I remember when I was pregnant with my first daughter, my brother Tamim and I went for a long walk at the end of which we were both starving. We wandered into a corner market and he immediately reached for a Snicker's (his favorite) and was quite satiated. I, on the other hand, scanned the aisles for almonds, or walnuts, or perhaps even a banana, to no avail. I finally walked away with a tired-looking cheese stick from the back of the cooler. My brother marveled at my willpower. I had to admit to him that it wasn’t willpower at all.
When I’m hungry, I want real food, something I attribute to having been raised in Afghanistan where there was little in the way of processed food. Snacks in our house consisted of nuts, raisins, cucumber, fresh fruit, and on occasion, a lightly sweetened Afghan bread (roht) which we ate with tea.
My poor daughters dream of a day when they come home from school to the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies like they see at some friends’ houses. Instead they get a bowl of walnuts with dried mulberries. Their response, “Why can’t we ever have something normal?”
I’m happy to report that this is something that my daughter Sofia actually does like. She considers them an acceptable snack. I came up with the recipe as something to serve with cocktails for a party Katie and I hosted. It is very flavorful, not at all greasy or spicy. It’s my favorite snack!
Toasted Turmeric Cashews
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt (adjust to your taste)
1 pound unsalted, dry-roasted cashews
Heat a wok or large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil, turmeric and salt; quickly stir to make a paste. Immediately add the cashews and stir-fry for 1 minute, turning the cashews in the pan to coat with the spices but don’t burn them. Pour into a colander. Shake the colander for 1 minute to eliminate extra spices; you may need to brush off extra coating of turmeric. Let cool and store in a jar with a tight lid.
Note: Trader Joe’s has well priced and really fresh cashews.
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