At Lankan Filling Station, a Sri Lankan restaurant in Sydney, we couldn’t resist one of their so-called short eats—deviled cashews. The simple starter combines whole cashews with mustard seeds, chili powder and fresh herbs, all fried briefly in ghee. The gentle spice and crunchy seeds perfectly balanced the rich, tender cashews.

To make them, in a large pot, crisp 1 cup cilantro leaves in 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 30 to 60 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Return the pot to medium-high and add 2 teaspoons mustard seeds.

Stir until sizzling, 20 to 45 seconds, then add 2 cups roasted cashews, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon light brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional). Cook, stirring, until the nuts are golden and shiny, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the cilantro and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

They’re a small but mighty party snack that’s well worth the time. Serve them at any holiday party, and you’ll see they go fast, especially if served alongside a cocktail that stands up to the spice. Try, a Cinnamon-Smoked Whiskey Sour (yes, you can smoke cocktails at home, and you should), an Orgeat Old Fashioned or a Lemon Grass Martini.

For more of our favorite party tricks, try one of these simple but rewarding recipes:

Crispy Chickpeas, which are tossed in cornstarch before browning and getting seasoned with cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. They’re crunchy and addictive.

Spicy Feta Dip (Tirokafteri), which combines creamy, tangy chèvre (fresh goat cheese) and firm, briny feta.

Spiced Butter Popcorn, which employs the South Asian cooking technique known as tarka—hot oil or ghee that’s been infused with spices, herbs or aromatics and drizzled on top of everything from dal to stir-fry to add flavor and texture.