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Nik Sharma’s Chile-Sumac-Pomegranate Nuts

It’s always good to have a snack on hand for unexpected guests, and even for yourself. I’m a huge fan of sweet, sour, and hot flavors, all in one bowl. So, I’ll often grab different types of nuts from the freezer and season them with this fruity combination of sumac, pomegranate molasses, and cayenne. This is one of those dishes where a few ingredients tossed together produce big flavor.

makes 6 servings (2 cups [260 g])

1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

2 tsp jaggery or muscovado sugar

½ tsp ground anardana (see The Approach)

½ tsp ground sumac

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp fine sea salt

1 cup [140 g] raw whole cashews

½ cup [70 g] raw shelled pistachios

½ cup [60 g] raw walnut halves

Preheat the oven to 300°F [150°C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, pomegranate molasses, jaggery, anardana, sumac, cayenne, and salt to form a smooth paste. Fold in the nuts and stir to coat evenly. Transfer to the baking sheet and spread out in a single even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the nuts are a light golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool completely before serving. The nuts will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

the approach

Anardana are dried pomegranate seeds, which are sold in both whole and ground form. Either way, it is used to add acidity in Indian cooking. Here it’s combined with pomegranate molasses, ground sumac, and cayenne to give the nuts a sweet-and-sour coating with a little heat. To change things up, replace the sea salt with kala namak (Indian black salt).

Reprinted from Season by Nik Sharma with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018


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