Rumor has it that after Modi’s electoral victory in 2019, a condiment store in Bangalore was being asked by some customers to change the name of its congress peanuts to Modi Masala. But Vatsalaa Ramasprasad Iyengar, the owner of Iyengar Bakery also known as Sreenivasa Brahmins Bakery, busted the rumors, and recalled the history of 63-year-old snack. She added that her father-in-law in 1956, prepared something edible out of rationed peanuts due to the shortage of Maida, and this is how it all began. “The Congress Peanuts will never be renamed”, says the owner, and agrees how it was a good joke to rename the snack after congress’ defeat in the election.
But how did the peanuts get their name? How did the politics meet snacks? There are two of the widely accepted theories as to how Congress Peanuts got its name. One of them is that the split peanuts used to make this snack were just like the split in the Congress party headed by Indira Gandhi in 1969. According to the other theory, during the emergency Congress meetings of 70’s, it was everybody’s favourite snack. The two most popular snacks at the bakery are Congress peanuts & Congress buns. Peanuts seasoned with salt, curry leaves, asafetida, turmeric & their secret spices, are called Congress peanuts, while the bun filled with butter and Congress Peanuts are called Congress buns.
Peanuts served as a chaat, known as Congress Masala, is served in the annual Kadlekai Parishe (Groundnut Fair), a two-day event held on the 1km stretch of road leading to the Bull Temple (Dodda Basavana Gudi) in November-December. These de-skinned, split peanuts are a perfect bar snacks, also called chakna. But not just with the drinks, Bangalore’s Masala Peanuts are a perfect spicy namkeen to consume anytime and to add to your meal. The Masala Indian peanuts can also be paired up with different street chat dishes or can be used to experiment and create new original flavours.