It's about to begin, the parade of sweet treats through your office, your holiday parties, and probably your very own kitchen. Consider this granola a much-needed savory break for you and anyone lucky enough to receive it from you as a gift. Savory curry granola?, you may be thinking. That's right: salty, crunchy, curry-spiked granola studded with toasted pecans and browned coconut chips. You don't need milk or yogurt to enjoy this granola -- it's good enough to eat plain by the handful, but if you're nice you'll make a double batch to give out as gifts as well.
Since I first posted about savory granola last year, I've been waiting for the idea to catch on and spread across the country like wildfire, like one-ingredient ice cream or no-knead bread or heck, even olive oil granola. Sadly, savory granola's day has not yet come. To date only five people have liked it on Facebook.
So I decided to revisit the idea, this time making the flavorings even more unexpected, in hopes that people will be so unsettled by the concept of a curry-flavored granola that they will actually try the recipe and realize that crunchy, savory oats are not as weird as they sound, but are in fact incredibly addictive, as easy to munch on as potato chips, but healthier and a lot simpler to make yourself.
I veered toward India in flavoring this batch because I was thinking about how eating granola out of hand reminds me of eating hot mix, a spicy and crunchy Indian snack. The warm flavors of curry powder and virgin coconut oil are a great match for the mild sweetness of the oats and the toasty pecans. Although I personally can't stop munching on it plain, savory granola can also be sprinkled over salads, on top of soups, or over gratins -- anywhere you might use toasted bread crumbs or croutons. (When using it on a gratin or other baked dish, sprinkle it on during the last five minutes of baking, so the nuts don't burn.)
One important note: Be sure to let your family members or roommates know that the homemade granola in the cupboard is actually savory granola, lest you hear one morning, "Wait, what's in this granola?" and turn to see your husband dumping out a big bowl of yogurt smothered in curry granola. Just trust me.
Curry Coconut Savory Granola
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 300°F. Have a rimmed sheet pan ready. Place the oats, pecans, pepitas, coconut flakes, curry powder, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder in a large bowl and stir. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and Worcestershire sauce. Drizzle over the oats mixture and stir to evenly coat. Repeat with the coconut oil, working quickly to evenly coat the oats mixture before the coconut oil begins to stiffen up. Spread in an even layer in the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes for the first 20 minutes, then every 5 minutes until the granola is lightly browned and slightly crisp. (It will become more crisp as it cools.) Let cool completely in the sheet pan and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for several months.
• If you would like to give your granola some heat, add cayenne pepper or crushed dried chilies along with the curry powder.
• If you are making this recipe for a gluten-free eater, make sure to use oats labeled "gluten-free."
• If you are making this recipe for a vegetarian, make sure to use a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, such as Annie's Naturals brand.
(Images: Anjali Prasertong)