A high-fat food that’s good for your health? That’s not an oxymoron, its almonds. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. In addition to their cholesterol-lowering effects, almonds’ ability to reduce heart disease risk may also be partly due to the antioxidant action of the vitamin E found in the almonds, as well as to the LDL-lowering effect of almonds’ monounsaturated fats. (LDL is the form of cholesterol that has been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease). There is a constant need to increase the “protien” content in a vegetarian`s diet as it does NOT include chicken or fish. Well, Almonds are concentrated in protein. A quarter-cup contains 7.62 grams-more protein than is provided by the typical egg, which contains 5.54 grams. Now how cool is that? Munch an almond the next time you feel hungry and crave for fried snack and watch your waistline plummet.
Badam Halwa has been the most favourite sweet that we make during festivals like Deepavali. Amma makes it every year around and I love the way she makes it in the shape of little diamonds that are a little harder than my version. I love the Badam Halwa from Sree Krishna Sweets, redolent in a coral- tangerine color with the addition of delicate saffron strands, in a smooth scoopable consistency. There are many interesting anecdotes with Sree krishna sweets, but that we shall keep for another day!!
1 Cup Badam.
1 Cup Sugar.
Water to dissolve sugar.
1/2 Cup Milk.
1/4 Cup Ghee.
two drops rose essence.
Soak a pinch of saffron strands in warm milk for a couple minutes.
Take a wide mouthed pan and add 3 cups of water and allow to boil.
Measure out one cup of almonds and add to the water. After 5-7 minutes switch off the flame and keep covered.
When sufficiently cooled, peel out the almonds and puree to a smooth paste with the milk. Add the milk slowly and not at one go.
Use a heavy bottomed pan for making the halwa.
Measure out the required sugar and add just enough water to cover it and set on the stove.
When the sugar has just melted, add the ground almond paste, saffron with the milk it was soaked in, and incorporate the ingredients well.
Maintain the flame on medium low with an eye on the halwa. This one requires constant attention.
After a good ten minutes or so, keep adding a spoon of ghee now and then and allow it to get absorbed by the halwa.
It might splutter now and then, but stirring the halwa, immediately brings this down.
When you start seeing the halwa leaving the edges, switch off the heat.
I had it to a scooping halwa consistency for one night and the next day it had considerably solidified to a beautiful creamy pliable texture.
I immediately used my cookie shapers and made them in to tiny little discs and decorated the little discs with delicate saffron strands.