Spiced Cashew Nuts

There is something I need to admit to: I am not very good with small talk. Because of this, I never think of making snacks and nibbles for when my guests come to share a meal around a table. I like everything to be ready by the time they arrive, and for everyone to be seated and eating without waiting around. When eating out, I try to avoid restaurants where a bar gets in the way of me and my dining table.

Chinese people are busy people. No one would think of having a diversionary cup of tea as a pre-cursor to having a meal. Let’s do everything together! Why do you think we felt a connection to the title of that celebrated film Everything, Everywhere, All At Once?

But a good hostess should think of her guests. It’s time to plan beyond the candle and fluffy hand towels in the guest bathroom.

The first step is to make some spiced nuts for our guests to snack on whilst waiting for a drink, for dinner or for the other guests to arrive. For years I have made our maple spiced mixed nuts to give away as gifts, but I recently thought to try a new recipe from the Falastin Cookbook (see below) where it is called sweet and spicy seeds and nuts.

It is a very easy recipe and I have now made it a few times, to eat at home and to give away. The recipe below makes a double batch (the book’s recipe is for 180 g of cashews) but I once doubled this and made a whole 720 g batch. This was consumed / given away within the week.



For the Nuts:

30 g light soft brown sugar

3 teaspoons flaked sea salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons mild curry powder

½ teaspoon ground turmeric (I omitted this)

1 teaspoon Aleppo chilli flakes (or ½ teaspoon regular chilli flakes)

360 g raw unsalted cashews

40 g sunflower seeds

40 g pumpkin seeds


How to Make:

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan. Line a baking tray with greaseproof/ baking paper.

Weigh out the cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Place together in a bowl and set aside.

Place the sugar, salt, oil, curry powder, turmeric (I omitted this) and chilli flakes into a saucepan, along with 3 tablespoons of water.

Bring the mixture to a medium heat, stirring often, then add the nuts and seeds.

Continue to stir for another 2 – 3 minutes, or until the nuts and seeds are coated in a sticky glaze.

Transfer to the lined baking tray. Spread the nuts out so that they bake evenly.

Bake for 14 – 16 minutes, until golden and crunchy. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely, then transfer to a small bowl to serve. Store in a bottle if using later, or if you are giving it away.




* Falastin: A Cookbook, by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, published by Ebury Press, ISBN‎ 978-1785038723. The recipe for sweet and spicy seeds and nuts is on page 46.