March 21, 2013

saffron and almond filmjólk

yogurt drink

Last week, I fell in love twice. Yes twice, the delicious first time happened when I sat down to eat at Little Serow. Even if you have to wait in a line to be seated (they only seat a few people every day and don't take reservations), it is every bit, well worth the wait. The restaurant's menu is inspired by northern Thai cuisine and every dish is a wonderful delight. The menu is fixed and every plate really does lives up to its expectation of being an explosion of flavors that will transport you to a delicious plane of spice, heat, and textures. We had a continuous supply of fresh crisp vegetables and sticky rice to go with our unique dishes that included a diverse variety of meats from fish (catfish and snakehead fish), chicken, and pork cooked. I am really not surprised that Chef Johnny Monis' Little Serow made it to Bon Appetit's America's Best New Restaurants in 2012. If you are ever in the Washington D.C. area, do try and make some time to visit this amazing treat in the city. Since I've learned that the menu changes often, it might have to become a monthly staple on my calendar!

Saffron Strands

Now on to my second love! I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of yogurts and I always make it a point to try some sort of new type of yogurt. I recently came across this amazing brand of Swedish yogurt called  Filmjólk by Siggi. According to the description on the bottle and the website, filmjólk is a traditional drinkable yogurt with a blend of different types of lactobaccilli. I love this yogurt plain, just a tall glass of the plain variety of filmjólk every morning is absolutely delicious. The plain version has a mild sour taste with a little tangy effervescence at the end which makes it so refreshing. It also goes great with a bowl of muesli and granola for breakfast. It goes great with almost  everything!

Almonds and Siggis

Here is a popular Indian drink known as kesar-badam or saffron-almond milk that is usually made with whole milk and sometimes a little heavy cream. However, I've used filmjólk yogurt for the base and then blended the rest of the ingredients in. I guess this a sort of Indo-Nordic fusion drink now! This recipe is way lighter in unnecessary calories, since it skips the cream and excess fat and sugar but also packs up way more protein, making it a fun smoothie that I will drink even before or after my daily workouts. The saffron strands add a beautiful yellowish orange tinge to the yogurt while the almonds add valuable fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to the drink. Almonds are probably one of the healthiest nuts available and have several important reported health benefits in heart disease and bone loss prevention making this is a win-win situation from every angle, I can think of. I tend to lightly sweeten this drink with a little agave nectar or honey but if you prefer it sweeter you can always add more (or less). 

saffron yogurt almond drink

saffron and almond filmjólk

yields: 2 servings

ingredients

20-25 whole almonds
4 tablespoons water
a pinch of saffron
1/4 teaspoon green cardamom seeds, ground
2 cups plain non-fat filmjólk yogurt, chilled
1 tablespoon agave nectar/honey
a few coarsely chopped toasted pistachios for garnishing

1. Cover and soak the almonds in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and peel and discard the skin of the almonds. Keep the peeled almonds aside.
2. Heat the four tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe, heat-proof glass bowl in a microwave till it boils (about 45 seconds on high). Drop the saffron strands into the hot water and keep aside for 5 minutes to allow the saffron color to diffuse into the water.
3. In a blender, add the peeled almonds, the saffron water with the strands, cardamom, yogurt, and  agave nectar/honey. Blend until completely smooth.
4. Pour the drink into pre-chilled serving glasses and garnish with the chopped pistachios. Serve immediately or keep chilled until ready to drink. You can also add a little crushed ice to the drink before serving.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation or gifts from Siggis  for this post.

22 comments:

  1. A wonderful recipe! That is something I have never tasted... Very tempting!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Thank you Rosa, if you like yogurt this is for you!

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  2. So pretty! I love yogurt and would love to taste this swedish one! Must look out for it?

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    1. Yes, I do hope you can find this Swedish drink

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  3. Have you tried the Greek YoLite yogurt from Blue Ridge Dairy? They are at the Dupont Farmers Market. TO. DIE. FOR. And at $5.50 a tub, it's not a bad price. I honestly don't even like the taste of Fage much anymore, this is just that good.

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  4. Beautiful photos! Never tried this kind of milk drink. Sounds very interesting.

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    1. Thanks Julia! It was definitely light and refreshing.

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  5. I saw this drink before! I never added saffron to drink before and I'm very curious how it's like. Your pictures are so beautiful...

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    1. Thanks Nami, saffron does give it a nice tinge.

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  6. I spend a lot of time in DC so I'll definitely have to try out the restaurant - it sounds great! And this sounds so good - love the gorgeous color from the saffron, too!

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    1. Awesome, if you need any suggestions on other fun places do let me know.

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  7. Hi Nik. I'm so glad I found your blog this morning. What a lovely site! I wished I lived a bit closer to you so I could try that restaurant. And this drink looks just delightful. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much! Glad to meet you and thank you for stopping by.

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  8. Looks so yummm... definitely gonna try this...

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  9. I love saffron! I've never thought to add it to a smoothie though!...I will definitely try this. :-)

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    1. It's a nice change from regular smoothies.

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  10. I love how the safforn gives that gentle colour. That bottle of yoghurt looks so good I would buy it just for the bottle.

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    1. Haha, I think that is what got my attention at first.

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  11. I bet your kesar badam is way more delicious to anyone that love yogurt -- including me!!!

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    1. Thanks Kiran, it was a nice delicious change.

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  12. In love with your blog....love every shot and recipe....

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