Monday, 20 February 2012

African Loz (Almond and Pistachio Bites of Amazingness)

I've been reading a lot of blog entires lately and have noticed a lot of Valentine's Day bashing going on. It's mostly along the lines of "why do we need a special day to be shown love when somebody who loves you should show you every day". My answer to this question is: we don't - but what's wrong with taking a moment out to appreciate how lucky you are to have love in your life and celebrate it a little?

I'd like to put forward two points on this matter (before I get to the delicious point of this post): Firstly, if you are in a relationship in which your partner (he or she) ONLY shows you love on Valentines Day then you shouldn't be in that relationship full stop - so that shouldn't even be an issue! Secondly, although there is no need to get commercial or expensive on Valentine's Day, there is nothing wrong with taking a moment out to appreciate the people in your life that you love and who love you. I'm not just talking about partners/spouses, but about the friends and family who love you and want to spend time with you - having people in your life who love you makes you the luckiest person in the world - so celebrate it!

I have to admit, I'm not the kind of person who does Valentine's Day. I don't buy into all the commercial stuff they push at you to try and make you believe that "she" (notice how all the push is on giving gifts to women on Valentine's Day? Highly sexist - why not give flowers and jewellery to the men??) won't love you unless you  buy her a really ugly diamond bracelet costing $1999. However, I think that people immediately jump in to hate Valentine's Day because of the commercial side - but Christmas is very commercial too and do you hate Christmas??? (I hope not because Xmas is awesome).

As a final note in this opinion article, I'd like to point out that you could apply the logic of "why do we need a special day to be shown love when somebody who loves you should show you every day" could be equally applied to any other 'special' day of the year. Do you expect people to only be nice to you and be happy that you are alive on your birthday? No, you expect that all year round but you still celebrate your birthday! Do you only appreciate living in a great country with amazing first world problems on Australia Day? No, if you have any sense you realise how lucky you are all year round but you can still appreciate the public holiday and have a celebration with friends and family if that is your tradition. Do you only eat chocolate on Easter? No, chocolate is for all year round but that doesn't mean you can't indulge on Easter! (As you can see from that I am not religious and the only think Easter means to me is chocolate). In SUM! Of course Valentine's Day shouldn't be the only day that your lover/friends/spouse show you that they love you - but what's wrong with it if they want to show you they love you on Valentine's Day as well?

After that very long intro - let's get to the recipe. When the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop girls announced that this month's theme was to be Love At First Bite, I thought that it was a pretty easy topic because it's so broad you can really post whatever you want, so I though this month I would combine it with the theme for this month on our blog: Chadian Food. Here on Gormandize with A-dizzle and K-bobo we like to take a different  country each month to explore their foods and learn as much as we can about recipes and ingredients from that country (if you'd like to check out our past months posts or to suggest a country for us to feature then hit up this post here!). This month we are featuring food inspired by Chad (to learn more about Chad and Chadian food check out this post here!) and we are continuing that this month with these incredible little African/Middle Eastern sweetmeats called Loz.

This is the second 'Valentines' themed blog hop I've participated in this month - check out the other hop too by checking out my entry - Vegan Strawberry Cherry Sago Trifle!

In my opinion there are 3 flavours which just ooze the idea of love: rosewater, orange blossom water and raspberries. These three ingredients always make your food so sensual! In this case these little babies are laced with orange blossom water and their aroma will make you fall in love at first smell whilst their incredible taste will be love at first bite!

I mean, look at it! What's not to love??


230gm almond meal
120gm icing sugar
7 tablespoons orange blossom water
30gm shelled pistachio nuts finely chopped
30gm caster sugar
Icing sugar for dusting
Extra pistachio nuts for garnishing

How to make:

1.Combine the ground almonds and icing sugar with enough orange-blossom water to
form a stiff paste.
2.Knead until smooth and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
3.Combine the finely chopped pistachio nuts and caster sugar, grind in a mortar and  
pestle until fine, and set aside.

