Congress Kadalekai (Roasted Spiced Peanuts)

Congress Kadalekai- Congress is a political party in India and kadalekai is peanuts in kannada, the language spoken in the state of Karnataka. How did this dish get the name. There are different stories, one being, that this was named after the congress party split in 1969 as the peanuts used here are always split and not whole. You can read more here: bangalore/#:~:text=Legend%20has%20it%20that%20since,split%20to%20make%20this%20snack

The peanuts are relished by all, whatever the party affiliation of the person. This is healthy and tastes so good. In Bangalore, you can buy this in every Iyengar bakery and now even in stores. Iyengar Bakeries are small bakeries typically selling fresh white or milk bread, rolls, stuffed potato buns, vegetable puffs, cakes and snacks. They are cheap and affordable. When I was in India, I would but this and make masala peanuts as an appetizer when I had guests. It is easy to make. Now, I make the congress peanuts at home and sending a batch with my son to college to snack.

Congress peanuts goes really well with coffee, tea or a cold glass of beer. In a lot of pubs, you will find masala congress peanuts. To the congress peanuts, add some chopped onions, grated carrots, chopped tomatoes, lemon juice and cilantro and you have bar food. After you have this, you will wish every pub serves this instead of the plain peanuts.

Recently my colleague made this and she and her family and friends loved it. Give it a try, super easy to make.


  • 2 cup skinless peanuts (raw or roasted)
  • 3- 4 tsp vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1-2 pinches (1/4 tsp) asafoetida
  • 20-30 curry leaves about 2 sprigs, washed and dried
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2- 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (Kashmiri chilli powder is less spicy than the regular chilli powder and it imparts a red colour. You can use regular chilli powder too. Add according to how spicy you would like)
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • salt to taste (about 1 tsp depending if peanuts are salted or not)
  • a pinch sugar


  • Heat a heavy bottom pan
  • If using raw peanuts, add to pan and roast. Be careful not to burn. Set aside on a plate. If peanuts have skin, rub them against your palm to remove skin and seperate skin and nut. (I used roasted peanuts and skipped this step)
  • Place pan on stove and add oil.
  • When oil is hot, reduce flame to medium heat and add asafoetida and curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds
  • Add spices and fry for a minute on low heat. Do not burn
  • Add peanuts and mix well
  • Take off heat and let cool before you serve
  • Store in airtight container

To make Peanut Masala: To 1 cup congress peanuts, add 3 tbsp chopped onions, 3 tbsp chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp grated carrots, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, a tsp or two of lime/lemon juice, salt to taste and mix. If you want it even more spicy, add 1 chopped serrano chilli pepper or some more chilli powder and mix. Serve with coffee, tea, beer or as a salad.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Mouth-watering!!!🤭🤭


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