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The Salted Nuts

by Vimala Ramu
(Bangalore,India)



Among all the snacks, salted nuts have always been my favorite. Though in later life I have tasted salted cashew nuts from Goa, salted pistachios from California (with vinegar for added tang), salted almonds(source forgotten),I feel there is nothing to beat our Kharada Kadlekai- a spicy variety of peanuts Karnataka is famous for.

I still remember how irresistible it used to be, displayed in a transparent glass jar in a ‘condiments’ store while I waited for the bus to go home after the day’s work.

The said Kharada Kadlekai is actually roasted groundnut seeds, covered with extra smooth, spicy paste of either green chillies or red chillies mixed with haldi, salt, asafetida and lemon juice and dried again to a crisp. For the paste to stick to the skin of the seeds, we have to grind the paste with soaked methi seeds or mix maida as a short cut.

What one likes most, one learns to make. I used to prepare both the green and red variety and store them in air tight tins for munching at leisure. Great care has to be taken to see that the seeds are roasted to the correct temperature and that the paste covered seeds are dried to the right extent to prevent the thin husk separating from the seeds.

Once the Micro wave oven was discovered,
it was a boon for making the tasty ‘Brain tonic’. Someone suggested that soaking the peanut seeds in water and draining them before roasting would make for even a better standard of crispness. I also discovered that the paste stuck to the seeds better if the roasted seeds were completely cooled before applying the paste.

It is very important to know that how well the seed has retained the spicy covering on it is an indication of how professional your product is and so all research and efforts go towards making the seeds retain their spicy coat.

Once, a Punjabi neighbor of mine dropped in for a chit chat. Along with a glass of cool nimboopani, I offered her a plate of my patented Kharada kadlekai. As I kept talking to her, I was shocked to see that she was meticulously dehusking every nut, rubbing it between her thumb and forefinger before popping the obscenely naked bland white seed into her mouth!!! My goodness, did I take all the trouble to get it covered by the spicy paste just for her to get rid of it? I could have as well given her plain, roasted and dehusked peanuts. It was nothing short of sacrilege!

Then onwards, I would offer it to only those connoisseurs who could really appreciate the Khara cover over the Kadlekai.

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Nov 25, 2014
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Would love to make them.
by: Balaji Sastry

Excellent Article. Could you please share the recipe? Appreciate it. I have looked and looked and nobody has this in stores. Thanks.

Jul 24, 2012
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where is the Recipe for kharada kadalekai?
by: Anonymous

Give the recipe for kharada kadalekai. I could enjoy the article even more if I could be eating the KadaleKai.

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May 14, 2011
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Funny and Good
by: Safia.A.R

Really made me laugh.Good one.

Apr 19, 2011
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delicious
by: vimala ramu

Honest, Geeta, I am not exaggerating. It is a very tasty snack, particularly on cold and rainy days.

Apr 19, 2011
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Delicious
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

My mouth watered as I read your recipe, no, blog. Can I have one jar please?

Enjoyed reading as usual!!

Apr 13, 2011
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fried nuts
by: vimala ramu

Thank you, Pankaja. I personally prefer the oilless nuts. But, I have tasted your type also. They taste good too.

Apr 12, 2011
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memories now
by: nuggehallipankaja

Your article makes my mouth water.By the way, I have a receipe wherein the dried kadalekayi
is roasted in a kadai, and afterwards the thick chilli masala( red chillies, salt,haladi, ing, little bit of tamarind) would be sprinkled over them with little oil, and shoved two and fro on low fire till all the nuts gets its share of masala.
Will it work out as well, I wonder?

As usual, your article was interesting.

Apr 09, 2011
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Bangalorean.
by: vimala ramu

Hi Eva, talked like a true Bangalorean.But then the doc's conscience is also warning the ladies.Thanks for reading.

Apr 09, 2011
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welcome
by: vimala ramu

Hi Sneha, you know you are always welcome and I am still waiting for you to announce the date of your arrival. The big day at your grandfather's place is Apr 28th. Right? All the best.

Apr 09, 2011
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The Salted Nuts
by: Sneha

Now - - Vimala, that makes me want to drop in to taste some. May I?

Apr 09, 2011
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The Salted Nuts.
by: Eva Bell

Kharada Khadalekai - real yummy!
I wish you had educated your neighbour on the way to eat and relish peanuts. Sometimes it's good to eat some and show the way.
I don't want to be a spoilt sport, but watch out for your cholesterol levels ladies!

Apr 09, 2011
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cooking lesson
by: vimala ramu

Had you gone out of station? Well, I have been raining articles. KK is really good for rainy and chilly days. Thanks for reading Tanu.

Apr 09, 2011
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sacrilege
by: vimala ramu

Believe me, Isabel, it is indeed sacrilege for a Kannadiga( person belonging to Karnataka state). Thanks for reading and commenting.

Apr 08, 2011
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just had...
by: isabel



You made me crave for this nut and had a good laugh! =) Sacrilege indeed!

Apr 08, 2011
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INTERESTING
by: tANUJA cHATTERJEE

Hi Vimaladi!
Read your latest article after a long time. It's interesting N equally informative. What a smooth writer you are! I just had my cooking lesson

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