I got to know about peanut butter as a food item only after meeting Kishore! He loves the stuff. In the early years of our marriage, I’d see bottles of peanut butter coming his way from the family: his Mom would make it by mixing Amul butter with crushed peanuts and cousins travelling to Musoorie would get him bottles of Sunrise peanut butter. Sisters would gift him bottles of Skippy. At some point, I figured that peanut butter needn’t have any butter, and any oil used for it also can be minimal. I suppose it’s called butter because it spreads like butter. Since then, I’ve made peanut butter at home following this simple process and the outcome is a healthy spread for toasts where the toasted flavor of peanuts or the creaminess of the spread can be easily varied.
The peanuts themselves should be shelled, skinned and unsalted, and simply bought that way. I prefer to use plain peanuts sold in small packets by Keralite or Goan shops as they are browner than other brands. In desperation though, I’ve also used Haldiram’s plain salted peanuts and simply rinsed them under running water to remove their salt, toasted them in the microwave to crispness and then followed the rest of the process.
Plain shelled and skinned peanuts from a packet – 200 gms
Olive oil – 2-3 teaspoons
Honey – 1 tablespoon (optional)
The simple process:
Microwave peanuts to crispness (about 2-3 minutes). Toast just a handful out of them for another minute or two for that roasted taste and a browner look. When in a hurry, I brown this handful in a pan over fire.
Upon cooling, grind peanuts in a mixie grinder to the preferred consistency – powdery if the butter should be smooth and crunchy for the Snicker-chocolate kind of crunch.
Once the peanuts have reached the right level of grind, they would be somewhat moist with their natural oil.
Drizzle olive oil into the grinder for a paste-like consistency and run the grinder for a couple more seconds.
Add honey if you’d like the butter to be inherently sweet. I don’t add any sweetener unless making it only for Kabir’s use as a spread of jam or some sugar sprinkled on the toast can bring the needed sweetness.
Remove it into a wide mouth bottle and finish it within 2 weeks.
Note: Almond or cashew butter can be made the same way.