Badam Sheera and some drama


Badam Sheera


In senior high school, I was a part of this theater group that consisted of highly idealistic individuals who had lofty plans of creating a world of art that was free of corruption in any form. The group once held a workshop and hired a renowned theater artist as our teacher. Our teacher, one of the most principled man that I have ever met, was a hard task master who always took the moral high ground on every issue and expected all of us to follow his footsteps without a murmur. And we did. He taught us wonderful things about the history of theater, made us appreciate the effort that went into making of a good theater artist, and creating a good drama. He drilled in us the value of integrity, hard work and dedication. He abhorred any kind of flirtation in the ‘camp’ and even a whiff of such an inclination would set him off after the ‘perpetrator’ like a mad bull after a matador holding a red flag.


Badam Sheera


He also made us work like slaves. Work as in practice various form of exercises to improve our physical strength, stamina, and most importantly, vocal quality. We would translate parts of plays by different authors in very short periods. We would all sit in a circle with the lights switched off and a candle burning in the middle, and we would have to focus on it till it burned to the ground. We would have to pitch out our voice through hollow barrels to figure out how to modulate voices around the mikes. And sing. Sing, sing and sing our lungs out.


Badam Sheera


A very difficult exercise that he gave to us, to increase our lung capacity, was to hold our breath, and then release it slowly. The problem was, we could not release it until we were asked to, which was anywhere between 20 seconds to a minute.  One day, I was tired from a long day at school, and a bit sleepy too. I was standing by a window, and doing the holding breath exercise. I was doing fine for the first few seconds, when I felt myself reel. Then I saw a truck coming towards me, and I tried to roll out of its way, but its tires crushed my chest. I could not breathe, and it felt like everything would explode. Then it started raining.


Almond Pudding


Things came back into focus. Enormous, terrified eyes peered out of white faces that were suspended directly over me. Someone was splashing water at my face, drenching me, and wetting my hair in the process, which made me very unhappy (notice the odd times one can think of inconsequential things?). As I came around, I realized I had fainted. Someone helpfully told me that I had suddenly reeled backwards and hit my head on the window frame (which I guess explained the truck part).

Our teacher was most concerned. He had someone call my Mom, and offered to give me a day off, which I refused as we had a performance coming up in less than a week. Later on, he joked that had something happened to me, the newspapers would say ‘Director kills actress by breath holding method’. But I could sense the terror behind the poor guy’s words.


Badam Sheera


I still laugh about it at times, and I am always thankful for the things I learned in that teacher’s workshop. Still, the truck looked real, and that being the only fainting spell in my entire life, I wonder if other people see odds things when they faint as well. I would love to know, just that it’s awkward to ask ‘ Hey, what do you see when you faint?’

‘Badam Sheera’ is a traditional sweet Indian dessert. ‘Badam’ in Hindi is Almonds. This almond pudding, though fattening, is considered to quite healthy in the traditional Indian kitchen, and served as a strengthening food. It quick to make, and delicious to eat. So if you were to faint quite often, and a typical North Indian grandma was around, you could find yourself eating this quite frequently.


Badam Sheera



5.0 from 6 reviews
Badam Sheera
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • Almond power - 1 cup
  • Clarified butter 2 tbsp
  • Sugar - ½ cup
  • Milk - 2 cups
  • Mixed dry fruits - raisins, cashews, almond slivers - 2 tbsp
  • Two drops of Kewra essence (optional)
  • a few strands of saffron
  1. Heat ghee in a pan, a roast the almond powder, about 1 minute, till it's golden brown.
  2. Add the dried fruits & nuts and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Add milk and bring it to boil.
  4. Simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in sugar.
  6. Sprinkle saffron strands.
  7. Garnish with almonds.
  8. Serve hot or cold.


35 comments for “Badam Sheera and some drama

  1. April 22, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    haha minnie ur posts r so funny at times

    coming to this badam sheera i make it exact same way
    its totally delicious
    did u dry grind the almonds
    its quite heavy dish but still yummy
    meena recently posted..Second update on the give away eventMy Profile

    • April 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Thanks Meena, lol! I did not grind the almonds, I used almond powder that is easily available here. Back in India, I used to soak the almonds overnight, and grind them into a paste, skin and all. But that takes a bit longer to fry, else everything else is same.

  2. April 22, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Hehe what an interesting lesson to learn with drama. I guess it would really help deliver those lines although I can imagine how panicked he was when you fainted!

    • April 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      hehe! Thanks Lorraine 🙂

  3. April 22, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    wow, what an awful thing to happen. I wouldn’t like to hold my breath til I passed out. I suppose passing out allows you to breathe.

    This dessert sounds really good 🙂
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Tomato Chilli JamMy Profile

    • April 22, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      Well, thinking back, if it was my kid, I would have gone ballistic. But when it is us, ourselves, we tend to take a lot of things in stride, sometimes a good thing I suppose.

  4. CCU
    April 22, 2013 at 5:57 AM

    Oh my my friend, what a story! You are a born actress, so dramatic 😉
    Delicious looking dessert today!

    Choc Chip Uru
    CCU recently posted..Part One…My Profile

    • April 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      Thanks CCU 😀 I guess I am ;p

  5. April 22, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    it happened to some of my friends and they told me similar things like having a dreamy dreamy kind of feelings. few days back, i almost died but that was due to bronchial spasm. will save that story for my blog 😀

    hey, did you write a bank robbery kind of post recently. i wanted to read that. where is your archive?

