Badam Halwa – almond pudding

almond halwa

It has turned chilly during the evening in New England. The fall is about a month away and winter is further down the road. However, winter and New England are best buddies, so it does keep showing up earlier than it should and leaves so reluctantly that one is tempted to boot it out unceremoniously.

Those of you who know me also might know by now that I don’t like the cold much. I am OK with mild cold weather, but anything more and I crib and whine to no end. But no amount of whining can keep the bone freezing cold at bay. If life was perfect, then I would be living in Southern California. It isn’t, and so we make the best of what we have.

Almond pudding

 

It is also during this time that I venture out more into the sun. I am not fond of sun tanning, so high summers mostly sees me indoors. But as soon as there is chill in the air, I am out in the yard or by my fish pond, seeing the fish swim. We lost our beautiful gold fish last winter. The liner developed leaks and the pond lost water. We rescued the rest of the fish in time but we were too late for the poor goldfish. It was the prettiest of the lot too.

So I got two more little fish this summer. As I let them into the pond, they vanished for 3 whole days. Now one of them is comfortable and swims around with the other 3 larger pond koi. But the new tiny goldfish still hides under a stone. When we give it food, it waits until it thinks we have left. Then it comes at a supersonic speed circling once to make sure the coast is empty before going back in. After a few moments, it ventures out, gulps down the food and goes right back in again. We can see it swimming around at night without fear. My husband has named it ‘ Raat ki rani’ – queen of the nights.

My husband and I were by the pond few days back, checking on this elusive little goldfish when my husband noticed something moving at the bottom of the pond. Guess what!! My three mature pond Koi have spawned and there are at least 5-8 new fries in the pond! It never ever occurred to us that our Pond Koi could breed. We barely saved them in the winter. Here we were all worried about their health, and there they are all robust and happy, mating and happily increasing the population of the pond.

halwa

The almond pudding is perfect for a chilly night or even morning. Or anytime you feel like having something sweet. Almond pudding is considered to be a royal dish. It’s a high calorie and high sugar dish. At the same time, it is also very rich in Vitamin B and iron – courtesy almonds and other nuts that grace the dish.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Badam Halwa - almond pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of almonds (See notes for substitute)
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup clarified butter or Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp saffron strands (optional)
  • 2 tbsp rose water or plain water
  • ¼ cup of other nuts of your choice (I used cashews and raisins)
  • 1 - 3 cups sugar
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
Instructions
  1. Soak almonds and overnight in enough water to immerse them. In the morning, peel them by simply holding them between your thumb and forefinger and push the seed forward, leaving the skin behind between your fingers.
  2. Grind them coarsely with milk and cardamom powder into a thick paste. It should not be runny.
  3. Warm the rose/plain water slightly. Soak half of the saffron in rose/plain water and keep aside.
  4. Chop half of the nuts into coarse pieces. Reserve a few of them whole.
  5. Heat clarified butter/oil in a skillet (cast iron works best, but non stick works very well too).
  6. Add the whole nuts.
  7. Add the paste and and stir well. Fry till it is golden. Keep stirring to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  8. The mixture will start to splatter as the liquid begins to dry up. When stirring, make sure to do it with a long spatula to prevent burns.
  9. When it starts to calm down, know that the mixture is cooked.
  10. At this point, ad a the rose water soaked with saffron. Cook till it is nicely mixed and dry.
  11. Add 1 cup of sugar. (See notes)
  12. The pudding will start getting a glaze and will not stick to the bottom at all.
  13. Transfer to a dish and let it cool. If you want, you can press it, cool it and shape them into balls or cut into squares.
  14. Sprinkle rest of the saffron and chopped nuts.
NOTES:
  1. You can substitute raw almonds with 1.5 cups of almond meal. Make sure they are not mixed with anything else.
  2. Add sugar per your taste. This dessert can consume upto 3 cups of sugar. I always taste and add. I also add Agave nectar or honey at times, but the taste is best with white granulated sugar.
  3. Rose water gives it a distinctive taste. Try both ways and see which one your palate appreciates more.

Things are looking up weather wise. It’s in the 80s and 90s the entire next week. Time for some sunshine and happiness.

 

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22 comments for “Badam Halwa – almond pudding

  1. August 20, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    Hi Minnie,
    Your recipe looks nice , I must try it ,by taking help of my mom. Thanks for sharing.
    Ritul gangwar recently posted..Apple is All Set to Launch Two New iPhone In September [ Report WSJ ]My Profile

  2. CCU
    August 20, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    I don’t know what I am more excited about, your gorgeous new fish or your utterly delicious almond pudding :D

    Cheers
    CCU
    CCU recently posted..Guest Post #8: Ensaymada BunsMy Profile

    • August 20, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      Thanks Uru!!

