Persian-spiced seeds and nuts

Persian-spiced seeds and nuts

1 kg
Mark Roper

Iranians are big nibblers of all kinds of nuts and seeds – both fresh and roasted, singly and in mixtures. Most households will have a tub to offer to guests or for day-long snacking. This particular spice mix is wonderfully addictive, so it’s worth making a reasonable batch. If you can resist scoffing them down too quickly, the nuts store well for several weeks in an airtight container.

For the sake of freshness, it’s a good idea to purchase nuts and seeds from a specialist nut store or any store with a high turnover. Middle Eastern food stores do a brisk trade in nuts and seeds, and would be a good bet.


Quantity Ingredient
400g can chickpeas
or 250g cooked chickpeas
3 tablespoons olive oil
250g unsalted peanuts
250g unsalted cashew nuts
250g blanched almonds
200g unsalted shelled pistachios
100g sunflower seeds
100g hulled pumpkin seeds

Spice mix

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sea salt, or to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. To make the spice mix, toss all the spices in a bowl. If using canned chickpeas, rinse them thoroughly, then drain. Spread the chickpeas out on the baking tray and roast for 10 minutes, shaking the tray from time to time so they colour evenly.
  3. Tip the chickpeas into another bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the oil and ¼ teaspoon of the spice mix. Toss to coat evenly, then tip the chickpeas back onto the baking tray and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Shake every now and then. Remove from the oven and tip back into the bowl to cool.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC. Mix the peanuts, cashews, almonds and pistachios in another large bowl. Add the remaining oil and spice mix and toss well so the nuts are evenly coated. Transfer to the baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, shaking the tray from time to time so the nuts colour evenly. Add the seeds to the tray and stir them in thoroughly, then roast for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. When the chickpeas, nuts and seeds are cold, mix them together thoroughly. Serve straight away or store in an airtight container.
Middle Eastern
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