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Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)

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These Spicy Roasted Cashew Nuts aka Masala Kaju are a quick and straightforward snack to throw together. Raw cashews are mixed with some powdered spices such as black pepper and chili and roasted to crunchy perfection. 

a hand dropping kaju over masala kaju (spicy roasted cashew nuts) bowl

Spicy Roasted Cashew Nuts (Masala Kaju) make an indulgent wholesome snack for any time when paired with  masala chai or hot cappuccino or even cool drinks.  

This easy to make Spicy Roasted Masala Kaju can be made in under 15 minutes.

Who doesn’t crave a roasted snack along with some evening tea? These roasted cashews are crunchy, spicy, salty, and super addictive — ideal evening or afternoon snacks.

This Masala Kaju is roasted in an air-fryer but tastes exactly like deep-fried Masala Kaju — no compromise in the taste. It has everything to satisfy those perfect snack cravings.

I made them spicy but they can also be made sweet, savory, or herby, or choose the combination of your favorite flavors.

This masala kaju has a long shelf life and stays fresh for up to 15 days. So just make a large batch and relish the burst of flavors for many days to come. 

This recipe page includes a simple step by step photo guide and video recipe on how to roast spiced cashews. 

This spicy roasted cashew (masala kaju) is suitable for people who are following plant based, gluten-free, paleo, low carb diets. It can also be made vegan. 

In a matter of minutes, your perfectly roasted cashews are ready to devour. 

Just make them once, and these spicy roasted cashew nuts will become your friend’s and family’s favorite. 

So  are you ready to try out this easy peasy recipe and give your loved ones a surprise treat this weekend?

What is Masala Kaju?

Masala Kaju is a popular Indian snack that is available at almost all festivals and North Indian weddings.

This hard to resist super addictive Masala Kaju is a North Indian style roasted cashew recipe, prepared using ingredients like raw cashews, ghee/oil, salt, black pepper powder, chaat masala powder, and red chili powder.

They are so delicious, you can’t stop eating them. And knowing the fact that they are non-fried would make you crave for more. So keep a note of how much you are eating. What I generally do is that I portion them and store them in different jars to devour as afternoon snacks. That way I can make sure how much I put out at one time.

This masala kaju recipe page has 3 healthy versions of roasted cashews; air fried, baked and microwaved versions of spiced cashews you get from the store. 

This recipe fits well in tasty snacks in the 15 minutes category.

On this page, you will find these roasted cashew nuts recipes:

  • How to roast cashews in an air fryer?

  • How to roast cashews in the oven?

  • How to roast cashews in a microwave?

What are the features of this spicy roasted Masala Kaju?

This masala Kaju:

✔︎ can be relished anytime

✔︎ is suitable for plant-based, gluten-free diets

✔︎ great for sudden hunger pangs

✔︎ is perfect for indian festivals like diwali or holi

✔︎ makes a lovely snack when you are trying to watch your weight

✔︎ is healthy and a great alternative to your regular deep-fried snacks

✔︎ is ideal to serve to guests along with drinks

✔︎ is suitable for occasions like kitty parties and potluck

✔︎ has a longer shelf life

✔︎ is tasty and has healthy fats and proteins

✔︎ is awesome for game nights or film nights

✔︎ makes an awesome edible gift for the holidays

✔︎ makes amazing after school or work snack

✔︎ can be easily customized

✔︎ can be made into the air fryer, oven, microwave, or pan

masala kaju (spicy roasted cashew nuts) served in a heart shape transparent bowl

What are the ingredients needed to make Masala Kaju?

Masala Kaju or roasted spiced cashews are made with very simple pantry ingredients. And making them is easy, peasy.

These ingredients are:

  1. Cashews

  2. Ghee/oil

  3. Seasonings (salt, pepper, chili powder, chat masla powder)

What type of cashew nuts are good for roasting?

To roast cashews or kaju, always buy premium quality raw cashews (kaju), and mix them with some spices and some fat such as ghee/butter/oil. Never buy salted and flavored cashews for roasting.

How do I roast nuts in my air fryer?

Roasting any nuts in an air fryer is a breeze. It’s super quick and easy to roast nuts in an air fryer. Unlike conventional roasting methods, it takes a little time.

Just coat your nuts with seasoning and oil/ghee in a large bowl. Stir it and it is ready to go in your air fryer.

