To those of you who are familiar with cashew nuts, but don’t have a clue what urfa biber is, don’t worry. I was one of these people until very recently. My cousin gave me a small box of the stuff this Monday and I’m already hooked. Urfa biber, or isot pepper as it’s sometimes also called, is a dried Turkish chili pepper from the Urfa region of Turkey. Unlike most dried chili flakes, urfa biber flakes are sweet, smoky and not terribly spicy at all. Apparently, the peppers are sun-dried during the day and wrapped up tightly at night to acquire a dark, almost black, colour and an aroma that most closely resembles my idea of what a pleasantly spicy raisin would taste like, if there was such a thing. I’m pretty sure it goes fabulously with vegetables, cheese, meat and fish and I somehow find it hard to believe that no one has turned this into an official potato crisp flavour yet. But for now I’ve kept things simple by sprinkling the stuff over a batch of pan-roasted cashew nuts.
Roasting your own cashews (or any other nuts for that matter) takes almost no time at all -and I mean that literally, so keep your eye on the pan! – and it’s a sure-fire way to avoid buying nuts that have been roasted in palm oil.
organic unroasted white cashew nuts
a little salt
a little olive oil
- Heat a flat prying pan on medium to high heat until hot.
- Add a little olive oil, toss the cashews around in it and roast until golden brown.
- Transfer them to a bowl and sprinkle with urfa biber and a little sea salt (my urfa biber flakes already have some salt added to them).
- When the cashews have cooled down, transfer them to a glass jar or other lidded container and nibble away!
Tip: I only used a tiny amount of olive oil, which meant the seasoning didn’t stick very well and tends to sink to the bottom of the jar. More oil obviously means the urfa biber will do a much better job of clinging to the cashews, but too much will mean shiny lips and greasy fingers. Oh, the choices we face in life.