Young almonds have a brief moment when they can be eaten whole, through the downy fuzz of the crunchy outer shell into the soft nut that’s still soft and jelly like. These spicy little morsels are highly addictive and a perfect accompaniment for a cold beer on a warm evening.
- 40 g ghee
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 20 g baby capers
- 1 long red chilli, cut into thin rounds on a slight angle
- ½ cup curry leaves
- 400 g young almonds, rubbed to remove the fuzzy outer layer
- 2 tsp roasted chilli powder
- squeeze of lime
- river salt
- black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place a large fry pan on a medium heat; allow it to warm for a moment before adding the ghee. As the ghee starts to melt add in both the seeds and the capers giving them a nice stir.
Once the capers start to sizzle keep cooking them for another moment before adding the chopped chilli and curry leaves. Continue stirring and jiggling until you see the leaves becoming a little crispy. Add in the almonds and toss them thoroughly through the mix adding in the chilli powder, a nice amount of salt and good whack of pepper.
Continue tossing and cooking for a minute or so, taste for seasoning adding in more chilli powder if you think you can take it. The almonds should be very hot and salty.
Once you are happy with the mix, squeeze in a little lime juice and give the almonds a good final mix before serving in a bowl. Eat immediately.
• If you miss the rare moment when green almonds are available you can substitute with whole almonds or cashews. Use only 300 g of nuts and make sure to gently roast them in the oven before you begin the recipe.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Peta Gray. Creative concept by Lou Fay.
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This recipe is part of The Seasonal Cook: Almonds column.
View previousThe Seasonal Cook columns and recipes.