Category: Almonds

Almond Burfi (Badam Burfi)

Special occasions need something sweet that is simply wonderful. Almond burfi is one such simply wonderful, quick and easy sweet that is nutritious as well. This classic Bharath mithai is a favorite of mine and one of the sweets I made and took to London. Almond burfis are the perfect dessert for the holiday indulgent mood, my sister and family enjoyed them.

Almond Meal
Fresh Almond Meal

Almond Burfi (Badam Burfi)
(for about 40, 1×1-inch square sized burfis)

Ingredients:
6 cups, whole almonds
6 cups, cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon, finely crushed cardamom seeds

Equipment:
food processor
a big, sturdy pan and ladle
a flat tray to pour the burfi mixture

Method:
1. Prepare the Almond Meal:
In a big bowl, cover the almonds with water and soak for at least 4 hours. The soaking process helps loosen up almond skin and the skin peels off easily.
One by one, peel the almond skins. When you are done with peeling, gently pat and dry the now skinless, white almonds with a clean kitchen towel.
Take almonds in one to two cup batches in a food processor. Pulse and grind to fine meal.
From 6 cups whole almonds, you will get about 8 cups of almond meal.

2. Prepare the Sugar Syrup:
Combine two cups of water and sugar in a heavy-bottomed, big vessel and place over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely and then raise the heat to medium and gently boil until sugar reaches softball consistency. To know the right consistency – do the cold water candy test. Take quarter cup of water in a small bowl, add a drop of sugar syrup to water. When the syrup holds its shape and doesn’t dissolve in the water (softball), then it is at the right consistency.

3. Prepare the Almond Burfi:
Add the almond meal and cardamom powder to sugar syrup when the syrup is ready. Keep the heat on medium and cook, stirring continuously to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan.
In about 10 to 15 minutes, the mixture will start to come away from the sides of pan easily – this is the signal to turnoff the heat. Immediately pour the mixture on a flat, ghee applied tray. Level it evenly with a spatula, and cut into squares. Let cool.

When the burfi is thoroughly cool, cover the tray with another tray. Reverse and gently tap to loosen the pieces. Separate the squares and store them in an airtight container. Because the burfi doesn’t have any milk products, almond burfi will stay fresh for up to a month.

Almond Burfi
Simply Wonderful ~ Almond Burfis (Badam Burfis)

To decorate the burfis, place edible silver or gold foil over cooled almond burfi, and gently press slivered almonds into each square for the festive feel.

Badam Beerakaaya (Almond Turia)

The badam-beerakaaya combination is a new recipe that I have come up with the beerakaaaya harvest. This recipe really concentrates the flavor and brings out the sweetness of both beerakaaya and badam. Dice the beerakaaya, saute and add ground badam paste. Simple vegetable curry with some protein profile, badam-beerakaaya makes a delicious filler for chapatis or pav-wiches on low appetite days.

Beerakaaya (Turai/Turia)

Badam-Beerakaaya Kura
(for 2 or 4, for 2 to 1 meal)

    3 beerakaaya – fresh and firm, about arm length each
    3 tablespoons - badam butter paste (ground almonds)
    4 green chillies – finely chopped
    1/4 teaspoon – turmeric
    1/2 teaspoon -salt or to taste
    For curry leaf talimpu:
    1 tablespoon, peanut oil, 1 sprig of fresh cury leaves, pinch each-cumin and mustard seeds

Peel the beerakaaya ridges. Wash and dice beerakaya to bite-sized pieces.

In a big pan over medium heat, heat peanut oil until hot and do the curry leaf talimpu. Add curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds. Saute to fragrance, stirring frequently.

Add beerakaaya and chilli pieces. Cover and cook on medium heat. After about ten minutes, remove the lid and stir in ground almonds, turmeric and salt. Mix well and cook for another five minutes or until the beerakaya juices have reduced and sweetened with almond paste.

Serve badam-beerakaaya kura warm with chapati, bread or rice and dal for a tasty meal.

Badam-Beerakaaya Kura with Chapati
Badam-Beerakaaya Kura with Chapati ~ For Meal Today

For Homemade almond paste:
Soak 8 almonds in water for about an hour. Drain the water and peel the almond skins. In a mixer or mortar, take almonds, add a pinch of salt and grind to smooth paste.

Badam for Breakfast (Almonds for Breakfast)

Wake up. Get ready. Pack lunch for Vijay. Have some breakfast – A fistful of badam and a full glass of ragi malt. Then leave home – Vijay to his work and me to gym for aerobic and yoga classes.

This has been our routine for the past few months. Of all the breakfast options we enjoyed over the years, we are finding this badam breakfast a no hassle, tasty delight, and a good fit for our current weekday lifestyle. Particularly when we came to know that badams (almonds) are concentrated with protein. A quarter-cup contains 7.62 grams-more protein than that is provided by a typical egg. Fortunately, although one-quarter cup of badam contains about 18 grams of fat, most of it is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They are also very good source of vitamin E, vitamin B2 and manganese. And one ounce of shelled badam (about 22) gives only 170 calories.

With all this information on hand, I can surely say that Badam for Breakfast is a good alternative to sugar packed, commercial breakfast cereal for a morning rush.

Almonds
Almonds in Water

Badam for Breakfast (Almonds for Breakfast)
(for two)

2 fistfuls of shelled almonds
2 cups of water

Soak almonds in water overnight. Drain the water in the morning. Your ready to eat breakfast will be ready. Enjoy the divine almonds with some ragi malt .

I find that soaking in water makes almonds soft and sweeter.

Badam (Almonds) for Breakfast
Badam for Breakfast Today, and for
Jihva-Breakfast at Lovely Suma’s Veggie Platter

Notes:
Almonds Nutritional Profile Source : WH Foods
Badam (Telugu) = Almonds

Dates Kheer

We made Dates Kheer last weekend following a recipe from Sukham Ayu cookbook. The recipe required few ingredients, was very simple to prepare, and tasted divine. The original recipe in the book called for dates and milk. I also added almonds because I love badam taste in milk.

According to Sukham Ayu, the dates have post-digestive effect. They serve as thirst quenchers, body energizers, and also help increase levels of hemoglobin. Their sweet and moist qualities benefit Vata and Pitta. To balance the heaviness of dates for Kapha, use nutmeg and cardamom as in this recipe.

Here is how I made this delicious Ayurvedic dessert with dates, milk and almonds. I hope you try it too.

Dates
Diamond of Dates ~ Medjool Dates for Kheer

Dates Kheer
(Recipe adapted from Sukham Ayu. Makes about one and half cups of kheer)

8 medjool dates – pitted and chopped finely
8 almonds – powdered to fine
2 cups milk – Whole, Organic variety
1 tablespoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Place a thick-bottomed vessel on stovetop and heat. Add ghee to melt. Add chopped dates and almond powder to the melted ghee. Fry for about five minutes on low heat.

Add milk. On medium heat, simmer, stirring in between, until the milk-dates-almond mixture thickens and reduces in volume from 2 cups to about one to one and half cups. Takes about ten minutes of cook time. Stir the cardamom and nutmeg powders. Turn off the heat. Serve into bowls in small quantity and enjoy. Tastes good warm or cold.

Note:
Dates I added are extremely sweet so I didn’t have to add sugar to the kheer. Add sugar or jaggery if needed as per your taste.
While the milk heats up you need to keep stirring so that the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom – a stir every two minutes or so is fine.

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari

Dates Kheer
Dates Kheer ~ for Sri Rama Navami Neivedyam

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