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  • Almonds for all seasons, reasons

    Apr 8th, 2015

    Almonds are said to be healthy. Be it hair, bones or brain, this nut has amazing qualities and health benefits. But how one incorporates it in daily diet is important. It is generally preferred to take almonds early in the morning to remain active thr­oughout the day. But it can be used in interesting ways in different cuisines to enhance the taste of a dish, along with increasing its nutrition quotient.

    “As we all know almond is used majorly in Indian cooking but it can be used in European and Oriental cooking as well,” says Piyush Jain, corporate chef, Schengen Restaurant at Malcha Marg and Mia Bella Restaurant at Hauz Khas Village.“In oriental, they cook with almond and garlic sauce. And if we talk about European cooking then almond can be used for desserts, for example almond and orange Torte. They use it in croquettes too. We can make almond and potato mash. We can use fried almond powder in doing a crust for lamb or chicken,” says Jain.You can add almonds in various main course dishes, apart from salads and desserts, to give a distinctive crunch as well a subtle sweet flavour. To the chicken cooked in gravy, add some fine grained almond along with simmered cumin for that unusual flavour. For those who love experimentation, cover the marinated chicken with sliced almonds and roast it. Serve it with chopped veggies.

    Almond makes for a nice pesto. Mix the sundried tomato and almonds with oregano and other spices to make a perfect red sauce for pastas. You can even apply that sauce on meat and then roast it. To the fish add some lemon juice, coat it with nut and bake it on spinach leaves. Be it any kind of salad, it is incomplete without almonds.Chef Sonu Negi of Smoked Biryani House says, “Almond can be used in soups as a taste enhancer, in tikka as a marinade, in curry dishes as thickening agent and in sweet dishesto add a slight sweet flavour.”In desserts, almond cake is the best. Soak the baked cake in the sweet almond liqueur, add powdered sugar and put sliced almonds on top of it. Freeze it to relish the taste. Even almo­nd cookies make for a good dessert for those with a sweet tooth. Mix the fine grained fig, coconut and almond together in caramel and freeze it. You can add almond extract to the pancake.