We all know Almonds/Badams are good for us. They contain plenty of good fats and are highly nutritious. They also contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are a healthy alternative to those with lacto intolerance as almond milk, almond butter, almond oil are available in the market or can be made at home.
The following are some delightful almond recipes for you to try out.
1. Almond/Badam Barfi
This is a no ghee, no milk recipe which is easy to do.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
Blanch almonds by putting them in boiling water for a few minutes. Remove from water and dry. You may like to peel the skin of the almonds but I like to keep them on. Toast the almonds lightly to get rid of any moisture. Grind them to a fine powder in a blender.
In a pan dissolve the sugar in water to make syrup. Add cardamom and saffron. Bring to boil and add the almond powder, Stir well. On a medium flame cook till mixture becomes thick. As it turns into a mass switch off the flame and transfer onto a plate. It should be thick, moist and a bit sticky. It should not be very dry. Cool it. When warm, knead this well. If dry add a few drops of warm water and continue kneading. If too sticky and dough does not firm up, sprinkle a table spoon of milk powder or corn flour and get the right consistency. Now place this onto a greased plate and shape into a rectangle. Cut with a greased sharp knife into desired shape. Cool well and store in air tight container in the refrigerator.
P.S. You may like to decorate the top of each piece of barfi with a sliver of almond.
2. Flavored Almond Milk
This is a popular and delicious drink which is easy to make and has the goodness of almonds. It may be had warm or cold.
Prep Time:3-4 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Setting aside a little milk, place the rest in a saucepan to boil. Simmer on medium flame for 7-8 minutes stirring well. Add the cardamom, sugar and saffron to the milk. In the meantime blend the almonds and milk to a fine paste and add this to the milk. Simmer for two more minutes and remove from flame. Pour the thickened milk into glasses. Garnish with cardamom powder and a few strands of saffron. Serve hot or chilled.
3. Almonds and Peas Curry
Cuisine: South Indian
Prep time 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
In a pan heat oil and sauté onions, ginger, garlic and green chili. Remove and cool before grinding to a paste with a little water. Set aside.
In another pan, heat jeera in oil/butter. Add the ground onion paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Grind some of the almonds to a paste in a blender. Add this also to the pan and continue sautéing. The almond paste enriches the flavor of the curry. Next add the turmeric, chili and coriander powders and fry lightly. Put in some more oil if required. To this add the chopped tomatoes and continue frying. Add salt to taste. Next put in the peas and almonds and cook. Add ½ cup of milk to the gravy. Sprinkle the garam masala powder. Add ½ cup water if needed. Cover and simmer till peas are cooked. Transfer this tangy curry into a dish and garnish with coriander leaves/sliced almonds.
P.S. This curry is excellent with rotis and rice. The recipe may be made with cashew nuts instead of almonds too.