This step is optional and follow if baking the peanuts. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180 C for at least 10 minutes.
Measure all the ingredients and set them aside.
To a mixing bowl add peanuts and rinse them briefly under running water. Drain the water completely.
Then add ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, chaat masala, turmeric, garam masala, curry leaves, ajwain and salt.
Coat the peanuts with all of these. Then add gram flour and rice flour.
Begin to coat the peanuts with the flour. The mixture will be very dry at this stage. Pour 1 tablespoon water to your hand and sprinkle it all over the peanuts evenly.
Mix gently sprinkling more water if needed until all of the flour becomes moist and coats the peanuts. I used 2 tbsps. Do not add a lot of water and do not over mix as the dough begins to clump up and come off the peanuts.
If you feel the peanuts need more flour, sprinkle 1 tablespoon more besan and ½ tablespoon rice flour at this stage. Taste test and add more salt if needed. Mix gently again. Ensure all of the peanuts are coated well with the masala.
Baked peanut masala
Transfer these to a baking tray and spread them well. Spray oil all over lightly. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crunchy. If the peanuts are soft, then bake for a little longer.
To deep fry, on a medium flame heat ⅓ cup oil in a deep pan. When the oil turns medium hot, gently separate the peanuts & drop them gently to the oil. Do not add them in lumps.
Do not disturb for a minute or 2 until the masala firms up. Then stir and fry them until golden & crunchy on a medium heat. Remove them to a colander.
Cool the masala peanuts completely and store in a air tight jar.
Air fryer masala peanuts
If your air fryer requires, preheating you may preheat it for 10 mins at 360 F or 180 C. Spread the masala coated peanuts in your air fryer basket and air fry for 3 mins at 180 C or 360 F.
After 3 mins, gently separate the clumped up peanuts and continue to air fry for 5 to 6 mins at 200 C or 400 F. Keep checking after 5 mins (total 3+5mins). Adjust the air frying time as needed depending on your model.