The peanut masala story

30 Sep


December 28th 2003, Kerala, India.. Late in the evening

The day been very long, but in some way it had passed so quickly – exactly as a dream. We – me, mom and my little sister – had woken up at 4 am because we were going to the jungle for a safari.

Shortly after we woke up a jeep picked us up and drove us deep into the jungle. Although I slept the entire journey, I could feel that we drove for hours on a winding, primitive jungle road. Finally we arrived at some kind of camp. That was when I woke up.

What an adventure that very day was. On our way home we could not realize that we had been a few meters from wild elephants, creepy insects, water buffels, snakes and fresh tiger traces.

Arriving at the hotel, we were tired and hungry. The blood sugar level at the lowest level possible did not make the situation better.

We walked out in the night to find something to eat. We walked and walked, not knowing where we finally were heading.

After a while we just decided to go into a place. Weird. Entring this place, all these impressions struck me as lightning..

1. There were only men inside this place. I still remember how they inquisitively stared at us thinking; Why the f-word are there three alien GIRLS here? An unwed mother with her two daughters(Yes, practically every Indian thought I was a girl because of my long hair, ear ring and feminine looks. That is pretty much how I actually remember India, ha ha)

2. The place felt so empty. It felt like we had taken some vessel to outer space and ended up in another world that we simply would name Wistful.

3. Hardly anyone ate something, the people  were just empty minds happening to be in a restuarant/bar lit up by a bad but mysterious light bulb.

Not knowing what to order, we randomly decided to go for the मूंगफली मसाला – which mom translated it to “peanut masala”

It felt like we waited forever. But finally we were to get our order. Out came one of the nicest things I have ever eaten. In a few miliseconds, the boring environment around us was lit up by a fragrant, lovely dish served in a small bowl, with colous such as red and green.

This was the peanut masala. It consisted of handpeeled newly roasted peanuts together with fresh cilantro, lime, chili and red onion.

The peanuts provided the salt, the chili the hot kick, lime acidity, onion freshness – all covered in the delicious taste of fresh locally produced cilantro.

We ordered 1,2,3,4 bowls and could not stop eating.

Many of the impressions that day – everything from being called a girl all the time to being on a exciting safari in the middle of the deep indian jungle – slowly diminishes in a vapour as I grow older.

But the sharp, distinguished impression of the peanut masala, on the other hand, is still as strong. I know it will be the reason why I all my life will remember that day – it was by far one of the best and most exciting food experiences I have ever had.


Peanut masala

1 red onion

2 lime

1 red chili

fresh cilantro

1 package of roasted and salted peanuts

1. Chop the red onion and chili finely. Also chop the cilantro.

2. Poor the peanuts in the bowl you will serve the peanut masala

3. Press the juice from the lime in a bowl.

4. Right before serving, add the rest of the ingredients in order for the masala not to get soggy. Poor the lime over and mix.

5. Enjoy!!


One Response to “The peanut masala story”

  1. Hasse October 6, 2010 at 8:01 AM #

    My first impression of Peanut Masala was at one of the countless, wonderful dinners with your family at your place, now its part of our feast menu!


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