Indian Almonds with Coconut

The babysitter arrives, we choose a late movie, and then begin the night at one of our favorite East India restaurants in Waltham, Massachusetts. The meals are exotic, the spices aromatic, and the rice pudding – suffused with rose water and cardamom – is sprinkled with a version of these spicy almonds. It’s a heady and rich combination that stays with me even after the babysitter goes home.

Makes 2 cups.

2 cups raw whole almonds, blanched or skin on
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Grated zest of 1 lime

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the almonds, curry powder, chili powder, garlic powder, ginger, cardamom, and coconut in a medium-size bowl and toss to combine.

3. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until lightly colored, about 45 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven, immediately loosen the nuts with a metal spatula, sprinkle evenly with the salt and lime zest, and set aside to cool before serving.

Not just for snacking: Stir a handful into curried chicken salad.

From Party Nuts! 50 Recipes for Spicy, Sweet, Savory, and Simply Sensational Nuts That Will Be the Hit of Any Gathering (The Harvard Common Press, 2002)