Hello All 🙂
When I went vegan I was often looking for replacements to butter, cheese spreads – the things we usually depend on for a quick fix meal – to spread on a toast or roll in a roti (flat bread) – ** typical Punjabi Habits 😀 So I made a shift to store bought peanut butter. Its really good that peanut butter is now abundantly available in market which makes it easy for a vegan. But the thing with store bought peanut butter is you don’t know what kind of fats/oils they add to make it smooth and not to mention the preservatives. For me, they always taste a bit artificial as compared to homemade equivalent.
I am married into a north karnataka family and they love their shenga chutney 😀 (shenga means peanut). Atleast all the north karnataka people I have met love this chutney and my husband is no different. Not surprisingly I also started enjoying the flavor of this dry chutney in my daily meals. I learnt the recipe from my mother in law and now I often make this chutney at home. This Masala Peanut Butter is inspired by the flavors of Shenga chutney. A sort of extension to my mother in law’s recipe 🙂 It is a thick spreadable peanut butter flavored with Indian spices. Quite addictive if you love peanuts 🙂
We start by roasting peanuts in a pan stirring regularly until the nuts start browning and the skin starts coming off the nuts. Keep stirring the nuts to ensure they roast evenly and don’t get burnt. Roasted nuts are taken off the heat and allowed to cool. Once cooled we remove the skin from the nuts. This can be done by gently rubbing handful of nuts between your palms so that the skin comes off. Do this until all peanuts are free from the skin. And then you can blow the skin off the plate. *like you blow a candle 🙂 A few repetitions will give you roasted peanuts with skin removed. If this feels too tough, you could also use ready-made roasted salted peanuts and skip this step and adjust salt in the recipe.
Next step is grinding the peanuts with all the spices. In a shenga chutney powder we grind the mixture to a powder consistency. In this case we just extend the same process and keep grinding till the peanuts release oils and come together into a paste. Making the consistency into a butter may take a while. Keep grinding in small bursts till you reach a desired butter consistency. Keep scraping the sides of the blender to push down the contents. Here the kind of blender you use also plays a big role. I’ve read food processors do a slower and better job of this but for this recipe I used a blender. I also used a bit of olive oil to speed the process. But some blenders will do the job without any oil. Observe how your blender is working and use oil if required. Just keep blending till you see the mixture transforming from powder – paste – more liquid-y paste. Its the last step that takes a while 🙂
Please note a normal blender does tend to heat up during the process so blend in small breaks. Too much heating is not desirable for the butter and obviously for your machine too.
1 cup Raw Peanuts (if using salted roasted ones skip salt)
1/4 tsp chilli powder / paprika
1/2 tsp Jerra/cumin powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
Pinch of Turmeric powder / Haldi
Pinch of Hing / Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
2-3 Garlic Pods (depends on your taste)
2 Tbs fresh Curry Leaves (gives a very distinct Indian flavor)
2-4 tsp Groundnut oil / Olive oil – to assist in grinding
1. Start by roasting the raw peanuts in a pan. Keep stirring to roast evenly. Roast till the peanuts start browning and skin starts coming off. See pictures above for a better idea. This could take a few minutes. Allow the roasted peanuts to cool.
2. Remove the skin off the cooled peanuts by gently rubbing them between your palms. Blow the skin off the vessel. (be prepared to get some in your hair 😀 )
3. Add the peanuts to the blender jar along with the dry spices Chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder , turmeric , asafoetida. Add salt and sugar to taste. Add the garlic pods (can be skipped if you do not like the taste). Add the Curry leaves ( can be skipped if not available ). Grind this into a powder consistency.
Check the taste at this point and increase the ingredient you want more – chilli , garlic , salt , sugar etc.
4. Keep grinding in small bursts till you see oils being released from peanuts. You will see lumps getting formed. Add a little Olive/ groundnut oil to assist the grinding. Keep grinding till you see the contents coming together into a paste. And after this grind in bursts a few more times. More oil releases as the peanuts heat up. Allow the mixture to cool.
5. Store in an airtight jar at room temperature. Enjoy on top of breads and with your roti meals 🙂