All posts filed under: Indian Sweets (Mistan)

Hot Saffron and Lemon Seeroh Pistachio Ice Cream

Hot Saffron and Lemon Seeroh with Pistachio Ice Cream

Seeroh is one of those desserts that brings out the greedy little kid in me. Sweet semolina tossed with spices and so buttery it melts as soon as it hits your tongue. Flippin’ gorgeous. And before you ask, it’s nothing like ‘school dinner’ semolina. Not even close. Years ago we’d make special trips to the mandir (temple) during Navratri and Diwali to pray for the year ahead, see family and have an amazing, spiritual evening. Of course, I was there for all of these reasons, plus for the reason that there would be prashad – sweets like Seeroh offered to the gods that evening. After putting my hands together in prayer, I’d open them up and wait patiently for my Seeroh. I believe glace cherries have three purposes in life; to garnish cocktails, top cherry bakewells and stud this delicious addictive treat. If you really don’t like them, replace with candied lemon or orange pieces. They’ll add an incredible texture to contrast the soft texture of this dessert. I love experimenting with different flavour combinations …

Mohanthal-sm

Gujarati Mohanthal

Okay, round two. Not only is this our second Diwali sweet of the week – it’s also my second time making this Gujarati favourite for my blog. Mohanthal  (pronounced: moHanTHaal) are squares of mace-laced butter fudge made with chickpea flour. A staple in homes during festivals, these sweet pieces of fudge are studded with crunchy pieces of chickpea flour ‘crumble’ or ‘dhrabo’. Mohanthal can be served in two ways: In pieces like the kind here, or loose as a lava-like liquid gold you scoop up with a spoon and nothing more. There’s a time and a place for both. Pieces of Mohanthal are perfect for gifting to friends and family during Diwali. The loose kind is more of a hot dessert served after a traditional Gujarati meal. My favourite way to have it is right after a meal of Aakhu Shaak (whole vegetables stuffed with peanut masala), daal, rice, rotli and sambharo (stir-fried cabbage and carrots with mustard seeds). Heaven. Shop-bought Mohanthal will often be brown in colour but I like my mine to be bright …

Pistachio and Rose Bombay Halwa

Pistachio and Rose Bombay Halwa

I used to love going into Indian sweet shops as a little nipper, especially around Diwali. Wide-eyed and full of wonder, the shop keepers would see me peering through their glass cases at the majestic displays of endless halwa, burfi, penda, jalebi, kaju katli, mohanthal gulab jambu, rasmalai and everything in between. I very quickly became an expert at getting free samples. My dad would always ask me what I’d like in my special box of sweets. I’d think long and hard about which ones would make the cut – it was a very important decision. To this day, he still buys me my own box of sweets and even if I’m not there to choose them, he somehow always picks my favourites. The one that always stood out was the Bombay Halwa. It’s one of the only sweet that comes in lots of different colours – and they’re SO bright. Rows of translucent pink, yellow, green and orange jellies studded with jewel-like pistachios and cashews. They were bright and beautiful and I was a …

Saffron Rice Pudding with Brulee Bananas (2)

Saffron Rice Pudding with Banana Brûlée

I’ve been rushing around like a mad woman on too many jalebis this month. Developing recipes (which I’ll show you later), catching up with friends I haven’t seen since our wedding and generally thinking about what to blog about next. Sifting through my mum’s handwritten recipes, clippings and annotations on pudding recipes, I once again became a tubby eight year old. Making Indian sweets like white chocolate penda, butterfly burfi (milk fudge with almond ‘butterfly wings’ like the buns we used to make at school) with mum was what made me so passionate about playing with food. She fuelled my curiosity for learning about how flavours really work and our shared enthusiasm for putting an Indian spin on everything. It is something I try to practice every single day.  We’d always make enough to feed the five thousand so quite often, the puddings would be taken to our temple for prashad – food which has been offered to the gods. Once it has been ‘blessed’ the food can be shared.  Unashamedly, this was my favourite …

Devnaa

Devnaa – Indian Inspired Chocolates

You, more than anyone know how much I love Indian-inspired desserts. When the lovely guys at Devnaa sent me a box of their spice-infused chocolates, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Cinnamon-laced dark chocolate, chocolate burfi and cardamom truffles sent me into a very welcome sugar coma. The first thing I noticed was the beautiful packaging. Deep purple and orange mendhi-inspired patterns, crepe paper and gold emboss – this beautiful box of chocs felt like it was created especially for me and my passion for fusion flavours. The caramels were by far my favourite. And they weren’t just any caramels – they were silky smooth and full of rich, buttery flavours. I’d devour an entire box of these, without a doubt. Another delicious surprise was the dark chocolate, cardamom and coconut number. With one little corner dipped in desiccated coconut, the coconut flavour wasn’t overpowered by the cardamom flavour which I was at first sceptical about. Other flavours included strawberry burfi covered in white chocolate, chai masala milk chocolate, crunchy cinnamon praline, saffron and …

strawberry cheesecake falooda

Strawberry Cheesecake Falooda

  Don’t you just love the feeling you get when you’re in a restaurant and your waiter or waitress appears from the kitchen with your order? And also hate it when you think it’s yours but it’s really for the table next to you? I guess it just affirms that we’re all big kids just waiting to be fed at heart. When I think of Falooda I think of my dad and the big smile that emerges on his face whenever he rumbles the fact there’s something sweet on the menu. We’re two peas in a pod. When I was little he used to take the whole family to a favourite restaurant in either Leicester or Bradford on a Sunday afternoon and we’d have the most memorable family meals. Mum would order something classy and simple, Dad would get the thali and my brother and I would squabble over whether they put coriander in the daal or not. Regardless of what Ravi and I were arguing about, Dad would always diffuse the situation by asking …

