Celebrity chef Manish Mehrotra shares some almond-based nutritious festive recipes.
Almond and Makhana Kheer
Serves: 2 – 3 people
Full cream milk 2 cups
Sugar 4 tbsp
Saffron strands a pinch
Green cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Almond slivers 1/2 cup
Makhana (fox nuts) 1 cup
Ghee 2 tbsp
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan, roast makhanas and almond slivers till they are golden.
Heat milk and saffron strands in a heavy bottomed pan and bring it to a boil. Keep stirring the milk, so that it does not stick to the bottom.
Add sugar to the milk and mix well.
Add the whole makhana to the milk. Add the almond slivers to the mixture.
Keep cooking the mixture till the makhanas soften and milk thickens a bit.
Serve the kheer hot or chilled. Top it with roasted almond slivers and chopped roasted makhana.
Almond Strawberry Cream
Almonds 1/2 cup
Strawberry (Fresh) 12-14 pcs
Whipping Cream 1 cup
Holy Basil leaves (Tulsi) 1 tsp
Sugar (powdered) 3 tbsp
Toast the almond flakes in the oven at 180 degree C for 4 minutes.
Cut the strawberries into 1 cm dices.
Whip the cream along with sugar. Do not over whip it or the butter will separate.
Mix the almond flakes and strawberries into the cream along with hand torn holy basil.
Garnish with almonds and sliced strawberries.
Almond Coconut Burfi
Freshly grated coconut 1/2 cup
Blanched almonds 1 cup
Sugar (fine/ breakfast) 1 cup
Desi ghee 1/3 cup
In a non-stick pan add ghee, coconut and almond mixture on low medium heat. Stir to mix well and keep on stirring to prevent it 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.
When cooled partially, cut into equal squares with a knife. Once completely cooled (about an hour or so), separate out the burfis with a flat spatula and store in an airtight container
Spiced Almond Banana Jaggery Cake
Serves: 3 – 4 persons
Butter, unsalted 1/2 cup
Jaggery powder 1/2 cup
Ground cinnamon 1+1/2 tsp
Nutmeg, ground 1/4 tsp
Almonds, sliced 1/2 cup
Sugar 3/4 cup
Eggs, large 3 no
Orange zest 2 tsp
Banana, ripped & mashed 1 1/4 cups
All-purpose flour 3 cups
Baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Buttermilk 2/3 cup
Melt 1/4 cup of the butter. Pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into an 8-cup pan. Brush the butter over pan sides and bottom. Mix the jaggery, cinnamon, nutmeg and almonds. Sprinkle the pan with half the jaggery mixture. Combine the remaining mixture with the remaining melted butter and set it aside.
In a large bowl, beat remaining 1/4 cup butter with granulated sugar until blended. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended. Beat in mashed banana.
Mix all-purpose baking powder, soda and salt. Add these to the banana mixture along with the buttermilk and stir until well blended.
Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Spoon the remaining jaggery sugar mixture evenly over top. Cover with the remaining batter.
Bake in a 180 degree oven until a long wood skewer inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the cake on a rack about 5 minutes, then invert it onto a serving plate. Serve the cake warm or cool.