Fudgy Cardamom Squares - incredibly flavorful with a fudgy consistency, these warmly spiced bars will disappear fast - you should just make a double batch.
I have been a fan of Vegan Richa for years - drawn in with her stunning photography, I keep coming back for her inventive recipes using complex layers of flavor and bright colors. I love the flavors of Indian foods - Jason and I both do - and have a few favorites that I make often. Richa's recipes are not only delicious, they are approachable as well.
Also, have you ever seen a Richa burger? They are epic.
Lately, Richa has been very hard at work on a grand project - Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook:
Just like her blog, Richa's book is a welcoming and beautiful journey through the savory flavors of Indian cooking. She demystifies spices and ingredients unfamiliar, transforms traditional recipes in a modern way, and leaves vegans happily able to enjoy a vast variety of fantastic recipes.
Richa breaks down pantry staples, fresh ingredients and kitchen tools. She has grocery lists, soaking and cooking times, and even the must have items (I agree that asafoetida is a must have!).
From a Savory Oats Hash (Kanda Poha) and Indian Spiced Milk Tea (Masala Chai) for breakfast, Mashed Potato Fritters (Aloo Bonda) and Onion Chile Fritters (Pakora - my favorite!) as snacks, and Royal Tofu and Cashews (Shahi "Paneer") or Butter Seitan Curry (Seitan Makhani) for dinner, this was one cookbook review that left me happily satisfied.
That Seitan Makhani is terrific.
While I have some new savory favorites in this book, I cannot decide if I am happier about those new discoveries, or the new desserts I have tried. The Saffron Cream Fudge (Malai Peda) is out of this world. I love it, I cannot get enough of it. The Pistachio Spoon Fudge (Pistachio Halwa) is next on my list.
The recipe I share with you today is definitely a new favorite - I am making it again tomorrow for an event, actually - Fudgy Cardamom Squares (Vegan Kalakand). These are deliciously rich and flavorful:
Fudgy Cardamom Squares
YIELD: 12 bars
dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan
½ cup almond milk
2 teaspoons vegan butter or safflower oil
½ cup ground sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 cup ground raw or blanched almonds or fine almond meal
¼ cup oat flour
⅓ cup or more coconut flour
seeds from 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
Preheat oven to 300 °F.
Combine almond milk, oil, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a bubbling boil, about 4 minutes.
Continue to boil the mixture for 2 minutes. Take off heat and mix in the cardamom powder. Cool for 5 minutes.
Add ground almonds, oat flour, ⅓ cup coconut flour, and cardamom seeds to the saucepan. Mix well to form a soft dough. Add 1 tablespoon more coconut flour if the mixture is too wet. Mix and let sit for a minute before adding more. The mixture will continue to get less wet as it sits. Taste and add 1 tablespoon more sugar if you like it sweeter.
Pat the sticky dough onto parchment-lined sheet into a ¼-inch thick square. Cut into 1-inch squares using a knife or a pizza cutter.
Bake for 16 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush almond milk or oil on top. Cool completely before serving or storing. Store on the counter for a day and refrigerated for up to 7 days.