Place seasoned nuts in an air fryer basket in a single layer and air fry. Done. Your super easy roasted nuts are ready.

How do I get the seasoning to stick to my air fried spiced cashew nuts?

It is advised to use oil, water, or any other fat to get the seasoning to stick to the nuts you want to air fry. 

How to roast cashews in an air fryer?

Roasting cashews in an air-fryer are super easy. This is how it is done.

Preheat the air-fryer to 160°C / 325°F. Add raw cashews to a bowl and mix with seasoning.

Add cashew nuts to the air fryer basket and spread them in a single layer. Roast them for 6 minutes. 

Then transfer roasted cashews in a single layer to a cool plate and let them cool down for about 7-8 minutes. They get crunchier as they cool. Your masala Kaju or Spicy Roasted Cashew Nuts are ready.

Check out the full recipe in the recipe box on this page.

How to make spiced roasted cashews?

Making spiced roasted cashews is super simple and much fun. With just 2 minutes of effort, you can get these air-fried roasted spiced cashews. Some mixing and seasoning is all you need to do. 

In a bowl mix the cashew nuts, seasoning, and the oil/ghee until the nuts are coated.

Pour the seasoned cashew nuts evenly into the air fryer basket and roast. You can also roast them in an oven, microwave, or pan to bring out their deeper, aromatic, richer, and nuttier sweet flavor.

How to dry roast cashews?

To dry roast, add raw cashews to a pan and roast them over low heat stirring frequently. Once roasted, season them with your favorite seasonings and your dry roasted cashews are ready.

Why should you roast cashews?

Roasting cashews elevates their taste, sweet flavor and aroma, and adds a little extra crunch. In my opinion, any nut is always better roasted. And roasting cashews is an effortless job. So this roasted cashews recipe can be easily put together when you are in a hurry.

It is a great protein-rich snack that makes it a wonderful afternoon snack for kids.

masala kaju (spicy roasted cashew nuts) served in a heart shape transparent bowl

Can I use Roasted Cashews for gifting?

These spicy roasted cashews (masala kaju) will make the perfect edible gift for Christmas or the Holiday. Just roast them, and cool completely. Transfer them to a mason jar. Label with homemade love gift tags. And wrap them up in pretty bags. Done.

Here are some other interesting snacks ideas that are good for munching; Spicy Barley Crackers

Moong Dal Namkeen, Namak Para, Poha Chivda, and Crunchy Crispy Chickpeas.

Can we fry the cashews instead of roasting it?

Yes, certainly you can deep fry or shallow fry cashews in a pan if you are feeling too indulgent. Heat ghee in a pan and fry them. Drain, and add seasoning to the fried cashews while they are hot. Let them cool down before storing it. 

How to store roasted cashews?

These roasted nuts stay fresh for up to 15 days at room temperature when stored in an airtight jar. So make them in bulk and enjoy them whenever you have a sudden craving for spicy chips or fried snacks. They are also great for sudden hunger strikes.

masala kaju (spicy roasted cashew nuts) served in a heart shape transparent bowl

How long roasted cashews (masala kaju) stay fresh?

These spicy roasted cashews stay fresh for up to 15 days when kept in an airtight jar/container at room temperature.

What are other flavorings I can add to roasted cashews?

There are many ways you can enjoy roasted cashews. Some other flavors of spiced roasted cashews:

Salt & Pepper Roasted Cashews:

To make salt & pepper roasted cashews, replace the seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper.

**Salted Roasted Cashews:

To make salted roasted cashews, add only some kosher or sea salt to the raw cashews. 

Lime Chilli Roasted Cashews:

Add some lime juice, chili powder, and salt to raw cashews. Give it a mix. And then roast in an air-fryer, oven, microwave or a pan.

Chilli Garlic Roasted Cashews:

In this version of roasted cashews, roast the cashews along with some grated garlic, finely chopped green chilies, and salt. Bake them in an oven or roast in an air fryer.

Honey roasted cashews:

Mix raw cashews with cayenne pepper/paprika, ground cinnamon, and salt. Stir well. Pour heated honey and stir again. Microwave, roast, or bake. 

overhead shot of masala kaju (spicy roasted cashew nuts) served in a heart shape transparent bowl

What are the important tips & tricks to make the best roasted spiced cashews or masala kaju? 

  1. To make this masala kaju at home, make sure you buy premium quality, unsalted and unroasted cashews for this recipe to taste best.

