Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Parsi Badam Pak [Almond Fudge Squares] ~ Parsi New Year Special.

Parsi Badam Pak {Almond Fudge}
What do I write about us Parsis today? what do I tell you that I haven't before? Do I tell you about their philanthropy? but perhaps you already know of that. Shall I tell you of their love for western classical music and their presence at the NCPA theater in Mumbai to cheer on the last remnants of what we call good music?, but maybe you already know of that too. Zubin Mehta anyone?. Shall I tell you that we are a highly eccentric bunch and that our eccentricities know no bounds, In case you even have one Parsi friend, you are covered on that front too...


A community with an ability to whole heatedly laugh at ourselves, a community which speaks like the Gujarati's but adds meaty dumplings in all its gravies.... a community that swears like no other but then loves like no other either... A glorious race, that today stands face to face with the threat of extinction looming large in the background foreground....


I love being a Parsi, I love my mysterious love for eggs, I love visiting the Fire Temple and soaking up the sound of the loud bell that goes off five times a day, I love staring into the well (housed in every fire temple) and looking at gold fish and turtles going about their playful way. I love the smell of roses and rose water, both an ingrained part of Parsi life. I love reciting our prayers in the ancient Avestan language... but what I love most is passing on this rich legacy to my son.

The Parsis have given a lot to India, but then India has given us a lot too, its given us a place to call home, its given us tremendous love and its given us the magic of its culinary greatness. Recipes that come under the umbrella of Parsi cuisine are nothing but those from India that have been given their own unique twist by the Parsis to suit their ever indulgent palate.


As Parsis the world over celebrate their New Year today, I'd love to share this lovely Almond Fudge recipe known as Badam Pak (graciously shared by our neighbour, which I have quartered as we are a small family), made their own by the Parsis by a simple addition of rose water, so uniquely Persian, so very us...

To make 1/4 kg Badam Pak,

You will need:

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup sugar
100 gms mawa (evaporated milk solids) OR 3/4 cup milk powder + 1/3 cup water.
1/3 cup rose water
1/4 cup ghee
2 pinches of cardamom powder and nutmeg powder.

Method:

First take the almonds in a mixer /coffee grinder and make a coarse powder. Not too coarse , nor too fine

In a saucepan, add sugar along with 3 tbsps water and let it boil till it reaches a  single string consistency syrup. {That is if you take a drop of syrup and stretch between 2 fingers you should see a line (1 string)}.

Now take the sugar syrup off the stove, let it cool for a minute or two, then add crumbled mawa (or milk powder and water paste if using that) and stir well.



Keep a greased plate or baking paper lined tray ready by the side.

In another wide pan, add the ghee and almond powder and saute until nicely aromatic and golden brown. Take care not to burn it.

When done, add the sugar syrup mix to this and give it a good mix. Add rose water and stir well. Let this cook on a slow flame, until thick and sticky, now add in the cardamom and nutmeg powders.





Transfer the pak to the plate or tray and press it flat using a flat bowl or your fingertips.


Let it cool well. Store it in an air-tight container. It stays good and fresh in refrigerator for almost a month.

Cut into squares before serving.

Serve it along with some mint tea.

Enjoy!

Ushta te




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