Growing up, my school days were especially long. Since my mother was a teacher at a neighbouring school, it meant that I left school only an hour or an hour and a half after the school bell rang. So when the bell rang, I’d go whirring out, eager to play with all and sundry waiting for their parents, buses, autos and so on. The number of children usually dwindled slowly in half an hour’s time, and rapidly in the latter half hour time. So a bit of wandering about and climbing the good old strong trees, I’d head to the library to read an Enid Blyton adventure.
Much later, drained of mental and physical energy, I’d trudge slowly down the street to the school my mother taught at. More often than not my brother and I troubled her for a treat in the school canteen, or bhel puri or boiled corn or boiled groundnuts from the street vendors. We stood outside the school to hire an autorickshaw, you see, and avoiding street food was difficult. We’d then be bundled hurriedly into an auto with promises of yummy munchies waiting for us at home.
And almost always, there’d be a yummy snack waiting for us! My dad would’ve either made something and gone out or he’d be busy making something, or my mother would quickly go whip something up for us, before our hunger cries got louder. And this — the insanely easy snack: peanut and jaggery — was our favourite! On hindsight I think it was our favourite not only because it tasted great but also because it was made in a jiffy. And it required only two ingredients, and the person gobbling it up was in-charge of the amount of sweetness consumed (for people like me who like their sweet treats less sweeter than normal). And the sky was the limit to the amount I could consume — I remember stuffing my mouth until I could not fit any more groundnuts and jaggery!
Peanuts and jaggery has remained my go-to snack with black coffee when I need something quick, and when I’m fed up with tea biscuits and cake (yes, the blogging life ensures that there’s no dearth of cake in the house) — and I still stuff my mouth till I can chew no more. Not only is jaggery insanely nutritious, it does help that it’s a natural sweetener. And peanuts? You can read about their benefits here, and here.
I know that tree nut and ground nut allergies abound, and I urge you to check before you feed this to someone, for it can be dangerous. Episode 2 in Netflix’s Rotten was an eye-opener. According to a doctor featured in that episode, it’s because we shelter our children more than our parents did and treat them to a very clean life devoid of the microbes we grew up with. This has resulted in weaker guts in the children of today. However, introduction of allergens in controlled amounts seems to work (consult with a doctor first!), and introduction of food without bias to the diet of a baby and toddler seems to work too. And yes, let them play in dirt and lick the floor once in a while — they’ll end up stronger, just like all of us grown-ups! I know I did.
Oh, I’d also like to sneak in this bit — that peanuts are called groundnuts in quite a few parts of the world like India, and we do mean the same thing. Scientifically though, a peanut is different from a groundnut — take a look at the links below for further reading.
Boy! That’s quite a bit that poured forth from me. Alright, let’s get straight to it, then.
- 1/2 cup sun-dried peanuts or a handful, or however much you want
- 1/4-1/2 cup powdered jaggery or you could use a peeler to scrape the jaggery from the block
Roast the peanuts over a medium flame for about five minutes until you get that lovely roasted aroma, and the skins of the peanuts turn a deeper shade, and you find the sides of the peanuts getting brownish-black.
Wait for them to cool completely before you either 1. place them on a big plate and gently crush them against the palm of your hand and blow away the skins, or 2. place them all in a tea towel and gently crush them between your palms, and blow the skins away. If you want, you can also peel them a little at a time, like me.
Use your hand or a spoon to take roughly equal portions of peanuts and jaggery and put it in your mouth — this is when the magic happens!
Adjust the jaggery according to your taste. Insanely easy, no?
You can add more jaggery as you go, once you know how sweet you want it. As for the jaggery, you could also use palm jaggery.
Difference Between Groundnut and Peanut (DifferenceBetween.net)
15 Amazing Health Benefits Of Peanuts Or Groundnuts (Good Health All)
Peanuts 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits (healthline)
What is Jaggery and What Benefits Does it Have? (healthline)