Walnut halwa
We all know that nuts are a great option for healthy snacking. I usually don't pay much attention to those flyers from my health insurer, but there was one that spoke about nuts, which caught my attention. It identified walnuts as the king of nuts, when it comes to nutritional value. Being a great source of omega-3 and monounsaturated fatty acids, the antioxidant ellargic acid and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps support the immune system, fight cancer and protect heart health, among an array of health benefits. So, I decided to try using this incredible nut as the key ingredient in my dessert this birthday! Happy Thanksgiving!



Ingredients (makes about 1 1/2 cups of halwa):

walnut - 2 cups (chopped) + 2 tbsp for garnishing
milk - 1 cup
sugar - 1 cup
ghee (clarified butter) - 2 tbsp
water - 1/4 cup

Method:

Take walnuts with milk in a microwaveable bowl. Warm it up for about 3 minutes. Let the walnuts soak in milk for a couple of hours. When cool, grind them in a food processor to get a smooth paste.

Heat sugar, add water and as soon as it starts bubbling, add the walnut paste and keep stirring. Once it starts thickening, add ghee. When the mixture reaches halwa consistency and leaves the sides of the pan, add the walnut pieces set aside for garnishing, remove from fire, allow to cool and enjoy lukewarm!
Eggless vanilla teacake
When I was in India, we never had a baking oven. Since childhood, it was my dream to be able to bake some day. When I moved to the US, where almost every home has a baking oven, this was the first cake I baked - and to this day, it is my personal favorite.



Ingredients:

all-purpose flour - 2 cups
sweetened condensed milk - 1 can
butter - 1 stick (8 tbsp)
baking powder - 1 tsp
baking soda - 3/4 tsp
orange juice or soda - 3/4 cup
yogurt - 5 tbsp
vanilla extract - 1 tsp

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit). Sift flour with baking powder and baking soda. (I repeat this process 3 to 4 times). Set aside.

Blend condensed milk and butter with a hand mixer until well-blended. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until fluffy. Pour into a greased baking tray and bake for 45 to 60 minutes until skewer comes out clean. Serve warm with tea.

Notes:
Baking powder and baking soda need to be mixed thoroughly with flour.
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