Indian Cooking with Peanuts (Moongphali): Things to Know

Though peanut has ‘nut’ in its name, it is a legume. Peanuts grow in pods, just like lentils, soybeans, and other legumes. Peanuts are edible.

It infuses both flavor and texture in many Indian cuisines. In the next section, I will share some of the most amazing recipes that make good use of peanuts.

What is Peanut (Moongphali)?

Indian Cooking with Peanuts

Peanut or Moongphali is a legume that grows underground, also known as groundnut or goober. It is a popular food crop that is widely grown in warm and tropical regions around the world.

Peanuts are a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, as well as several vitamins and minerals.

They can be consumed in various forms, including roasted, boiled, or used as an ingredient in many dishes, such as peanut butter, sauces, curries and desserts.

Uses of Peanuts in Indian Cuisines

Peanuts are consumed in different ways. It can be eaten plain, tossed with spices, seasoned with salt, and even boiled.


The first recipe that comes to mind is peanut chaat. It is a favorite for many.

Murmura, chopped onions and tomatoes, coriander leaves, green chilies, and roasted peanuts are lovingly tossed in a cone-shaped paper container, with lemon juice infusing a great zing in the chaat.

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It is one of the favorite street foods in India.


Peanut is also used as a tempering agent in some of the most popular Maharashtrian breakfast dishes such as kandha poha and up.

Roasted peanuts make chivda extremely appealing and mouth-watering.

Dal, Curries, and Many More

Gujarati cuisines, from dal to dabeli, make good use of peanuts. In Maharashtra, peanuts and sabudana make a delicious bond to add excitement to many dishes, from breakfast to the main course.

Peanuts’ crunchiness compliments the soft, creamy, and chewy texture of sago. The two whip up a pleasant appeal in many popular cuisines, from vada to khichri.

Peanuts lend a creamy, crunchy twist to some famous main course delights like Punjabi bharwan and Baghara tomato. It is also used in farali pattice and upvaas thalipeeth.

South Indians love peanuts and use them in many of their signature dishes. Peanut makes South Indian sabzis more appetizing. Loaded with protein, peanut dishes are good for your health.

Peanut is also used in many rice dishes. South Indian tomato rice is a flavourful delight blessed with the goodness of peanuts. Hyderabadi mirchi ki salon is another popular delicacy that makes interesting use of peanuts.


Sukha bhel and besan masala groundnuts are popular snacks. Peanuts take their yumminess a few notches up!

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Peanuts are also used in sweet dishes. Peanut chikki is the most popular. The crunchiness of peanuts pampered with the sweetness of jaggery is loved by all ages.

Peanuts offer an exciting mix of texture and flavor. Be it a snack, sweet or main course, it can bless any dish with an interesting twist.

How Does Peanut Taste?

Peanuts have a distinct nutty and slightly sweet flavor. The taste of peanuts can vary depending on how they are prepared, such as roasted, boiled, or fried.

Roasted peanuts have a more intense nutty flavor and a crispy texture, while boiled or fried peanuts have a softer texture and a milder flavor.

Peanuts can also have a slight earthy or grassy taste, especially if they are not properly roasted or if they are stale.

Overall, peanuts have a delicious and versatile taste that can be enjoyed in many different forms and cuisines.

What is the Best Way to Eat Peanuts?

The best way to eat peanuts depends on personal preference. Peanuts can be eaten raw or roasted, and they can be eaten as a snack or added to recipes.

Roasting peanuts can enhance their flavor and provide a crunchy texture.

Some popular ways to eat peanuts include adding them to trail mix, using them as a topping for salads or oatmeal, making peanut butter, or incorporating them into savory dishes like stir-fries or curries.

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Ultimately, the best way to eat peanuts is whichever way you enjoy them the most.

Questions & Answers:

Can Peanuts Be Used for Cooking?

Yes, peanuts are cooked when you are making snacks like samosa, dosa, or chop, and other than that it is used as a stuffy. You can also use it to make chats and other sweet desserts.

Do You Need to Wash Raw Peanuts Before Roasting?

Yes of course excess dirt can be removed only by washing the peanuts. Then it is properly roasted. But sometimes when it is roasted in the sand then it does not need to be washed.

What is Peanut Called in Different Languages?

Peanut is known as “Bandam” in Bengali and “Moongphali” in Hindi.


Peanuts are a type of legume that are a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

They can be consumed in various forms and are widely used in Indian cuisine, from snacks to main courses and sweets.

The taste of peanuts is nutty and slightly sweet, and they can be enjoyed raw or roasted and added to various recipes.

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