I love my mother’s cooking, but eating the same food year after year would leave me weary and, frankly, bored during dinner time. Except for when I was allowed to retrieve from the pantry that extraordinary glass jar of saffron colored peanut powder. Those savory granules, best described as powdered gold, would fill not only my stomach with food, but also my heart with a profound satisfaction.

Despite containing only four ingredients, the flavoring of this seasoning is anything but underwhelming. The woody sweetness of the peanuts, the barbed tang from the red chili peppers, and the aromatic umami of the garlic never fails to captivate your palate, making this layering of flavors perfect for anything from a condiment for crispy dosa to an easy seasoning for fried rice or noodles.

Peanut Powder

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:45 mins
  • Total Time:50 mins
  • Servings:45
  • Easy


  • 2 cups shelled peanuts - preferably skinned
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 dried whole chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon ghee - optional to serve
Alissa Caldwell
  • Step 1

    Heat medium sized skillet to medium-low. Add peanuts and dry roast for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Add the dried whole chili peppers in the last few minutes.

    If your peanuts still have the skins on them, let them cool for 15 minutes before rubbing them between your hands to release the skins.

    #SpoonTip: Make sure you’re constantly stirring to prevent burning.

    Alissa Caldwell
  • Step 2

    Add peanuts, dried chilis, garlic, and salt to a food processor or blender and run until everything breaks down into small granules.

    Mayleen Zhagnay
  • Step 3

    Add on top of rice, noodles, or maybe even some grilled eggplant. The options are endless.

    Alissa Caldwell

In my opinion, the simplest, and easily foremost method to enjoy peanut powder is mixing it into hot white basmati rice. As a child, I would beg to eat this for dinner or lunch. I would fill a plate with white rice and liberally spoon on sand dune-like heaps until my mother would pull the bottle from my hands, warning me that all that spice wasn’t good for my body.

The next step: meticulously mixing it all together. I was determined not to surrender a single speck of peanutty delectability. Finally, I would generously drizzle nutty, buttery ghee, taking the dish absolutely over the top. At this point if the rich nuttiness wafting up from your plate doesn’t immediately make your mouth water like you haven’t eaten in days, congratulations; you’re a much stronger person than I am.

I could stop here and just let you spoon mouthfuls into your mouth. Don’t get me wrong, it would be delicious, but unfortunately, the most intuitive method isn’t always the best. Let me help you understand by drawing your attention to a relatively well-known example—fond, that good stuff you get at the bottom of you pan when you let meat or vegetables brown properly. Generally a crust-like texture that forms on the bottom of your skillet, fond is often deglazed and used as an undetectable, but significant flavor profile in a pan sauce or stew.

Enough about that, let’s get back to our rice over here. The combination of moisture from the ghee and weight of your rice on your plate creates some spectacularly mind blowing remnants of aromatic, salty, spicy, yet sweet “fond” that makes the most exquisite last mouthful. I’m definitely not saying any sane person would be eating rice from a plate, but if I said 10 year old me wouldn’t have been outraged at the concept of disregarding steps in her meticulously perfected method of consumption, I’d be lying. So run down to the store and grab those five ingredients listed above, and in the time it takes to cook a couple cups of rice, you can make a delicious savory heart warming seasoning to enjoy with it.

#SpoonTip: It also doesn't hurt to press down lightly on your rice throughout your meal to further maximize said stickage.