These air fryer masala nuts, are the easiest and most delicious happy hour accompaniment I can think of. They’re totally addictive. Best of all, you can use the same technique to make an infinite variety of flavours!
As I’ve said before, I love gadgets. However, I am also conservative about giving up valuable space on my kitchen counters. So, as curious as I am about trying new things, I am very selective when it comes to buying new appliances.
Thus, I thought long and hard before purchasing an air fryer. I’ve had an air fryer for under a week and, frankly, it’s among the rare appliances I wish I had purchased much earlier.
Honestly, I dreamed of owning an air fryer for preparing fried foods — like samosas, spring rolls, and fritters. However, I’ve found this fryer to be useful for much more than that!
First of all, the air fryer heats in a fraction of the time it takes to heat an oven — just 3-4 minutes! Secondly, it can make hot dogs, schnitzels, turnovers, and kale chips in just 5-6 minutes. I am amazed at what a useful gadget an air fryer is. It’s ideal for every day cooking and eating.
These masala nuts are a perfect example. In India, masala nuts were amongst my pantry staples. Procured from a neighbourhood sweet shop, they were among the treats I kept in the pantry, just in case unexpected visitors popped in for tea.
However, after moving back to the US, I never had the time — or the desire — to deep fry nuts. Moreover, nobody had time to stop for tea.
My beloved masala nuts began to seem unhealthy, inconvenient, and unnecessary. So, although I missed them, I gave up my masala nut habit — until now.
About the Recipe
The air fryer makes it possible to achieve gorgeous, golden brown nuts in under 15 minutes, with a fraction of the oil required for deep frying. Thus, these masala nuts are less oily and lots healthier than the ones I used to eat.
In India, every sweet and namkeen shop has its own unique seasoning mix. The bigger outlets have multiple seasonings to cater for a variety of tastes — sweet, spicy, sour, or a mixture of all three.
Hence, I encourage you to use this recipe as a template to innovate your own special seasoning mixes. The sky is the limit!
In addition to the spice mix in the recipe, you could try your favourite curry powder and a bit of salt. I’m also a fan of chipotle chile powder, nutritional yeast, and spirulina powder on fried nuts. I encourage you to experiment with the flavours your family loves, look forward to hearing all about your delicious innovations!
Most of all, I hope your family enjoys these delicious, lightened up masala nuts as much as mine does. Bon appétit!
Easy Air Fryer Masala Nuts
These air fryer masala nuts, are the easiest and most delicious happy hour accompaniment I can think of. They're totally addictive. Best of all, you can use the same technique to make an infinite variety of flavours!
- 2 teaspoons ghee, melted
- 2 1/2 cups mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, or peanuts all work well)
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons chaat masala
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black salt (optional)
- Step 1 Preheat the air fryer to 180º C (350º F) for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the ghee in the microwave for 30 seconds. Massage the ghee into the nuts.
- Step 2 Once the air fryer is preheated, add the nuts to the basket. Spread the nuts as evenly as possible in the air fryer basket and set the timer for 6 minutes. Shake halfway through to redistribute the nuts.
- Step 3 While the nuts are cooking, mix the spices together in a small bowl.
- Step 4 When nuts are ready, remove them from the air fryer and place in a medium bowl. Toss the hot nuts with the spices and leave to cool.
- Step 5 Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Chaat masala and black salt are both available at Indian groceries. If you do not have access to an Indian grocery, 2 teaspoons curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt may be substituted for the chaat masala and black salt. The flavour will be different, yet still delicious!
To make this dish vegan, simply substitute coconut oil for the ghee in step 1. I do this often, with equally tasty results!