A Carnival of Nuts!

Much like any other carnival across the globe, the Kadelakai Parishe (Peanut carnival) has had its fair share of love stories. Listening to 70s and 80s folk reminisce the good ol’ days as a smile appears on the corner of their lips is pretty sweet actually. Young men in their bell-bottom pants and oiled wavy hair cropped to one side, popping toasted peanuts with the utmost swagger while beautiful women decked in their favorite jewelry shyly strut their way, secretly eyeing each other and then, follows a sweet love story- remember they were no cell phones, so it was only harder to talk or to even get some attention!  Their stories are just the best!

The humble peanut has actually played cupid in so many happy people’s lives, yeah?

Well, it makes me happy in a completely different way. The aromas of roasting peanuts, the husks sliding off, scattered everywhere- the sights of that mess- slowly grinding peanuts, that smell of freshly ground peanut butter.. mmm..

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Incorporating the peanut butter that I made with the produce I got from the Parishe, I came up with this creamy peanut butter caramel custard that has the consistency of a custard made with something creamy like mascarpone, but its nutty and delicious!

dsc_3631And the raw peanuts are great for combining with fruits. I made a compote with strawberries and bananas, yum! But, I guess they would be great with some caramel sauce as well? May be over ice cream and fruits?

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The combination is fantastic, and so easy to make!

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The picture doesn’t relate the way it usually does, but I just wanted to show what came out of the good produce I got!

Parishe photo credits to Sonu Venugopal. 

To make the caramel custard :

  • 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream

Start by making the caramel- in a heavy saucepan, cook the 1/4 cup of sugar till it is molten and golden in color. Transfer the prepared caramel into 2-3 ramekins (depends on the size) and very carefully swirl the ramekin to coat the bottom evenly. Set aside.

Whisk remaining sugar and egg yolks till creamy and add in the peanut butter and whisk till completely incorporated. Add milk and cream and whisk till you get a smooth creamy mixture. Transfer the cream mixture to the prepared ramekins and tap or pop the bubble with a pin.

The custard can be cooked in a bain marie in an oven, or can be cooked be in a large dutch oven-like pot with a plate and hot water in the bottom. Just make sure that the water doesn’t enter the ramekin. If using an oven, cover the bain marie tray with a foil and bake for 20 minutes or till the cream set to the touch but still jiggles (time depends on the size of the ramekin) at 180 C. If using the pot method, 15-20 mins on medium high flame should do.

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