Completely Nuts.

I love nuts. They are crunchy, filling, healthy and delicious. Be it adding them to my smoothie or salads or to cakes and pies, in my biryani or making truffles for snacking after school. You have to be absolutely nuts not to love nuts!!

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I am into my second leg of testing the Froothie Optimum 9400 High Speed Vortex Blender that the team at Froothie sent me for a test run before the big launch (Read more about it here). In the first month I tried making frozen desserts and hot soups and this month was all about nuts. Grinding them fine and/or making nut butters (two out of the five functions I was most curious about) and looks like it is a 10/10 for both! So today I am going to share two of the many recipes I tried this month. A chicken, walnut and pomegranate stew where the walnuts are the gravy and an almond, coconut and carrot cake that uses almonds in three forms; chopped, ground and butter.

Also, at the end of the post is a little present for you. The festive season is upon us and the team at Froothie and I would love to celebrate and share it with all of you.

Chicken, Walnut and Pomegranate Stew

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This is undoubtedly my favourite part of the year; there is a festival to look forward to every few weeks. A reason to sit down with family and friends and savour and celebrate life. I like to keep evenings like these simple with a big pan of stew that literally cooks on its own while I potter around putting tea lights everywhere and tying flowers together. This walnut stew is rich, nutty and screams festivity. The only thing you have to do is to ground loads of walnuts in your processor which in my past life was actually very frustrating. I had to keep doing it in several batches and keep looking for chunky bits and if I happened to overprocess it then I would end up with a crumbly ball of butter instead of walnut powder. I tried the same with the Froothie Optimum 9400 High Speed Vortex Blender and I was simply amazed. Fine walnut dust in less than 10 seconds, if you can believe me!! Grinding nuts has never been so stress-free!

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 500 grams walnuts
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp any neutral cooking oil
  • 4 medium onions
  • 16 chicken thighs with bones and without skin
  • Salt
  • 1 litre of water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups of pomegranate molasses
  • A handful of pomegranate seeds to garnish
  • Rice to serve along

Instructions:

  1. Ground the walnuts in batches in the Froothie Optimum 9400 High Speed Vortex Blender to a fine powder. Keep it aside.
  2. In a large pan, toast the flour till light golden. Add the ground walnuts and toast them over low heat. This will take a while.
  3. In another large pan that can fit in all of the chicken thighs, heat the oil.
  4. Dice the onions and fry them till golden.
  5. Season the chicken thighs and add them to the pan. Sear them on both the sides to lock all the juices (till they are light brown on either side). Keep this onion and chicken mix aside.
  6. Once the walnuts in your other pan are toasted, add 1 litre of water and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and continue to boil till you oil on top (about 1 hour).
  7. Add sugar and pomegranate molasses to the walnut gravy and give it a good stir. Add the chicken and onions to it as well.
  8. Cover and let it cook for about 1.5-2 hours on low heat. Remember to stir every half an hour or so.
  9. At the end of cooking the colour of the stew would have changed to a deep velvety brown and the chicken would have become really tender.
  10. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve with rice of your choice.

Almond, coconut and carrot cake with rose water cream.

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I love to bake. My weekends are incomplete without baking a cake or cookies or bread. We prefer a cake sans icing over a heavily frosted one (just some cream on the side if you are feeling indulgent) and this one here is a big favourite with everyone. It is a flourless cake made just with almonds and so a tiny slice fills you up and when you can’t show restraint just tell yourself this is your daily quota of vitamins and antioxidants! Plus it has carrots and coconut too. The cake has almonds in three forms; chopped, ground and as butter and that it what makes it both luxurious even without the icing and gives it an interesting texture. I used the Froothie Optimum 9400 High Speed Vortex Blender to both ground the almonds and to make almond butter (a first for me in this blender) and I would not be exaggerating if I said it has changed the way I will look at making nut/ seeds butters from now on. It would take so much of time in my processor and it would heat up the machine as well. It can’t get easier and healthier than this!

Serves 12-14

Ingredients

  • 500 grams almonds:
    • 200 grams almonds (to be made into butter)
    • 200 grams almonds (to be grounded)
    • 100 grams almonds (to be roughly chopped)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200 grams brown sugar
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • 100 grams dessicated coconut
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the rosewater cream (optional but recommended)

  • 200 ml thick cream
  • 4 tbsp rose water
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar

Ingredients:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Spread 200 grams of almonds on a lined baking sheet and dry roast for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, ground the other 200 grams of almonds in batches in the Froothie Optimum 9400 High Speed Vortex Blender to a fine powder. Keep it aside.
  4. Now, blend the roasted almonds in the Froothie Optimum 9400 High Speed Vortex Blender. It will look like the ground almonds at first and soon the oil from it will be begin to release and it will become smooth and reach the creamy butter consistency. Melt 150 grams of almond butter and keep it aside to cool (You will only need 150 grams of butter from this. Reserve the rest to slather on bread!)
  5. Roughly chop 100 grams of almonds. Grate the carrots and squeeze out all the water from it.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar and the rose water. Next fold in the ground almonds, desiccated coconut and ground cinnamon. Add the melted almond butter and stir.
  7. Add the carrots and the chopped almonds and mix well.
  8. Line a springform cake tin (8 inches) and pour the batter into it.
  9. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a cake skewer/tooth pick comes out clean. Allow it to cool and then unmould it.
  10. If making the cream, combine the cream, rosewater and the icing sugar and whisk till you get soft peaks.
  11. Slice the cake and enjoy it with the cream.

Before I end this post, here is the little present we want to share with you.

Hop on to the Froothie website and enter the code ok-froothie-80 that will entitle you to a discount if you do wish to get yourself an Optimum Blender 2nd generation 9200A or the Optimum 9400.

Happy Cooking Everyone!

Images & Disclaimer: Personal album  If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if  use those without my permission. Just ask! This blender was given to me by the team at Froothie for a test run before their launch in UAE. All the views expressed here are entirely mine.

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