4.Roll the paste into balls the size of a walnut, and using a teaspoon handle, make a small hole in each ball and and fill it with the combined pistachio mixture, then close the hole over the filling so it is once again a ball. This takes a bit of technique, as the powdery sugar filling makes it difficult to close over the hole - after a few tries I perfected a method of sort of pinching the seam together and smoothing in over by tapping it repeatedly with my index finger. It worked really well, but sadly I don't have a YouTube channel so I can't really show you how I did it!

5.Roll the balls in icing sugar and place in small paper cups or on a serving plate.
6.Decorate the top of each ball with a pistachio nut and serve.

Makes approx 13.

Check out our other Chadian recipes as well: 
Chadian Irio (Mashed beans, potatoes and vegetables)


  1. Wonderfully nutty! I'll be recommending this one to my vegan colleague and best I make a batch for hubby whose watching his cholesterol intake :| Very nice!

    1. Thanks Monica! Glad you found it so helpful. My dinner guests were incredibly impressed with these little amazing treats!

  2. These look amazing! I love pistachio! Thanks so much for joining the hop :)

    1. Thanks Nic! and thanks for hosting! I love pistachios too!

  3. These look great:) I do like pistachios but do not eat them enough.

    "but Christmas is very commercial too and do you hate Christmas???"
    Yes...and every other special day. I even do not like my birthday! My parents give me money and I give it back to them! I think something is worng with me.

    1. Each to their own :) I think it is a shame not to take any excuse to celebrate life, friends, family and food!

  4. I've never used orange blossom water, and now you've compelled me to try it!

  5. I've never heard of these before but they really look wonderful!!

  6. Thanks a bunch for sharing! Desserts are an aspect of ethnic food I am very unfamiliar with, so I just love seeing sweets from other countries. Gorgeous, and yes, I believe these would definitely make two people fall in love :)

    1. Thanks Julia! I personally think that African and Middle Eastern sweets are the best in the world!

  7. I love this! Something different, gluten-free, vegan and best of all.... no need to turn the oven on! It's the perfect dessert, really. I will definitely give these a shot, thanks for sharing. :)

    1. Thanks Erin! Yeah, it's great - no animal products, no gluten, no baking, no cooking at all! Perfect! :)

    2. Oh I love the flavours in this dish - gorgeous! I've never cooked with orange blossom before but you've definitely inspired me. Thanks for sharing :)

    3. Orange blossom water is gorgeous!!

  8. i had the pleasure of having these at your dinner party and i seriously could not get enough!! So I of course had to make them! I only had 140 gms of almonds, and they were just blanched so i had to blitz them in the food processor so i made up the balance with hazelnut meal, chucked it in the food processor with the almonds and the icing sugar. I added rosewater syrup instead of orange blossom water (as i didn't have any on hand)but half the quantity i would have used if i used orange blossom water as i thought it would be too sweet and made up the rest with plain water. It was so easy to do in the food processor; no need to knead and i just had to roll it in a ball to rest.

    I probably made them a bit smaller (i made about 20) and i had left over pistachio sugar but I have to admit that i stood in the kitchen and ate a lot of it with a spoon (I am too embarrassed to admit how much - it was delicious!!)

    They are beyond incredible! I don't think they will last long in my house at all!!

    The texture of these is wonderful! Biting into the gooey almondy and outside and then into the crunchy pistachio sugar is divine!! The possibilities and combinations you could try with these must be limitless!!

    1. Heather I'm so glad you made them again! I think they would be lovely with some hazelnut meal and A-dizzle and I were talking about trying them with rosewater as well (although you are right, rosewater is sweeter so you need less!). We also had some pistachio sugar left over. Actually it keeps really well and is still in my pantry - we are planning to use it to make some chocolate truffles rolled in pistachio sugar!

  9. These sound so interesting! Love the reverse rant ;)