Tea-Time Snack: Namkeen Kaju / Chatpate Kaju / Masala Kaju

To call this cashew nut-shaped snack as namkeen kaju (salty or savory cashew nuts), chatpate kaju or masala kaju (spiced cashew nuts) is a misnomer to the literally salted or spiced cashew nuts.  Alas, there is no other name by which these fried snacks are called.

So, to not confuse you - this post talks about how to make these fried cashew nut-shaped crackers using all-purpose flour; and NOT the real cashew nuts.
The namkeen kaju or masala kaju make great tea-time snacks.  Yes, just like mathri. And champakali. And namak paare.  And gud ki papdi.  And bakarwadi.  And let me not digress.

Where were we?  Right, namkeen kaju.  Super simple recipe.

How to make Namkeen Kaju / Chatpate Kaju / Masala Kaju

½ cup whole wheat flour (aata)
½ cup all-purpose flour (maida)
¼ tsp black pepper powder (kali mirch)
½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain), crushed
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil or ghee
¼ cup water + a little more

Oil for deep frying

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: both flours + black pepper + crushed carom seeds + salt.
2. Mix oil/ghee well, then add just enough water to make a firm dough.  Cover & keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
3. Roll out the dough into one big roti about ¼ inch thick.  Use a cutter of your choice to cut shapes out of the roti.  To make the crescent shape, I used the sharp edge of a lid.

4. Deep fry a bunch in hot oil on a medium flame until golden brown, drain on absorbent paper.  Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.  Stays well about 2 weeks in room temperature, over a month in refrigerator.  Enjoy with a hot cup of ginger and cardamom flavored tea.

To make namkeen kaju, you use this basic dough recipe.

To make chatpate kaju or masala kaju, there are two ways:
     a) you can add some spices like crushed cumin seeds, crushed carom seeds, crushed dried fenugreek leaves, etc and knead along with the dough;
     b) right after you fry and drain them, you sprinkle spices such as red chili powder and chaat masala over the kaju and gently rub to coat them with the masala while they're hot.

It's a very basic recipe.  With the same dough, you can make your crackers in various sizes, use cutters to give it different shapes, add a combination of spices and herbs to give it a new flavor.  Play around.

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  1. beautiful beautiful beautiful..... and I could go on :D


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