Masala Peanuts and the Sonoma Rosé


San Francisco is already starting to feel cooler than the last few weeks. It always makes me sad when summer is ending. Hailing from the city of Madras (aka Chennai) in South India, I need sun to exist!

I had to maximize on snacks that remind me of good old hot, summer days in Chennai (which is every day by the way!). And what better way to do that than with spicy, crunchy masala peanuts?

One of these days this week, I got back home from work and jumped in to my Masala peanuts mission right away. The recipe for this dish is not that hard at all, yet the results - so rewarding!

I dry roasted one cup of peanuts, made the batter with the spices, coated the peanuts with the batter and deep fried them. All done in 20 minutes! (The curry leaves fried separately and sprinkled on top is to die for!)


The WINE paired with Masala Kadalai

There is a particular wine I have been eyeing all summer and kept waiting for the right occasion to purchase it. And with this dish, it seemed like that moment had arrived. It is the 2013  Heintz Rosé of Pinot Noir. I have always known this as a very sought after wine from a single vineyard wine maker from the Sonoma county. In my mind, it was a no-brainer how well this chilled rosé would pair with the spice coated crunchy peanuts. Also, pairing a wine from an acclaimed winemaker so close to home with an Indian street food so close to my heart was just the right thing to do!

Tasting notes

I grabbed a handful of the masala peanuts and shoved it in my mouth. Then washed it down with the Rosé. The first impression was, how clean the wine felt on the nose and palette.

The bone dryness along with crispy acidity was just perfect to follow the chilli powder and cumin coating the peanuts. Then there were light floral aromas, definitely strawberries and raspberries dominated. 

Overall very very smooth and refreshing with the spicy, crunchy peanuts.


The verdict

For me, Marina beach in Chennai inevitably comes to mind when I say or even think about peanuts. They are sold everywhere - literally. However, the peanuts' recipe sold on the beaches of Chennai are even more simple than this. The vendors with steaming carts/baskets of peanuts would just sit down and hand you a paper cone filled with these goodies. Walking down the beach, staring at the several statues lined up while munching these peanuts used to be so blissful!

What would life be without these simple pleasures? And if I added a glass of Rosé to sip on along with these peanuts, how could life ever suck? 'Whistle podu' to simple pleasures! :)