Cooking 101 – Dry Roasting Ground-nuts over stove

009 - Dry Roasting Groundnuts edited re-sized

Dry roasted ground-nuts (without skin) is an integral ingredient in the different cuisines of South East Asia. All these nations use ground ones liberally in their dishes. Satay sauce, a favourite accompaniment with grilled sticks of seasoned chicken, beef and pork slices is internationally known. Myanmese, Thais and Vietnamese use different forms of these dry roasted ground nuts as a topping or as a filling in their cuisine.  Chinese also use it for several desserts like a sweet peanut cream called Far Sang Wu.

In the west, peanut butter is the infamous spread on bread or toast – with or without jelly (jam). How about peanut cookies, peanut brittle, peanut health bars, peanut brownies, peanut fudge……and the list goes on!

A note of caution. Are any of your family members or  guests allergic to peanuts and ground-nuts? Click below to read for further information

If you are short on time, you might be able to find packets of ready roasted and ground or chopped ones on sale in the supermarket. Those of my readers who live outside of Asia may find these at Asian groceries.

In an emergency, use chunky peanut butter as a substitute when you are making a sauce which requires peanuts as one of the ingredients.

Here’s how to dry roast groundnuts!

STEP 1. Heat an un-greased fry pan/wok over medium heat for short while. Place all the raw ground-nuts into the heated pan. Continue to stir fry these ground-nuts over medium heat. Lower the heat once the nuts have expanded slightly.

If the skin has charred slightly and some have begun to split, you must watch carefully. These slightly charred ground-nuts continue to cook under their own heat even after you have removed them from the stove. Hence, you should switch off the heat source once they reach the stage as shown in the photo above.

HINT: During this dry roasting process it is likely that once in a while, you will need to adjust the heat level applied to the saucepan.

Photo above shows the contrast in colour and size between dry roasted groundnuts (left side) and  raw ground-nuts (right side). You can continue to dry roast those groundnuts on the right a little longer.

STEP 2. Once the dry roasted ground-nuts have cooled enough for you to handle them, proceed to remove the skin. There are 2 ways to do this. Either :-

(a) if you had roasted just a handful, hold a bunch in the palm of  your hands. Squeeze and rub them so that the slightly charred skin leaves the nut.

(b) if you have roasted a fair amount of groundnuts, this is a better choice. Get hold of a tea towel, pour the roasted groundnuts into the centre and gather all the ends of the towel together. Twist to close tightly. Rub the groundnuts in the towel hard with the free hand. Do this several times.


(a) Winnowing method. Hold both sides of the large platter and flip them upwards into the air and catch them into the platter to remove to bits of skin. Continue rubbing them in the palms of your hands to release the bits of skin and to flip and catch them. Repeat till all the skin has been removed.

(b) If you had chosen to use the tea towel method, open the tea towel and pick out the groundnuts which have been de-skinned and continue to close and twist the tea towel and rub the groundnuts till all the skin have been removed.

Sharing my experience.

The winnowing method was how my grandmother and cook in my father’s household dry roasted groundnuts for their dishes. I have the tea towel method more effective (more friction created through the tea towel) and less messy ( the charred skin stays in the tea towel).


  1. Thai Mango Salad. Click here.
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