Crunchy, nutty almonds are usually associated with a healthy diet, but what many may not know is that almonds are super versatile and can be used in irresistibly delicious desserts too.
Let’s just agree that desserts can make most of us go weak in the knees. The joy one feels while digging into a delectable serving of gajar ka halwa, or a hot gulab jamun. It simply cannot be described in words. And as Indians, we have a weakness for our very own desi desserts. After all, can you blame us when we have such a large variety to choose from? I mean I cannot possibly resist the sight of moong dal halwa or kaju katli. From decadent ladoos to deliciously mouth-watering kheer and soft melt-in-your-mouth barfis, Indian desserts aren’t the one to let go easily. While milk, ghee, khoya, oodles of sugar and perhaps besan are some of the most common ingredients used in a lot many Indian sweets, there is still ample amount of space for experiment.
For instance, you can make your ladoo, barfi or halwa even more wholesome by adding a crunch of almonds (badam). Intrigued? Crunchy, nutty almonds are usually associated with a healthy diet, after all it comes packed with various nutrients packed into such bite-sized nuts. With a rich profile full of proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and fibre, they have secured their position in the list of superfoods too. But what many may not know is that almonds are super versatile and can be used in irresistibly delicious desserts too! Don’t believe us? These recipes from Almond Board of California, that use almonds as one of the exotic ingredients, are sure to surprise you.
1. Almond and White Chocolate Gujiya
All- purpose flour 2 Cups
Clarified butter (ghee) ¼ Cup
Water ½ cup
White chocolate 1 cup
Desiccated coconut ¼ cup
Green cardamom powder a pinch
Almond ½ cup
Jaggery 1 tbsp
• Rub the flour and ghee together and bind them together with water to form a soft dough. Rest it for ½ hour.
• In a bowl, mix the chocolate flakes, coconut, almonds together and add jaggery.
• Make small balls of the dough and roll it out into ½ cm thick rotis.
• Place filling in the center, do not overstuff it as it will result in bursting of gujiya while frying.
• Apply water on the edges and seal the ends, the shape will resemble half-moon. Use cutter to make a design around the edges or pinch and twist the edges.
• Heat oil/ ghee in a deep pan; fry the gujiyas till golden brown.
2. Almond and Carrot Halwa Crumble
Carrot ½ kg
Full cream milk ½ litre
Sugar ½ cup
Cardamom (powdered) 4 nos.
Ghee 2 tbsp
Almonds (blanched) ¼ cup
All- Purpose flour ¾ cup
Butter (unsalted) ½ cup
Sugar ½ cup
Ground almonds ½ cup
• In a pan, add milk and carrots together and keep on cooking till the milk reduces to 3/4th.
• Add cardamom powder, ghee, and sugar to it. Mix it well.
• Add the sliced, blanched almonds and mix well.
• For the crumble, rub the flour, butter, sugar and ground almonds together, till it resembles breadcrumbs.
• Bake the crumble at 180°C till the colour turns golden brown.
• Serve the gajar halwa with crumble and roasted almonds.
3. Almond Coconut Barfi
Serves: 4 – 5 people
Freshly grated coconut 1 cup almonds blanched
Grinded 1/2 cup
Sugar (fine/ breakfast) 1 cup
Desi ghee 1/3 cup
• In a non-stick pan add ghee on a low medium heat and add coconut and almond mixture. Stir to mix well and keep on stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan or getting burnt, until it begins to leave the sides of the pan, lumping up as one mass. Add sugar and fold it well.
• Apply ghee onto a baking sheet and keep aside.
• Reduce heat to low and continue stirring for a few more minutes until the residue sticking to the sides of the pan starts to look opaque and dry, which means the consistency is nearing almost right for solidifying.
• Remove onto the greased plate / sheet. Mix the dough with greased hands, pat it flat into a neat square with a greased rolling-pin to 1/4 inch thickness. Smooth out the surface if needed.
• As it has cooled partially, cut into equal squares with a knife. Once completely cooled (about an hour or so), separate out the barfis with a flat spatula and store in an airtight container.