Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Badam Paak - Almond Sweetmeat

One of the great delights I have had in my life is the infusion of another culture into my life's journey. My dear mother-in-law has, with greatest patience, taught me how to cook with spices I never even knew existed and with methods I had never heard of. I could eat this 'eastern' cuisine all the time but don't be fooled, we don't eat this way all the time. My guys lean more towards the 'German/Russian' food than the wonderfully aromatic curries and sweetmeats that my husband grew up with in East Africa. Today I am going to teach you to make several sweetmeats you might see in the windows of many an Indian Sweet Shop here on the Lower Mainland or in your own community if you are so fortunate. These recipes come direct from my mother-in-law, complete with interesting ingredients you may not know of.
Ingredients for Badam Paak
  • (the camera man threw in some marshmallows there...they are NOT a part of this recipe :)
  • 1 oz. gum arabic, chopped (gund) (This is almost impossible to find so if you omit it just expect it to be slightly less 'sweet' and crumbly. For these I show in my photo above and below...I did not use it and it turned out fine.)
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron (very expensive so you CAN omit )
  • 1 tsp. cardamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 cups salted butter
  • 1 lb semolina or wheatlets (sooji)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups condensed milk
  • 1 lb. almonds, chopped
  • 2 oz. pistachios, chopped
  • 2 oz. almonds finely slivered for garnishing
  • 1 oz pistachios finely slivered for garnishing
  • poppy seeds for garnishing

  • deep fry gum arabic; drain, add saffron, cardamon and nutmeg and set aside (if you don't have the gum arabic, add these spices in the next step)
  • in a saucepan, melt butter and saute semolina to light golden brown colour
  • remove from heat and gradually add the evaporated milk, stirring it all the time
  • add condensed milk and stir well
  • lastly, add nuts and fried gum arabic mixture. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring vigorously
  • Spread mixture evenly into a 15: x 10" x 2" pan and press it firmly
  • Sprinkle and press slivered nuts and poppyseeds on top
  • While the mixture is still warm, cut into square or diamond shapes.

Let cool. Serve with Chai and enjoy.

These sweetmeats are very rich and the flavour is unfamiliar for some with the strong taste of the condensed milk. Remember that in the hot and dry middle eastern countries many 'fudge' like desserts are made from canned milk in order to keep longer.

5 comments:

  1. trish, it is good to know that we can count on you for the excotic and unique recipes. we really live in a global village and the world has opened it self up to new cultures, traditions and flavours. thankyou for sharing.

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  2. ...hee hee...yep...that is me 'exotic and unique'...

    Seriously though..you are right charlotte...tis nice to try new things and I am so grateful on many levels of course, for the 'newness' and renewal of the introduction of 'others' into our lives.

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  3. I'd definitely have to do some shopping around just to find the ingredients. (I have to admit that I am totally unfamiliar with saffron.)

    We'll just count on you for the exotic recipes...and I'll go make kotletten (do you know what those are, Trish?)

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  4. oh good grief....nope. Judy...please do tell!

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  5. My Jain friend makes this for me, but I've been looking for a recipe to do it myself...probably not a good thing for my waist.
    Thanks for posting it. Love your blog.

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