Since I was a small kid, my grandmother always asked me to munch on a handful of dried nuts daily. I made a habit of inculcating them in my diet for the innumerable health benefits they have. I still love the taste and flavor of overnight soaked almonds along with a cup of warm milk. Dry fruits are the powerhouse of various nutrients and adding them into any dish makes it extra delicious. I love that fruity crunch in cakes, kheer or sheera. Let’s dig into the world of dry fruits and have a quick look into simple and nutritional recipes.

1. Dry Fruit Chikki: A subtle Indian sweet, eaten in winters, it is loved by kids as well as adults. There is variety of chikkis made with different ingredients but this one with the goodness of almonds, cashews and walnuts is outstanding. Its nutty taste is sure to get you hooked.

½ cup almonds
½ cup cashew nuts
½ cup pistachios
1 cup sugar

a. Heat a non stick pan on high flame for 2 minutes.
b. Add sugar, mix well, cook until the sugar melts and stir continuously.
c. Remove from flame add the cashews, almonds and mix well.
d. Immediately transfer the mixture on a smooth greased stone surface. Roll it out with a greased rolling pin.
e. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and allow it to cool for 5 to 7 minutes.
f. Serve immediately or store it in an air tight container.

2. Dry Fruit Milkshake: A scrumptious milkshake loaded with goodness of almonds, cashews and figs. This recipe is gonna hit the spot during summers and winters, giving you the ultimate health boost.

3 tablespoons pistachios
10 almonds
10 cashews
3 dried figs
3 chopped dates
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
21/4 cups of milk

a. Soak dry fruits and nuts in water for about 45 minutes. Peel off the almond skin, drain water and run the contents in a blender.
b. Mix in the cardamom powder and dates.
c. Add milk and blend until the texture looks smooth.
d. Mix in more milk if required.
e. Garnish using nuts and serve fresh.

3. Anjeer Ke Kabab: A pear shaped fruit loaded with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Many sweet and savory dishes can be created by using this magical ingredient. This recipe of anjeer ke kebab is just lip smacking.

100 grams anjeer
250 grams hung curd
400 grams paneer
150 grams chana powder
150 grams bread crumbs
50 grams ginger
2-3 green chilies
50 grams chopped coriander
200 grams ghee
40 grams garam masala
A pinch of elaichi powder
1 tsp jeera powder
Salt to taste

a. Take hung curd in a bowl. Add grated paneer, ginger, green chilli, green coriander, garam masala, elaichi powder, roasted jeera powder and salt.
b. Mix and fold all the ingredients with soft hands. Now add roasted chana powder and bread crumbs.
c. Make balls and stuff them with anjeer, flatten and shape it into tikki and shallow fry on slow fire.
d. Serve it with mint chutney.


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