Friday, February 12, 2010

Almond Cashew powder ~ Indian Basics for Cooking

Once upon a time, in once upon a place, there lived a little girl...
Now once upon a place, there lived two little boys, who had a cute cute sister..

Well this is how my stories have been every night of our lives. With Konda it used to be the first line and now with all of them, I say the traditional second line. No matter what story I say, be it an old one or a newly concocted story, it had to start with "once upon a place"

If JK Rowling became a millionaire this way, I think I have every chance too. Infact during the initial days after the boys were born, Hubby dear used to tell the Jungle Book to Konda. I am sure Kipling could've well used some chapters from what went at home those late nights. It used to be ritual, seeing Konda getting ready to hear the story from her father. With rapt attention, devouring every word her father was saying, rapidly firing away questions on why the Lion didn't pounce and why the bear didn't eat away, it used to be exciting time for her.

It was a god sent, as Konda was addicted to her stories, and I had to tell her some 5 -6 everyday. I was happy that way, because I get to repeat them all over and the kids are so happy hearing them, including Konda. There were days when mind refuses to dish out new ideas and I had plead them listen to the old ones. I should say I was lucky at times.

On one of the occasions, I recollected my memories of my childhood and suddenly remembered those wonderful times spent in that small town where we grew acres and acres of vegetables. Konda wasn't about to believe that it was true. I was lucky that it was indeed and happy, yet sad knowing she can confirm this with Dad. Sad because though we grew up in a town and then a city, I got to see and experience cultivation myself. And my kids will never experience that. Well the story of our vegetable garden will come later.

In the story, it is about the Almond tree that we had. Of course this was the local Badam tree which yield a different type of kernel. I am yet to find out the exact difference between this and the commercially available one. Konda loves hearing about that story.

While I was thinking about it, I remembered the basic powder that is always stored in our home. A powder of Almond with Cashew nuts, ready to be used in an gravy or anyways that we think of.


This can be powdered and stored separately or together, depends on individual choice.

We take equal quantity of Almond and Cashew nuts. Pulse it to get a fine powder. Cool it for a while. Then refrigerate. This stays till you run out of it.

I use this for Paneer Butter Masala, our most favorite dish in our household and many.

Ok, Sra's question made me realize that this may not be a common ingredient in most household. Since I have been making this dish for so many years, it has become so very common. And in the process found its way to other dishes.

To answer Sra, it doesnt' become oily, we pulse it before chopping it into smaller bits. And as I said we dry for a while. This ensures it becomes dry and stays for a long time. That is until you use it up.

Goes into many North Indian type of gravies, sometimes tikkis, sometimes even flatbreads.

Having this ready on hand, makes life a wee bit hassle free.

Enjoy the weekend and happy Valentines day!
       

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10 comments :

sra said...

This powder is news to me, Valli, never knew it was a basic! Very interesting. Doesn't it become oily?I know about almond flour/meal but only in the context of gluten-free baking. I've ground almonds once or twice but could never powder it.

Cooking for Pleasure said...

First time here through BongMom's cookbook...

Even in my household this isn't very common but yes I think it is worth keeping because of the protein and the "good fat" it adds especially in vegetarian cooking. I am going to prepare this soon.

Rachana Kothari said...

I do the same and it is definitely very handy!!!!

Priya said...

Thanks for sharing Sri, this powder is really handy for making out creamy sauces..

Tina said...

Nice post dear....

Anonymous said...

In your Paneer Butter Masala recipe you mention the use of only cashew powder and not Almond/Cashew pdr. Will the addition of Almond powder make any difference?
Neville

Srivalli said...

Thank you friends..

I updated the post Sra,

Neville, Infact it makes it more tastier. My improvised recipe uses almond cashew powder. Do try it, it will surely taste great.

Aparna said...

Never thought of this, but when I started making macarons, I used have leftover almond powder which I have used for gravies.
I know this is an excellent idea. Shall powder cashews too next.

Anonymous said...

Do you peel the almonds before powdering them?

Srivalli said...

Anon I don't peel off the skin, thats very healthy.

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