Diwali is a time of lights, binge eating and gifts! But what’s the most common gift you receive? Dried fruits and nuts in packs that only get better every year! It’s also another reason why your kitchen shelves groan with the weight of the jars of almonds, pistachios, walnuts, dried figs and the likes. Here are 6 ways to recycle, reinvent and reuse these nuts.
Flour Power - If you've got more of almonds this year, the easiest thing you could do is blanch them then pulse it into almond flour – which you can then use as a base for several recipes– make badam Katli or mix it along with some desiccated coconut and powdered sugar to make marzipan. Do note that if you pulse the almonds for too long it can result in almond butter – which isn't such a bad thing either!
Healthy Munchies - You can also put all of these mixed dried fruits on an oven tray, set the temperature at the lowest and forget about them for a couple of hours. A while later, be welcomed by the delicious smell of roasted nuts. Sprinkle some salt and castor sugar and store in airtight jars for quick protein fixes!
Easy Cheesy- If the dry fruits have gone a little limp and don’t have that crunch any more, worry not! Grind them to a coarse powder and store in the fridge. Use them while making cheesecakes and crumbles. Mix with some condensed milk and digestive biscuits and use as a base for your cheesecakes. This will give it a whole new twist and keep people wondering what it is that makes your cheesecake better than theirs!
Cash in on cashews - You can also make a delicious kaju and paneer ki sabzi with all those cashew nuts - here's the recipe. Alternatively you can make a paste of cashew nuts and use it to thicken and add richness to your curries and gravies.
‘Fig’ure it out - What do you do with all the anjeer or dried figs that invariably are a part of dry fruit boxes? Well chop these up and add to salads or you can make a fig version of a sticky date pudding. Find the recipe here. Substitute dates with dried figs.
Brittles - Make a dry fruit chikki or a brittle. Take equal quantities of sugar and jaggery and melt it in a pan. (adding jaggery makes it a tad bit healthier and a lot more flavorful) Add chopped or even whole dried fruits to it, set it in a barfi tray, allow it to cool, demould and you have a lovely dry fruit chikki ready. Add a pinch of green cardamom powder to the sugar when it’s melting for that extra aroma and flavour. Wrap these in colourful cellophane paper and a pretty ribbon – they are great giveaway for parties or little dinner get-togethers.
But remember the rich dried fruits and nuts could also cause a spike in your cholesterol levels and weight gain. Give it away to orphanages and maids etc, after all Diwali is also a time of loving and sharing.
Now that we have given you some great recipe ideas all those nuts should not be driving you nuts anymore! For more fabulous recipes you can always log into SanjeevKapoor.com
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.