This recipe for Almond / badam ‘cake’ ( not cake, cake…Indian sweet) has been tried and tested and tasted few hundred times. It is my mom’s recipe or as my sis-in-law and I call her, ‘You know who’!
Mom is an amazing mother, wife, mother-in-law, performer, speaker, etc. BUT, if you dare take one of her recipes (they are yummm) and don’t follow her instructions to the T and God forbid, you mess up then it’s Avada Kedavra time. No Harry Potter or horcrux can save you.
But this is one recipe I have managed to hit the bullseye every time. So I can confidently write about it. (Also, mom doesn’t read my blog).
Warning- Builds muscles. Read further only if willing to flex those arms.
WHAT WE NEED
Almonds/Badam. 1 Cup
Sugar. 1 1/2 Cup
Ghee/ Clarified Butter 1/2 – 3/4 Cup
Milk 3-5 tsp
Cardamom powder. 1/2 tsp (optional but totally recommended)
Saffron. Few strands (optional)
WHAT TO DO
- Soak the almonds in water for around 45 minutes to an hour till the skin loosens and can be peeled off easily.
- If you don’t have much time on hand, soak them in hot water and it should be ready to peel in about 15 minutes.
- Peel off the skins of the almonds (Duh!)
- Grease a 10 inch plate with ghee. Also grease a clean and washed plastic cover with ghee for the size of your palm. Keep aside.
- Powder 4 tbsp of sugar and keep aside. This is in addition to the quantity mentioned above. (see Notes)
- Grind the almonds to a smoooooth paste by adding milk. Add 2 tsp first and grind. Then add 1 tsp everytime you think it needs some more moisture to be finely ground. The paste should not be liquid-y.
- It’s no crime to have a small bit here or there but it does spoil the look and texture. Not so much fun. Plus, mom is watching!!!
- Heat around 1/4 cup of ghee. Add the almond paste and sugar.
- Stir well till the sugar melts.
- Keep stirring. Some more stirring.
- Stir, who asked you to stop? ( sorry, that was mom’s voice on a loop in my head)
- Add the ghee in 2 tbsp regulR installments till you have exhausted 1/2 cup ghee.
- Keep stirring.
- At around 7-8 minutes into the cooking time, add the cardamom powder and saffron.
- At around 10 minutes into the cooking time, taste it to check for sweetness
- If you think you would like it sweeter then add 2 tbsp of the powdered sugar. Stir vigorously to incorporate it into the mixture. Taste again to check.
- After about 12-15 minutes the mixture will start to come together, thicken and you will find it tough to stir.
- Pause for a couple of seconds to check if ‘tough-to-stir’ is because of the mixture thickening or your exhausted arm.
- Pour the mixture onto the greased plate.
- Wrap the greased plastic cover around your hand and immediately flatten the mixture to reach all through the plate.
- Ensure that the mixture is at the same level across the plate.
- You can add the saffron at this stage also.
- Take a couple of minutes to stretch your tired arms.
- Break over, time to work. Use a knife or spatula to cut the almond mixture into equal size pieces.
- Once it’s completely cooled down (about 15 minutes) transfer the pieces into a storage jar/ box.
- No need to refrigerate. I store it in a stainless steel box and it lasts for around ten days.
- Mom never tastes the sweet first. She checks the vessel in which I have cooked. That tells her everything I want to hide.
- By those standards, this is a pretty good effort, if I can say so myself.
- Once the vessel cools, you can scrape out whatever is left and use it as a sprinkle over other desserts. The daughter loves this part!
- The powdered sugar is only a precautionary measure. I have never needed to use it. Can be omitted if you wish.
- I used a 9 inch plate. You can use a smaller plate to get thicker pieces. If you use a larger plate, the pieces will be too thin and will crumble when you try to remove them.
- Worst case, if you mess up on the consistency, don’t worry. Call it badam halwa and serve. Almonds plus ghee plus sugar HAS to be yummm!
This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.