I am a big snacker. It might have something to do with going to boarding school where good food was scarce and I was often starving (even though pictures of my pudgy self will have you believe otherwise). I then moved to Philadelphia for college and went on to pack Freshmen 15 in like two weeks because there was no portion control or a bell to signify that meal time was over. Soon I was eating 5 brownies in a sitting after polishing off slices of pepperoni pizza, only to come back to my dorm room to find my super nice new friends had deposited even more brownies on the desk because of my sweet tooth. It was of little surprise that my father didn’t recognise me at the Calcutta airport a few months later when I went back for my brother’s wedding. His exact words were and I quote, “ I couldn’t spot you anywhere and this round ball kept waving at me and then I realised it was you. Just fatter. “ And my poor mother had to bully tailors into altering all my outfits two days before the functions because I had gotten so big that none of my expensive lehengas and salwar kameez would fit.
Its been a few years since the winter of 2003 and I am happy to report that i have got eating under control. Well, almost. I still have an inner monologue every single time I sit down for a meal, which goes something like this- “this is so good, i am going to take two more helpings, just stop fucking eating, you know there will still be food at dinner” or “there is more chicken in the fridge and seriously if you eat another bite, you will get super gassy” or “like, seriously, stop eating, everyone’s waiting at the table for you to finish”. Anyways, apart from the internal battle that wages on at every meal, I have tricked myself into eating small portions by eating often. And these nuts are one of my favourite things. Salty, spicy, slightly sweet and plenty of crunch. They are fantastic paired with a vodka tonic (my drink of choice) but don’t need a cocktail to make them seriously addictive.
Cocktail nut mix
Almonds 2 cups
Cashew 2 cups
Pumpkin seeds 1/3 cup
Sunflower seeds 1/3 cup
Nigella seeds 1/4 cup
Brown sugar 1/4 cup
Salt 14 gm
Red chilli powder 5 gm
Black pepper powder 5 gm
Rosemary 10 gm
Honey 1/2 cup
Olive oil 1/4 cup
Preheat the oven to 165 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
Combine nuts, seeds, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl.
Add chopped rosemary and stir thoroughly.
Add oil and honey and stir till the nut mixture is coated evenly.
Spread nut mixture on the baking sheet. Baker for 20 minutes or until the nuts turn golden brown.
Remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature.
Store it in airtight container.