Almonds have been a symbol of romance and luxury in India. Almonds have a savory sweet taste and are added to dishes to give it that milky creaminess. They are available here, whole, or sliced. Ground almonds are often used to thicken curries and almond slivers are often found in rices and sweets. Almonds have a high protein and calcium value. In hot weather, blanched almonds are used in a thandai, a cool almond drink, creamed with black pepper, cardamom, milk, and sugar. Almonds are also accredited with improving eyesight, sharpening concentration and providing needed energy.