My apologies for being absent for a while, life has been insane but fear not, I am back with a wonderful recipe for you today!
My first experience with Badam Pak was at my Aunty Zenobia's house as a young child where she served this as a treat and it was AMAZING! The almonds, the ghee, the spices, everything just molded into this very moreish, decadent bite! Hers was softer while mine is a bit firmer however this was my first time trying to create this dish and I learned a lot!
Badam Pak orginated in South India but it is beloved by the Parsi community and we have kind of adopted it as one of our own dishes! It is very popular in sweet shops all across India but it can be easily prepared at home with a little bit of time and love!
This dish is very rich, so a little goes a long way. I like my Badam Pak slightly warmed and soft and if you wanted to, this recipe could cooked up to a point where it can be eaten "by the spoonful" but today's recipe is a firmer "mitthai" or Indian sweet. If you desire a softer version of Badam Pak" which is also delicious may I suggest cooking it around 10-15 minutes and then taking it off the stove. You can simply then place it into an airtight container. Due to ghee in this recipe, it will firm up if stored in the fridge, just bring it out to reach room temperature or gently heat in the microwave to soften.
This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found online here and as we do not have access to mava (which is essentially cooked cream) in Australia I had to adapt the recipe. I also find that I really like my spices to sing, so I usually add extra cardamom and nutmeg in my sweets.
If you love almond based recipes you should also try another of my favorites, Homemade Marzipan Fruits which has a similar style of preparation but a very different flavor.
Ensure you use a non-stick frying pan and saucepan for this recipe
A food safe, heat resistant silicon spatula is your best friend in a recipe like this because it helps to easily "wipe" down the sides of your pan
Once the mixture is pulling away from the sides of the saucepan it is done, if you continue cooking it will result in a firmer, harder Badam Pak. It will still be soft until it is cools and sets. Setting it at room temperature will create yummy chewy bites and if you put it in the fridge it will be a firmer, yet tasty bite when when you eat it
If you prefer more of a crunch, add some crushed nuts into your badam pak right at the end and stir in well
YOU WILL NEED
600ml | 20 ounces thickened/heavy cream (to create mava)
1 cup | 250ml | 8 ounces rose water
500g | 17.5 ounces sugar
500g | 17.5 ounces almond meal (or you can grind blanched almonds in your food processor for a similar result if you like keep some slightly larger bits of almond for a bit more texture)
250g | 9 ounces ghee
Seeds of 10-15 fresh cardamoms (elaichi), ground (start with 10, taste and add more if desired)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Extra chopped nuts and dried edible rose petals to garnish (optional)
If you can get your hands on some silver or gold leaf that also looks very nice (but purely optional)
In a large non-stick frying pan add the cream and over medium heat allow come to a gentle boil, stirring regularly and continue to cook until it thickens, becomes yellowish and reduces by half (this is now your mava). Remove from the stove once done and set aside.
In a medium non-stick saucepan add the rose water and sugar and bring to the boil, ensuring all sugar is dissolved.
Remove the saucepan from the stove and using a whisk, add the reduced cream (mava) and stir in ensuring a smooth consistency.
Add the almond meal, ghee, ground cardamom and nutmeg and using a spatula mix everything well.
Return the saucepan back to the stove and over medium heat (no higher) and with a heat safe silicon spatula or wooden spoon continue cooking and stirring, ensuring you regularly scrape the sides of the pan too to avoid burning until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan (this takes roughly 15-20 minutes).
Pour the mixture into a greased (with ghee or butter) large baking dish or tray and spread the mixture.
If desired garnish with extra chopped nuts, rose petals etc.
Allow to set at room temperature, cut into diamonds and enjoy!
MAKES 30-40 PIECES