cashew-nut-fudge

Cashew Nut and White Chocolate Burfi

A love of sweets must run in my blood. Back in Kenya my grandfather worked in a sugar cane factory, boiling up vats of syrup bigger than a fully-grown wildebeest. He even knew syrup temperatures without having to use a sugar thermometer. My grandad’s passion for cooking with sugar led him to become one of the best sweet makers and teachers I’ve ever known. My other grandfather was head chef to one of the most well-known sugar merchants’ in East Africa. He’d rustle up the most spectacularly orange chickpea flour fudge and be ready to teach anyone willing to learn. Being just a tot when he passed away, my mum passed on his wonderful recipes to me. Indeed, the very nature of both my grandfathers’ livelihoods depended on the sweet stuff, which is why I put my love of sugar down to it pumping through my veins. What the fudge? These diamonds of sweet fudge have a delicious, crumbly and chewy texture from the ground cashew nuts. Laced with ground cardamom and vanilla extract, floral …

paan-ice-cream

Paan Ice Cream

Paan Ice Cream One of my most magical childhood memories is sitting in the back seat of my parents’ red VW Golf during the mid-nineties, slowly peeling back the red-stained paper from a little bundle of ‘Special Meetha Paan’: Areca nuts, fennel seeds, shredded coconut and rose paste, smothered in a ‘secret’ syrup, then tightly wrapped in a peppery betel leaf.   Freshly prepared Sweet Paan from R. P. Barot and Sons ‘Pan Ghar’, Leicester   My last trip to everyone’s favourite paan house got me thinking; I was missing a trick. I’ve always loved the fresh flavours, but all that chewing can be terribly hard work. Then suddenly it dawned on me, why had I never made my own Paan Ice Cream? It’s swelteringly hot over here (in comparison to last week’s pesky rain) and so I let myself go, forgot the diet for an evening and decided to finally give it a go. The first batch curdled on me because the milk I had steeped betel leaves in was too hot to add …

pistachio-cauliflower

Mughlai Banquet Menu

  Saffron and Lemon Shrikhand Doughnuts – a recipe for my new Food Network UK chef page – they’re perfect for finishing off a grandiose banquet. After a good few weeks of cooking deliciously rich and decadent dinners (it’s been hell having to eat them all by myself, I tell you), I’m finally ready to compile a menu of the best Mughlai-inspired dishes from KO Rasoi. The aim of the game was to put together something truly majestic – something which will leave your guests speechless (partly because their mouths will be preoccupied devouring the meal). Mughlai cuisine is one of my new favourites, with its use of only the most aromatic spices, flowers and nuts. Indeed, it’s no wonder it was reserved for only kings and queens of the Mughal Empire. Shahi Paneer Stuffed Okra   By now you must know how I love contrasting flavours and textures, and if you do too, you need to try this. Juicy okra stuffed with homemade paneer which has been spiked with golden sultanas and heady fennel. …

saffron-doughnuts-feat

Eggless Saffron and Lemon Shrikhand Doughnuts

Just a speedy note before I round up all of the dishes from our Mughlai season this weekend (for your eating pleasure). This is going to include all of the royal-inspired recipes plus more, so stick around for some really yummy dishes so you can create a banquet fit for kings and queens. Yesterday, a KO Rasoi recipe for Saffron and Lemon Shrikhand Doughnuts was featured in the Food Network UK Month of Doughnuts calendar in support of National Doughnut Week (7th-14th May). In addition to this, the recipe also went out in their fabulous food newsletter which you can sign up to here: Sign up to the Food Network UK newsletter in order to get my new Food Network UK recipes delivered to your inbox fresh from the kitchen. I thought I would join in the fun and go dough-nuts too – and so my recipe for Saffron and Lemon Shrikhand Doughnuts was born. Please visit the site to take a peek at how I created this recipe and as always, have a go …

classic-shrikhand

Classic Shrikhand and Eggless Red Velvet Cupcakes

In case you hadn’t noticed, I have been MIA for a week – but thankfully, I have a great excuse. If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know that I’ve been spending most of time baking for a lovely little party I attended last weekend. On the entirely eggless dessert menu were Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Vanilla & Cherry Sponge Cake, Chocolate & Coconut Cake Pops and Shrikhand Cheesecake. Speaking of shrikhand, here’s my very classic (and simple) recipe for one of my favourite Gujarati desserts. I’m adding this to the royal wedding banquet menu not because it’s an authentic Mughlai dish, but because it’s rich, opulent and incredibly well-suited to that particular style of cooking. Three spices I never fail to add to this dessert are green cardamom seeds, saffron and just a pinch of mace – these aromatic flavours are what make shrikhand, well shrikhand really. An acquired taste for many, this thick tangy yogurt is the perfect way to end an indulgent meal on a warm …

seeroh

Orange and Cardamom Scented Seeroh

I’m snowed in. There’s a party to get to and I’m snowed in. Thankfully the International Incident Colours Party hosted by Penny a.k.a Jeroxie is a kind of party immune to catastrophic weather. The final month of 2010 should be filled with bright colours and big smiles – my recipe for Orange and Cardamom Scented Seeroh (pronounced how it’s spelt) guarantees to make that happen. It’s not too sweet, not too rich and is incredibly addictive. That’s not to say you can chuck a whole load of them in your mouth one after another. Just in case you do decide you want to finish off the whole lot in one go, I thoughtfully substituted a significant amount of sugar in this recipe with friendly agave nectar. You can thank me later. Seeroh is essentially sweetened semolina (don’t gag, it’s nothing like ‘school dinner’ semolina). It can be flavoured anything you like – I try to stick to a couple of complimentary flavours that won’t clash or overpower one another like orange and cardamom. You could …