Tag Archives: Pecan nuts

Diwali and Christmas nuts-pecans in a crisp jaggery, cardamom and cinnamon shell

25 Oct

Diwali and Christmas nuts-pecans in a crisp jaggery, cardamon and cinnamon shell

Things are different now, compared to how they were back in the day. I remember watching TV with a bag of sherbet in my hand ( a rare treat) whilst my dad nipped off to work and and just an hour or so before mum arrived home from her job. I must have been about ten. Nowadays that just wouldn’t happen would it. I mean, many people I know don’t even allow their kids to walk home from school. I think dad even left my brother sleeping in his cot when picking me up from nursery down the road. I would freak at the thought of doing this now my toddler, I even take him into the bathroom when I am showering. Things have changed.

We didn’t eat a lot of sugar or fried food as kids. My dad is diabetic and he used to be a diligent one. He refused even a fleck of mithai (traditional Indian sweets made most often from milk powders and lots of sugar, often nuts) at Diwali or auspicious occasions. He would rarely eat a samosa and we never had pudding after dinner. I mean, we weren’t deprived…we ate ice cream and chocolate and cake…it just wasn’t part of our regular diets.

At Diwali we chose nuts over the mithai, naturally.

So it turned out that for years I would prefer crisps over sweets and never drank fizzy drinks. I would eat an extra chappati with a green vegetable curry and okra was my favourite, but I wouldn’t eat rasmalai (paneer based dessert). I craved pasta not cake and definitely pizza over cake. Then I had baby.

It has been the most bizarre experience. Pretty much weeks after having my boy, I started craving biscuits and I ate loads of them. Arguably this could have been simply hunger and pumping loads of calories into my bit via breast milk, but I’d not really craved biscuits before. I was part of an NCT group where us new mums would meet weekly and guess what we ate? Cakes, biscuits, wafers, muffins…

I started craving lemon drizzle cake every day. I would wake up thinking about apple and blackberry crumble. But then my hair fell in clumps as part of normal post partum hair loss and I think my my hormones were a mess. Spikes in insulin and are related to hormone levels and eating all that cake was not doing me any favours, especially as I had a family history of diabetes. The sugar honeymoon was off!

Jaggery however is unrefined sugar and you can get it in blocks from asian supermarkets.I do struggle sometimes to keep my iron levels up and jaggery is a source of iron too. I was fed it with nuts after I had my baby to help me recover. I did find mums traditional recipe tasty, but I was bored as heck so I created this recipe.

I’ve eaten so much of these crisp, smooth and flavoursome little bites today and it has really been hard to stop! I’m so excited about showing these off during Diwali and Christmas. The cardamon and cinnamon are definitely present and warm the dish up and add so much depth and flavour.

I love these crunchy bites, I feel better that I’m not eating a lump of fat but they taste so ridiculously good. Make some, eat them, gift them.

Ingredients

150g pecan nuts
225g jaggery
2 tbsp water
1/4 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon

Method

1. Toast the nuts on a non stick pan for a 4 minutes or until they catch a light colour and are crisp. Leave them to cool.
2. On a low flame melt the jaggery. Add the water if its stiff.
3. Once the jaggery achieves a caramel type of consistency, add the cardamon and cinnamon and mix well
4. Turn the flame to a very low flicker and mix in the pecans and pull them out with tongs individually and lay them on baking paper to cool. Please do not use your fingers, hot jaggery burns.image

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