Food & Drink

Serrano Boiled Peanuts

A Southern roadside classic with Indian flair

photo: Evan Sung

“When it comes to boiled peanuts, it doesn’t matter which of my two Souths I look to for recipes because in either place they are consumed with passionate zeal. The only difference lies in the name: in India, peanuts are called groundnuts. This legume is an essential crop in India and is grown extensively as an oil crop. But, like in the US, peanuts are boiled, roasted, ground, and stir-fried. Any raw peanut is good for boiling. Not all peanuts sold in grocery stores are distinguished by variety. Many boiled peanut connoisseurs, however, seek out the Valencia variety for its sweet taste and the Virginia variety for its large kernel size.

Nothing beats a peanut for easy access to protein, iron, and energy. Whether you are watching football, baseball, international soccer, or cricket on the television, these lip-searing boiled peanuts served with a cool beverage are game-day fan favorites.” —Chef Asha Gomez


    • 1 pound fresh raw peanuts in shell

    • 1/3 cup kosher salt

    • 1 teaspoon turmeric

    • 4 serrano chiles, split, with seeds


  1. Rinse the peanuts several times. Combine the peanuts, 1 gallon water, salt, turmeric, and chiles in a 2-gallon stockpot and cover with a lid. Bring the peanuts to a boil over medium heat. Simmer the peanuts for 1½ hours or until tender. If needed, cook, covered for an additional 15 minutes, adding water to cover, if needed.

Reprinted with permission from My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen © 2016 by Asha Gomez with Martha Hall Foose, Running Press.