Aunty Bessy’s Peanut Curry

HEY remember when this used to be a food blog? I know, I also almost forgot too ;). A recipe post at last!! Get excited.

Sunday was Grandpa’s 81st birthday. He actually turned 82, but his parents had lied on his birth certificate and made him one year younger, in case he failed school or something. Can you believe that? Haha.

Asha, our kindhearted cook, had suddenly taken the week off to go visit her family in the village. This was a mixed blessing. She’s like a whirlwind in the kitchen. On the one hand, we love her tons and my grandparents could not do without her. BUT, I did enjoy a week of kitchen chores, like chopping tomatoes, picking through the dhaniya coriander and methi fenugreek, making chapattis. So much fun. I could pass on the doing-my-own-dishes part though :). Ah, i’ve become such a princess here…

So back to Grandpa. He is such an amazing fellow. A lieutenant-general in the Indian army, full of stories, really fit, the best laugher I’ve ever heard, and absolutely selfless. I can’t even count how many people he has helped with a genuine heart. Everyone says I look a bit like him, and he is actually the one who first got me into yoga. We would do suryanamaskars in the morning and he would show me different poses from this little yellow yoga book, when I was around 6 or 7 years old.

These types of people are really really really hard to shop for.

Note to self, people who are hard to shop for on birthdays are people who have everything. Every-thing could mean literally, every item and piece of material in this world. Every-thing could also mean absolute contentment in this life. For Grandpa, I am referring to the latter.

So I wrote him a birthday poem (now Granny wants one too) and decided to make one of his favorite dishes, Peanut Curry!!

Peanut curry in pajamas. Something was funny…

My Aunty Bessy, Grandpa’s sister who lives in Connecticut, makes the best peanut curry ever. We secretly plotted via Facetime how to make the dish. Then with some good advice over the phone from Nani and my Granny as the conductor in the kitchen, the dish was made! With the help of my three loving Grandmas :).

Peanut curry is so special. Not only is it delicious, but it’s one of those dishes you only make once in a while. It’s so good that you drown your rice with it. Yum.

Recipe: Aunty Bessy’s Peanut Curry


  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, without skin
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
  • 1/4 inch chunk of ginger, chopped or grated
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green chili
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. haldi turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander leaves


  1. Get your peanuts roasted. If you are in the US, you can conveniently buy already roasted peanuts. If you are in India, get roasting! My Nani shared her secret on how to perfectly roast raw peanuts: lay them on a plate and put them in the microwave for 1 minute intervals. After each minute, move the peanuts from the center to the outside and vice versa. When the peanuts are falling out of their skin easily, they are ready. Once cooled, rub the peanuts in between your hands to remove their skin. Gently blow the skins off.
  2. Grind peanuts with water and make paste. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, brown onion in oil. After 1-2 minutes, add ginger and garlic. Keep scraping the sides of your bowl as your mixture begins to brown and add a bit of water or oil if it is sticking.
  4. When your onions, ginger, and garlic are deeply browned, add tomatoes, chili and haldi. Cook on low heat until the tomatoes are nice and mushy and the oil begins to separate.
  5. Add peanut paste/batter as well as some water to form a curry-like consistency. Bring to a boil and simmer until thick.
  6. Garnish with lots of fresh coriander.

Great success. So good we kept it for left-overs. (Which is unheard of in India – you give the leftovers to your maids and you eat fresh food every day).

I also made a carrot cake in our microwave convection oven to celebrate with. These ovens are just unreliable and the center on my cake just would not cook! What to do…I pulled a My Big Fat Greek Wedding move, and took out the center. I put the candles there instead :). It was yummy. Yay birthdays.


Much love,
More later,


P.S. Don’t forget to check out Kunal’s latest Burning Man invention – turning a jet engine into a musical instrument. He needs as much support as possible, so please help and spread the word! <3

Leave a Reply