Saturday, May 17, 2008

Caramelized spicy sunflower seeds (or how to upgrade bird's food)

Why do I have bird's food in my pantry if i don't own a bird? The things I find when I go up a kitchen stool to reach that last can of tuna!... Well it wasn't really bird's food, but kind of... Sunflower seeds... I must have bought that to put on homemade bread, but never got around to use it... I do caramelized spicy peanuts A LOT! Everybody loves them and they fit in well in every occasion. So today after my find in the pantry I decided to use the same method on this little bird's food-like-things. It worked perfect! This is very easy so I hope you give them a try!

  • 350 gr (12.5 oz) sunflower seeds (or toasted peanuts or any other nut)
  • 150 gr (5.4 oz) sugar
  • 150 ml water

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder (or more if you like it hot)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

In a pan mix the sugar and water just so the sugar can start dissolving and take it to the stove without mixing anymore. Meanwhile mix all the spices and salt and set aside. Clear a space on a table to later mix in the spices onto the seeds and leave there a wooden spoon or spatula.

When the sirup starts to boil leave it for 1 minute or so and dump all the seeds. It will seam at this time you have a lot of liquid but don't worry, mix with energy and in a while you'll start to see the sugar turning white and sandy. That's normal, carry on mixing and that sandy sugar will start to transform into caramel. Don't stop mixing, paying extra attencion to the sides of the pan so you don't get caramel burning there. Mix, mix, mix... You'll soon have a nice even caramel covered seeds (hopefully) and now you have to act fast: Dump the seeds on the table and sprinkle with the spicy powder. With the spoon you used to mix and the one you had previosly left there start moving the seeds with bouth hands trying to mix in the spices evenly.

When you're happy spread them as spread out as you can (don't worry much because they'll separate fine after cooling) and leave it to cool. When cold try not to eat them in one go and store in closed jars.

I've been eating them just like that and as a topping for ice-cream. But I also think they'll be great to sprinkle over salads or some mozzarella... And also of course if you have a gourmet bird in your house!


Lauren @ Parsnips Aplenty said...

This looks great! Street stands here in Bulgaria often sell candied sunflower seeds, right next to the candied peanuts. It's nice to see this taken to the next level!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I lived last year with people from Bulgaria and remember they ate really nice things. Didn't knoe about the seeds though...

Vicki said...

I just made these, and they're delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

Aran said...

this sounds great! Great snack!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Thanks Aran!