  6. April 22, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    A North Indian grandma also feels badam helps in bettering your memory. My Dadi used to buy packets and packets of these badam during exam time. And it was a ritual in our joint family for each kid to have 5 badam daily in the morning during exams. And anyone getting good marks, all credit would go to her and her badam! Hahaha.
    Bhaskar recently posted..Even after four months, nothing changes!!!My Profile

    • April 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Oh hooo!!! NOW I know the secret to your genius brain…it was your Dadi all this time!!!!!! ;p

      • April 23, 2013 at 6:35 AM

        Hahahaha!!! So going by this logic of yours, in future if your kids don’t do well (God forbid) then you are at fault as you are not giving them Badaam. 😉
        Bhaskar recently posted..Even after four months, nothing changes!!!My Profile

        • April 23, 2013 at 8:45 AM

          Lol!! Touche! A good one, not that I like conceding 😀

  7. April 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I don’t remember any such incident in my life but the sheera does have some memories attached. And, Bhaskar is right our moms and grand moms used to say almonds was brain food, I don’t know how true it is, though they do have some great nutritional attributes.
    Love the nutty rich sheera! Have to make it one of these days.
    Balvinder recently posted..Vegetarian Masala Fried RiceMy Profile

    • April 23, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      I remember my Mom running after me with soaked almonds, specially during the exam time. But my Mom never made sheera, this is something I learned after I got married.

  8. April 22, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Those classes sound so intense but I bet you loved every minute of it. I have never fainted! And I’m so glad you weren’t actually run over by a truck! xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..The Bush WalkMy Profile

    • April 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      I did Charlie, they were possibly the best, most productive 3 months of my life, shaping who I am in many ways. And yes, I too am super glad it wasn’t a real truck.

  9. April 23, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Goodness, Minnie. You really put the drama in drama class! Of all the students he taught, I bet your teacher has never forgot you. 🙂
    i’m completely unfamiliar with badam sherra but one can never have too many pudding recipes in one’s repertoire. Thanks for sharing yours.
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Burrata Returns and This Time It’s Packin’ FusilliMy Profile

    • April 23, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      hehehehe!! I am a good student ;p Thanks so much!! This is a beloved dessert in most Indian kitchens, though it can be considered an acquired taste.

  10. April 23, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    such a drama queen. but the halwa is outstanding.
    Kitchen Queen recently posted..Carrot and Capsicum with Besan Gujarati style / Vegetables with chickpea flourMy Profile

    • April 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Thanks you 😀

  11. April 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Wow Minnie the dish looks super delicious and I love anything with almonds, mustt try this sometime 🙂 Have heard its ultimately delicious 🙂
    Divya Pramil recently posted..Chettinad Mutton Rasam | Spicy Tangy Indian Mutton Soup | South Indian Mutton RasamMy Profile

    • April 23, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      Thank you Divya for your kind words. This is truly delicious.

  12. April 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Well at least you learned some thing from the drama class! Way to go down in style 🙂
    My mum also used to insist I eat badam for my brain! She was constantly stuffing them in my hands to eat!
    I don’t have to do that with my kids…they all love almonds and I am never keep enough.
    I never had badam sheera though…she never made that.
    It sounds delicious and definitely something I would enjoy!

    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted..Baghare Baingan | Spicy Eggplant MasalaMy Profile

    • April 23, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      Lol! I learned a lot 🙂 This is a good dessert, delecious, and very quick to make.
      Minnie recently posted..Badam Sheera and some dramaMy Profile

  13. April 24, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    What a story, I’m curious what did this truck represent, a teacher? I have stories like this as well, school is a strange period in our lifes. Soup is a warm ending to this story 🙂

    • April 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Wow, I never really thought that deep. It could be, though I adore that teacher, but he did drive us nuts. It’s very thought provoking. Thank you Marta!

  14. April 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Okay, I totally thought I missed part of the story, and then I went back and re-read, and for a moment I thought a truck had crashed straight through the wall.

    This dish looks delish. A truck’s worth of flavor. 😉
    Kim@Treats & Trinkets recently posted..Lemon Bubble RingMy Profile

    • April 24, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      Oh dear! hahahahaha!!!! I guess it could read like that. Thanks!

  15. Manish
    April 25, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Dhruvswamini days rolled on like a movie in my eyes. So accurate was the description of Anjuman-Ruh-e-adab days, I could not hold tears in my eyes – no doubt the best days ever a human being can experience. Learnings then still help me us in every walk of life. Sorry Mousumi (for me you’ll be always that), could not focus on Sheera, maybe something my wife would definitely like to read.

    Do reply…

    • April 26, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      It means a lot to me till today… was an experience of a lifetime. And I think all of us took away something from there. Thanks so much for reading it Manish 🙂 As for badam sheera, I am sure Bhabhi makes an awesome one too 🙂

  16. April 25, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    So I assume there was no more exercise after the incident, or the time became shorter… That will totally freak me out! Beautiful dessert. I’d love to try this. I started to use almond powder and I love it!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Teriyaki Salmon 鮭の照り焼きMy Profile

    • April 26, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Lol! I did have a bit easier that day, though it was back to the drill the following day. Thanks!

  17. May 14, 2013 at 4:59 AM

    Really enjoyed your story. I quite expected to read that your thoughts were of badam sheera as you fainted!! I have never made badam sheera. I will book mark the recipe to try soon.

    Mina Joshi recently posted..Crown Pizza with a Difference for the Home Baking ChallengeMy Profile

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