All posts tagged: pistachio nuts

pistachio-cauliflower2

Creamy Pistachio and Cauliflower Curry

Whether you wanted to or not, yesterday, you all probably caught a glimpse of the Royal Wedding and that dress. It was on almost every single Sky channel imaginable and there’s no denying the amazing pageantry that was going on. For me, the real stars were those gorgeous fairytale horses pulling the carriage from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace – how cute were they?! The past few blogging weeks have been spent exploring beautiful Mughlai cuisine for the main purpose of putting together a royal-inspired menu. Being entirely honest, after this recipe for Creamy Pistachio and Cauliflower Curry, there are one or two more important recipes I need to add before the menu is complete.   If there’s one thing the Mughals did beautifully, it was their impeccable sauces; and truthfully, the secret to a great curry is a great sauce. If you’re just as much into luscious sauces as I am, then this pistachio and almond dish is just for you. I’ve laced it with whole black peppercorns which soften in the simmered sauce …

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 …

biryani-mughlai

Mughlai Apricot Biryani

The past few days have been spent planning an elaborate baking mission composed of sweet treats to make your heart cry out for a detox – though I’m not yet ready for said detox. In honour of all things royal wedding, I’m creating a banquet fit for kings and queens. Our party spread will be formed of rich, sweet and spicy dishes for us to present to our family and guests so they can ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ over it while we take all the credit for such an extravagant and mouth watering menu. Biryani is a bit like a newborn kitten – except you don’t cook nor eat newborn kittens. It requires heaps of concentration, patience and love. Each individual component needs to be prepared to just the right level before the ingredients can be assembled in a harmonious fashion, and then gently steamed to create an insanely delicious smelling and tasting dish to fight over at the dinner table.   Swollen soaked saffron strands   In the last post we discussed the origins of …

pandan-lamington

Dark Chocolate Pandan Lamingtons with Pistachio and Salted Caramel Glass

I’m sorry for the long and pretentious title this week – well sort of. Usually, I like to keep recipe titles as short as possible for the sake of clarity and focus (and because I’m easily confused). Although, I think a pompous sounding title is quite fitting when describing a pompous looking lamington. Let me introduce you to my second entry to Mr P’s Re-Inventing the Lamington competition 2011. Vegan chocolate sponge filled with pandan cream cheese and coated in a layer of dark chocolate. As if this eggless lamington wasn’t trying hard enough to please already, it’s then crowned with a shard of pistachio and salted caramel glass. NOTE: I’ve had a few comments about this being a ‘vegan’ lamington. Let me clarify: this is NOT a vegan lamington because it’s filled with cream cheese and covered in a brick-ish layer of dark chocolate. However, I’ve highlighted that the chocolate sponge used for this lamington IS vegan. I repeat: these are eggless lamingtons using a vegan sponge for any vegan readers who want to make …

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 …

rose-baklava

Rose & Pistachio Baklava

Fresh baklava has to be one of the most famous sweets across the globe. Throughout the Middle East and across Mediterranean lands it is king. Boy, do those people have good taste. Nutty, chewy and ultimately calorific, baklava sticks to your teeth and your thighs. My philosophy is to enjoy devilishly sweet treats in moderation and occasionally in excess.* This take on one of my favourite sweets was inspired by baklava I ate at an odd little Turkish cafe I visited in London not so long ago. It was very dark and very greasy. The cafe, not the baklava. In fact, the baklava was amazing. It had all of the super flavours of traditional baklava with a wonderfully textured twist. I love me some twists. Sweet rice and the traditional spiced nuts were enveloped in thin, crisp filo pastry layers, then drenched in sugar syrup and left to absorb until chewy and divine. Pouring the hot sugar syrup on when the baklava is fresh from the oven makes it easier for it to absorb into the …

katafi

Cinnamon & Orange Blossom Kataifi Rolls

  I’m in the mood for something sweet. Not sickly sweet, but slightly sweet, nutty and deliciously crunchy. The kind of sweet that has a delicate spice and fruitiness, so much so that when you take a bite it sings through your veins. Kataifi (also known as konafi, kanafeh, kunafah and a whole range of other names in various languages) is a Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean shredded filo pastry. It is a little fiddly to work with but worth every second of the time it makes to create luxurious pastries, whether they are sweet or savoury. With this one, patience is most certainly a virtue. Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean pastries are famously known for their use of nuts, spices and syrups, but the varieties of these ingredients differ from country to country, and region to region. Some of these ingredients include almonds, pistachios, rose, cinnamon, honey, fruits and sugar syrups. The list of possible combinations for pastries is endless, and they can be every bit as indulgent as your imagination dares to allow. The fine threads of kataifi …

nankhatai-biscuits

Nankhatai: Spiced Biscuits for Tea

They’re perfect if you’re a chomper, a dunker, or a nibbler. These biscuits were requested by a reader via my Facebook page a long time ago. Wicked me, I’ve only had time to make them now. Nankhatai are a type of Indian tea biscuit. They are most likely to be flavoured with some of the usual suspects- green cardamom, saffron, ground mace… I could go on forever, baby. In my enduring quest to make you all fat and greedy, I’ve not skimped on the butter because there’s no such thing as a calorie-free biscuit. Nope. Not in any country. Although, I’m guessing that if there is, it probably tastes like rabbit bedding. I’ve kept the recipe pretty conventional, apart from the addition of desiccated coconut. So not very conventional, then… Remember to use saffron sparingly, the flavour is very intense and if too much is used, you may end up with a bitter-tasting potpourri-ish-thing-which-I-won’t-call-a-biscuit. Plus, it’s super expensive, so be kind to your pocket. Coarse semolina gives these biscuits a beautiful texture which I simply adore, …

A Flurry of Snowflakes and a Cup of Spiced Milk

Unless you’ve been holidaying in the North Pole you must have heard about all of the snow that’s been falling. Well okay, maybe I phrased that badly. In the UK it’s been unnaturally cold for the past two weeks, with temperatures reaching a glacial -20 degrees C! My car is wearing a snug blanket of bright white and probably complaining of frostbite through silent, icy whispers. People are hobbling through soft, pillowy mounds of snow as it crunches, pops and compacts under even the tiniest of feet. I’ve always thought that falling snowflakes and pallid blizzards are beautiful to see… Through snow encrusted window panes. Spiced milk is the new hot chocolate. Of course it isn’t an entirely new phenomenon, my mum used to make it for me as a child. She still does treat me to a cup or two when I’m home although when I’m not, I have to make it myself. It’s never as good as hers. Whether it’s snowing in your part of the world or not, I think you should …