Masala roasted cashews are a guilt-free and healthy snack made with cashew nuts, spices, herbs and flour. These protein-rich, flavorful and crunchy cashews are not only delicious but are super easy to make. Give this healthy snack a try this Diwali. In India, these are mostly made with peanuts & are a popular snack sold in the bakeries.
These roasted cashews can be seasoned and flavored with your favorite herbs & spices. I have made these the Indian way using basic Indian spices, gram flour, rice flour and curry leaves.
These can be oven roasted, or air fried. However if you do not have an oven or air fryer, then these can be deep fried to make fried cashews.
Making these oven roasted cashews is similar to the masala peanuts which I shared many years ago. These are super easy to make and takes just 20 mins. These keep good for more than a week in air tight jar.
Tips & substitutes
Cashews: Use good quality cashews. This recipe can be made with split or whole cashews. If using whole, then split open a few just to ensure they are not infested with bugs or larve. If using split cashews then cut down the roasting time to half.
You can substitute cashews with peanuts, almonds or blanched almonds.
Flour: Gram flour & rice flour are the key ingredient used to coat the nuts. Flour is mixed with a splash of water to coat the nuts. After roasting the flour/dough forms a crust making these a delicious and crunchy snack.
Gram flour imparts a nice aroma here. If you do not have then you may replace it with yellow corn flour or all-purpose flour. Rice flour can be substituted with corn starch.
These roasted cashews can also be made without flour, just skip the flour and reduce the spices and salt. Also cut down the roasting time. I made these another time without flour and herbs.
Spices: I have given a tried and tested combination of spices with right proportions that work for us. But too much spices can alter the flavor. We want the flavor of roasted gram flour to be dominant here so use spices in moderation.
You may replace any or all of these with your favorite seasoning mix.
Herbs: I always stock up fresh curry leaves and mint. So I have tried these with both. On occasions I have also used kasuri methi. It smells good too. If you do not have any of these, then you may substitute with any other fresh or dried herbs of your choice.
Oil: To make these oil free just skip the oil. The crust will be slightly dry but still very good.
1. Preheat the oven to 360 F or 180 C for 10 to 15 mins. Prepare a baking tray by greasing or line with a parchment paper. If you want to fry these then pour oil to a kadai and heat it on a low to medium flame.
2. Measure all the ingredients and keep aside. Ingredients to use – besan, rice flour, chopped curry leaves, red chilli powder, salt, carom seeds (ajwain), chaat masala, and ginger garlic. I used ginger powder and garlic powder but fresh ginger garlic paste is best.
3. Ensure the cashews are free from bugs and worms. Pour 1 to 2 cups of water and rinse them twice. Drain the water completely. Rinsing helps them to absorb the flavors and prevent the spices from burning. Be quick from this step as the nuts will soak up the moisture.
How to make
4. Add salt, red chilli powder, chaat masala, ginger garlic and chopped herbs (curry leaves or mint).
5. Give them a good mix. If you want to skip the flour, just spread them on the baking tray and put them in the oven at this stage.
6. Add the gram flour and rice flour.
7. Coat the cashews with the flour.
8. Pour 2 tablespoon water to your hand and sprinkle it all over evenly to moisten the cashews. Coat the left out flour on to the cashews. If needed sprinkle more water as needed and coat them. Do not pour lot of water as it makes the dough sticky and clumpy.
9. The key here is not to overmix else the flour will clump and come off the nuts. Taste test and sprinkle more salt.
10. At this stage if you feel you need more flour, sprinkle more gram flour and rice flour in 1:2 proportion. This is completely optional and you may skip. If you like more crust on your nuts, you may use it.
11. Gently mix them. Then pour oil and give a gentle light mix. Do not overmix.
Roasting in oven
12. Spread them on the baking tray. Bake them at 360 F or 180 C for 7 mins. Give a gentle mix and continue to bake for another 8 to 9 mins until crunchy and golden.
13. When done the dough has to be crunchy and even the cashew nuts. If they are still soft, you can bake them for a little longer. You can also leave them in the oven at the 280 F or 140 C for the last 4 to 5 mins. Cool the roasted cashews completely before transferring to a air tight jar. I doubled the recipe (2x) so got a medium tray full.
Roasted cashews in air fryer
Spread the cashews in the basket. I do not use oil for roasting them in the air fryer. Preheat air fryer if your model requires. Air fry cashews at 360 F or 180 C for 5 mins. After 5 mins, gently separate any large clumps and continue to air fry for another 3 mins.
They are done when they turn deep golden. They will be slightly soft when done but will firm up and become crunchy after cooling. Adjust the timing as needed, mine is done at 8 mins.
To deep fry
On a medium flame, heat ¼ cup oil in a small kadai or tadka pan. When the oil turns hot, separate the clumps and add each cashew separately. Fry until golden and crisp. Remove to a colander and cool.
Store the roasted cashews in air tight jar.
Roasted cashews (spicy masala kaju)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup cashews (130 grams)
- ⅓ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder (refer notes)
- ¼ teaspoon chaat masala (or amchur, optional)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or ½ tsp ginger powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain, optional)
- 1 sprig curry leaves (or 8 mint leaves or 1 tsp any herbs)
- ¼ cup gram flour (35 grams besan, 1 tbsp more if needed)
- 2 tablespoons rice flour (16 grams, ½ tbsp more if needed)
- 2 tablespoons water (more if needed)
- 1 tablespoon oil (skip for air fryer)
- Rinse and fine chop curry leaves or any herbs of your choice. Preheat oven at 360 For 180 C for 15 mins. Grease a baking tray or line it with a parchment paper or foil.
- Add cashews to a mixing bowl and rinse them well under running water. Drain the water completely.
- To the cashews, add salt, ginger garlic, chaat masala, curry leaves, ajwain and red chilli powder. Mix them well.
- Then add gram flour and rice flour. Begin to coat the cashews with the flour. At this stage there will be a lot of dry flour.
- Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons water and mix well adding more only as needed. All of the cashews should be coated well with the dough. Avoid adding too much water as the dough comes off the cashews. Check step-by-step picture.
- Taste test the dough and sprinkle some salt if you prefer. Lastly spray or pour oil and gently mix. Do not overmix else the dough will begin to clump & come off the cashews.
- If all of the cashews are not coated well with the masala, then you can sprinkle more flour on top and mix gently.
Baking in oven
- Spread them gently on a baking tray. If any of the cashews aren't covered with the masala, coat them with the dough. Roast them at 180 C for 7 mins.
- After 7 mins, give a gentle stir and continue to bake for another 8 to 9 mins until crisp and golden. Adjust the timing as needed depending on your oven. If they are still soft, bake them a little longer. Keep checking after baking for a total of 15 mins.
To deep fry
- Heat ¼ cup oil on a medium heat in a small deep kadai. When the oil turns hot, loosen the cashews from one other and add a few at a time. Fry on a medium heat until golden and crisp. Towards the end, fry on low heat for a golden color. Remove to a colander.
- Place them in the air fryer basket and air fry at 180 C for 5 mins. After that gently separate any large clumps and continue to air fry for 3 mins.
- They are done when they turn deep golden. They will be slightly soft when done but will firm up and become crunchy after cooling. Adjust the timing as needed, mine is done at 8 mins.
- Cool masala cashews completely and store in an air tight jar.
- To make them spicy, use a spicy hot chilli powder. Do not increase the quantity of chilli powder as it alters the flavor and taste. You can also add some black pepper for heat.
- Using a lot of spices will alter the flavor.
- Adjust the baking and air fryer time as needed depending on the oven.
- Do not let cashews soak for too long.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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