  3. August 20, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Congratulations on the new arrivals. Now hopefully no more Tsunami in my mail inbox that you lost one. ;-)
    Bhaskar recently posted..Phir bhi yaad kar leta hu main!My Profile

    • August 20, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      hehehehhee!!! I hope not!!

  4. August 20, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    I’ve had more than my fair share of fish, Minnie. I started with goldfish, moved on to tropical, and ended with slat water tanks. I never kept fish outdoors, though. I don’t think they would have survived our Winters. I haven’t tried almond custard either and I think I’ve missed out on a real treat. You’ve shared a great recipe with us — and a delicious one, too. Thanks, Minnie.
    ChgoJohn recently posted..The Bartolini Family RisottoMy Profile

    • August 20, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      Winters are hard for them outside, as we learned the hard way last winter. But we are ready this time around, and hopefully will cope much better. Koi are quite hardy and I am hoping they will fare quite well.

  5. August 20, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    An delicious and yummy halwa :) looks so inviting dear :)
    Manjula Bharath recently posted..Eggless Butterless Chocolate Cake (Garnished with fresh Berries)My Profile

  6. August 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    I love how there’s rose water in this almond dessert. It always gives such a lovely flavour. We are noticing the seasons changing here too. The days are definitely becoming longer and the sun’s getting a bit higher on the horizon. I’m so looking forward to Spring as I don’t cope well with the cold. That’s very sad about your poor goldfish xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Doing the Usain BoltMy Profile

    • August 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      Thanks Charlie……I wonder if there are people who spend the summers in US and then…summers in Australia. How perfect life would be…..or would it….lol!
      Minnie recently posted..Badam Halwa – almond puddingMy Profile

  7. August 21, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    Badam halwa looks very inviting and mouth-watering Minnie… Thanks for sharing dear :-)
    Nilu A recently posted..Baked Macaroni & Vegetable DelightMy Profile

  8. August 21, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    All time favorite,looks yum

  9. August 22, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Aww congratulations on your new fishies! I’m not one for the cold at all, in fact I loathe it! I can’t wait for the weather to warm up :)

  10. August 22, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    We used to have a big aquarium when I was young and then we had one when the girls were young, until my husband killed them all. After that, I said “no thank you” to all pets. Life is simpler now.
    Yummy! I love all halwas, especially nut ones, daal ones and my fave, kaddu!

    Nazneen
    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted..Cheesecake Tart with Caramelised FigsMy Profile

    • August 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Oh no!! Lol!!! I am sure he was only trying to help :) Aquarium is hell lot more difficult than a pond, though it needs work too. Thanks Nazneen…..love halwas :)

  11. August 22, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    I love the name of your new little fish Queen Of The Night, perfect. The weather here can’t make up it’s mind whether to be hot and sunny or rain and so it’s uncomfortably doing both! Love the look of the almond pudding, I bet it’s delicious. GG

  12. August 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Do you have an extra spoon??? YUM!
    The Hungry Goddess recently posted..20+ Italian Recipes Roundup for #HGEATS #LoveItaly WeekMy Profile

  13. August 23, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    I love this halwa, mom used to make it but I never did, Now you reminds me and I am bookmarking this to make it in fall or winters.
    Balvinder recently posted..Zucchini Pesto PizzaMy Profile

  14. August 29, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Little fishi! =D I could watch them the whole day. I can’t finish watching your clip, the speed is horrible here today (blaming BSNL!). I whine a whole lots too in the cold and I can’t take even little cold but you can see me wearing jeans in the Indian summer =P. Gonna try your badam halwa soon, one of my favorite indian dessert.

  15. September 7, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Oh my god that Halwa is delicious, I really feel like making it right now. BTW even I have 4 little goldfish but we have them in a tank :) Its funny to see that they all have a character and they seem to remember who feeds them. When my husband approaches the tank they go crazy because he is the one who usually feeds them.

  16. September 19, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Oh, this pudding looks so delicious. It’s now 6:30 am in the morning here and I could even eat this for breakfast now! It must be really starting to get cool in New England!
    fran @ G’day Souffle’ recently posted..Maryland Crab Cakes – Paris Style!My Profile

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