black pepper, about 1 teaspoon.
Ready to toast
The method calls for a small tray covered with foil, but since I’m doubling I use a big one. Oven at 350º F; nuts spread out and the oil drizzled over them so they are nice and sticky for the salt and spices. They bake for 15 minutes but toss them every 4-5 minutes to make sure they roast evenly.
These nuts also go down very well at picnics.