  2. If you don’t want the masala seasoning, then you can go with the most basic flavoring which is salt. Everyone likes salted roasted nuts. 

  3. For savory spicy roasted cashews, you can use the simple seasoning made with red chili powder, salt, pepper, and chaat masala powder. Other spices you can use in this roasted cashew recipe are chili, black/white pepper, paprika, cinnamon, garlic, chili, curry powder, ground cumin, or allspice. You can also add Italian seasoning to these roasted cashew nuts. Feel free to make your favorite combination with the above spices. 

  4. You can also add a herby touch to these roasted cashews by adding herbs like cilantro, mint, curry leaves, parsley, rosemary, or thyme. 

  5. When using oil, make sure you use unflavoured oil because flavored oil might clash with the natural oil cashew nuts already have.

  6. If making them for gifting, then make sure to double or triple the quantity of cashews. 

  7. With this recipe, you can roast both whole cashews and cashew halves.

  8. The cashews will come out soft from the air-fryer or the oven, but will firm up as they cool down.

  9. You can also roast these nuts on the stovetop on a skillet.

a hand holding masala kaju (spicy roasted cashew nuts) served in a heart shape transparent bowl

Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe) [Recipe]

These Spicy Roasted Cashew Nuts aka Masala Kaju are a quick and straightforward snack to throw together. Ideal evening or afternoon snack.
★★★★✰
(Rating: 4.8 from 5 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
15 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Snack Indian 8
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
143 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

For Masala Kaju (Spicy Roasted Cashew Nuts):
  • 2 cups (300 grams)cashew nuts, whole
  • 2 tablespoons melted ghee/oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (you can also use smoked paprika or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chaat masala powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

How to make Masala Kaju (Spicy Roasted Cashew Nuts) in an Air Fryer:
  1. Preheat air fryer air-fryer to 160°C / 325°F.
    Image of the cooking step-1-1 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  2. In a mixing bowl, add raw cashews, ghee/oil, red chili powder, black pepper, chaat masala powder, and salt.
    Image of the cooking step-1-2 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  3. Mix well to coat.
    Image of the cooking step-1-3 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  4. Place seasoned cashew nuts in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
    Image of the cooking step-1-4 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  5. Air fry for 6 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.
    Image of the cooking step-1-5 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  6. Remove the cashew nuts from the basket and transfer them onto a cool plate. Let them cool for 10 minutes.
    Image of the cooking step-1-6 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  7. Store spicy roasted cashews/masala kaju in an airtight container and enjoy them for up to 2 weeks.
    Image of the cooking step-1-7 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
How to make Spicy Roasted Cashew Nuts in the oven:
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C / 325°F. Line a baking/roasting tray with parchment paper or foil paper for easy cleanup.
    Image of the cooking step-2-1 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  2. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl.
    Image of the cooking step-2-2 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  3. Toss well to coat.
    Image of the cooking step-2-3 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  4. Transfer seasoned cashews to the prepare baking tray and spread them out in a single layer.
    Image of the cooking step-2-4 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  5. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir in every 5 minutes to prevent them from burning. This way you will get evenly roasted cashew nuts.
    Image of the cooking step-2-5 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  6. Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Once cooled store them in an airtight container and use it for up to 2 weeks.
    Image of the cooking step-2-6 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
How to roast cashews in a microwave:
  1. Add cashews, ghee/oil, and spices to a mixing bowl.
    Image of the cooking step-3-1 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  2. Mix well to combine.
    Image of the cooking step-3-2 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  3. Transfer them to a microwave-safe container and arrange them in a single layer.
    Image of the cooking step-3-3 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  4. Microwave them for 3 minutes. Take them out, stir, and microwave for 2 more minutes.
    Image of the cooking step-3-4 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  5. Take it out from the microwave and let them cool completely before storing.
    Image of the cooking step-3-5 for Masala Kaju (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)

WATCH VIDEO:


NOTES:

  1. Oven temperatures may vary, so keep an eye on your cashews while baking in the oven.
  2. To make this masala kaju at home, make sure you buy premium quality, unsalted and unroasted cashews for this recipe to taste best.
  3. If you don’t want the masala seasoning, then you can go with the most basic flavoring which is salt. Everyone likes salted roasted nuts.
  4. If making them for gifting, then make sure to double or triple the quantity of cashews.

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