Spiced Cashews

Pierre Thiam

Senegal, Brooklyn, NY

"I always enjoyed snacking on roasted cashew nuts, which are so abundant in Casamance. This recipe was inspired from an experience a few years ago, when I consulted on recipes for a project involving Tanzanian cashews. It is quite easy to give new flavors to nuts; it can be done with almost any spice. Here, I chose the ever-popular kan kan kan spice. Spicy and nutty, it is most often found blanketing dibi Hausa (also known as suya), the Nigerian-style grilled meat skewers that are one of my favorite street foods. It is a wonderful dry dip for any grilled meat and fish (and also very fun to pronounce). Simply brush any meat with oil, coat it with the kan kan kan, and grill or roast. Serve with more kan kan kan as a dry dip on the side with raw onion slices. These addictive cashews can be eaten as is or used as a topping for salad, such as my mango fonio salad." —Pierre Thiam

Reprinted from Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowlby Pierre Thiam with Jennifer Sit



  • 1 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon kan kan kan spice mix 

Kan Kan Kan Spice Mix (makes about 3/4 cup):

  • 5 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 5 tablespoons peanut flour
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground selim pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Make the kan kan kan spice mix: combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 

Make the spiced nuts: preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the cashews out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned (watch carefully, as they will burn easily). Remove from the oven (leave the oven on) and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled cashews, egg white, and spices and mix well. Return the mixture to the baking sheet and bake for 5 more minutes. Cool completely before serving.


1 cup spiced nuts