My mother always gave us a few almonds each morning, a routine I still follow. Almond paste is also a great face pack.
Almond of course has a lot of culinary uses. Toasted almonds are a great garnish for desserts, biryanis and gravies. The paste is used as a base for curries and to make several sweets. My favourite is Badam Burfi.
1cup (150gms) almonds
2 cardamom pods, crushed
few strands of saffron
Put the almonds in hot water and soak for 5hrs. Drain and peel off the skin.
Slightly grease a small dish.
Grind the almonds with the milk to a paste.( You can either make it a smooth paste or a little grainy, but not very coarse). I like to add about 2-3strands of saffron while grinding. This will give it a slight colour without making it yellow.
Heat the ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add the almond paste and cook on medium-low heat till thick and sticky (about 6-8mins).
Add the sugar and mix well. Cook, stirring constantly till the mixture becomes very thick, comes together and the ghee separates. At this stage the mixture will almost be dough like. If you take a little bit and roll between your fingers it must feel firm but not hard.
Remove from the heat and mix in the cardamom powder.
Spread onto the greased dish. When almost cool, cut into desired shape and cool completely. Garnish with saffron threads.