A festival of love and sharing, the Raksha Bandhan is celebrated today in all Hindu homes as sisters tie the sacred thread on their brothers’ wrists. This symbolic gesture underlines the strong affection and understanding between siblings who have grown up sharing toys, clothes, notes, pillow fights and countless memories between them. This year I made badam barfi for my health conscious brother and it turned even better than planned. This barfi has a soft, fudgy consistency without being overly sweet and can, to some extent, be labeled as a ‘healthy’ mithai. Though I cannot share my barfi with all of them, I wish my brothers and cousins a very happy Raksha Bandhan 2013.

BADAM BARFI

Ingredients:

10 tbs granulated sugar

3/4 cup cold water

1 cup unskinned almonds

1/8 cup milk powder

5 cardamom pods, crushed

5 whole almonds, chopped

5 pistachios, chopped

Method:

  • Boil 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, add almonds. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.

  • Drain well and remove skins. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 150oF for 30 minutes until completely dry.

  • Place almonds in a mixer or coffee grinder and process to a fine powder. For the syrup, bring water to a boil.

  • Add sugar and stir frequently until sugar dissolves. Cook until the syrup reaches a one-thread consistency.

  • Remove from heat and add processed almonds, crushed cardamom and milk powder to the syrup. Mix well.

  • Grease a small square pan and sprinkle chopped almonds, pistachios and cardamom seeds on the surface.

  • Press the hot almond paste into the prepared pan and flatten until it is of even thickness. Cool slightly in pan.

  • Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes 16 square pieces of badam barfi.

Happy Raksha Bandhan