“What !! Exotic and healthy sweet, are you nuts !” is the reaction from a friend with sweet tooth. More often we associate exotic foods with recipes which are rich, takes time to prepare and need loads of work outs on Treadmill to shed those extra calories & kilos they add to the unwanted areas
Be it Malai Koftas, Ras Malai or an irresistible Black forest cake, they all bring in the same feeling of sheer indulgence. Nutty Delights are exotic and healthy at the same time since it is made with cottage cheese and nuts . But you must keep a watch on the numbers
1/4 cup of mixed nuts(cashew, raisins, walnuts, dried figs)
1 tbsp of Honey
A few drops of food grade green color
100 gm Binding agent
Binding Agent: You can mix concentrated milk (koya/mawa), cornflour powder, Ricotta cheese, cottage cheese or even Milkmaid to the paste made with cashew and pistachios. The dough should be pliable enough to knead or roll into desired shape.
Method: Soak almonds and pistachios in water for 20 minutes. Take out from water and peel the skin.Grind both the nuts separately with very little water and keep them aside.
Heat a skillet and put the cashew paste in it, fry it for a few minutes. Fry the pistachio paste also for a few minutes.
Add 50 gms of sugar in cashew and the rest 50 gms in the pistachio paste and mix thoroughly. Add a few drops of green color to the pistachio paste and knead it.
At this stage you can add any binding agent which you prefer, I added 50 gms each of Cottage cheese to both the paste of nuts. Dry fry the cottage cheese for a few seconds and take off the flames. Cool it and rub it lightly to remove any lumps in it.
Knead the nuts and cottage cheese paste for a few minutes till it becomes pliable and smooth.
For the Filling:
Make a coarse powder of assorted nuts , dice figs and raisins in small pieces. Mix it with honey and poppy seeds and keep it aside for the filling.
Assembling the Nutty Delights;
Take a small ball of the pistachio paste, flatten it with your palm and put a teaspoon of nuts filling on to it. Close the sides and make a ball.
Take a small ball of cashew paste and flatten it on your palm. Put the green ball made with the pistachio paste and the nuts filling over it.
Make a firm ball of cashew nuts paste as the outer cover and make all the ball in the similar manner.
Refrigerate all the balls in the fridge for a few hours.
Take out the nutty balls from the fridge and cut them into half. Decorate each with silver foil and store them in an air tight container.
The Nutty delights taste heavenly with the mawa (concentrated milk) as the binding agent.
Refrigerating the nuts make them little firm to cut into two.
Try adding different colors and make these Nutty Delights.
These were a huge hits with my kids and the friends to whom I sent them as a gift pack during the festive season.
Just make sure you keep a check on the count in the box as these are going to disappear as soon as they are made.