Showing posts with label Fusion sweets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fusion sweets. Show all posts

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Zafrani Falooda

I have made different types of zafrani falooda many times before but this one was a big hit. I also gave it a new dimension by cutting it into different shapes with cookie cutters. The rich and creamy texture with the flavour of the saffron and the soft crunch of the slivered almonds on top is so soothing to the senses and the taste is just divine!

Here's the recipe.

Whole Milk (3.2%) - 1.5 litres
Whipping cream or half and half - 1 cup
Condensed milk - 1 can
Agar Agar (china grass) - Half the quantity of a 42gm pack
Sugar - 1/4 cup or as per taste
Saffron - a pinch
Slivered almonds - 2 tbs sliced


1. Boil the whole milk in a big pot. Add the condensed milk, sugar and whipping cream or half and half and let it simmer for sometime. The whipping cream gives a smooth and creamy texture. Health watchers can use skimmed milk and cream, but have to compromise on the taste as it will not be as rich and smooth as this one.

2. Meanwhile cut half of the agar agar from the sheet. Rinse it in water. Boil 1/2 a cup of  water, immerse the agar agar in it, lower the heat and let it dissolve. Give it a stir to blend well.

3. Let the milk boil a bit by raising the heat, then lower the heat and slowly pour the dissolved agar agar mixture into the pot through a strainer while stirring continuously. This is to avoid lumps.

4. After adding do not raise the temperature as it will curdle the milk. You have to be really careful at this stage. The temperature should be constant. Sometimes lowering and then raising the temperature again and again also affects the texture and all the effort goes down the drain with the curdling of the milk and you can do nothing about it.

5. Use a wooden spatula and do not scrape the bottom of the pan as we do not want the any browned milk shavings from the bottom swimming in the milk. This gives a bad appearance to the falooda.

6. Dissolve the saffron in 1tsp of warm water after powdering the strands in a mortar and pestle. Blanch the almonds, sliver them and keep aside. Keep a dry 10 - 12 inch stainless steel walled plate or a pie plate ready.

7. Allow the milk to boil again after adding the agar agar for just one or two mins on medium heat and then pour it immediately into the pie plate. After a couple of minutes when you see a film of layer on the surface it is time to sprinkle the slivered almonds on top so that they just stick to the surface and sit there. Let the falooda set at room temperature in a cool place away from the heat source.

8. Once it is set, dip a toothpick in the saffron solution and make a design on the falooda or just dab it with a brush or the back of a spoon here and there as I did to give it some color .

9. Chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

10. Cut into either diamond shapes with a knife or into any desirable shapes with a cookie cutter and enjoy.


You can find Agar Agar (china grass) in any asian or indian grocery store. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bottle gourd (Kaddu/Lauki) Barfi

As a child I loved the kaddu (bottle gourd) ki mithai (as we called it) that my mom used to make. She would first cook it in the pan on the stove and then bake it in a huge silver plated brass pie plate with a heavy lid. As we had no gas or electric oven she used her primitive baking technique of placing it over a layer of burning coals and then adding another layer of burning coals on the lid. It was amazing to watch her bake using this technique whenever she made traditional sweets or indian pies and cookies like baked halwa pooris, nan khatai etc. 

I made this recipe based on estimates by tasting as my mom used to do, but I kept a tab on what and how much I was adding each time. My mom would dissolve the saffron in milk and add it to the mixture while cooking. But I decided to use it more as a garnish. I also added pistachios to complement the green color of the bottle gourd. The result was fabulous!  The intense sweet milky taste combined with the juicy and chewy texture of the gourd kicked up a notch. Indeed, it did taste like my mom's kaddu ki mithai that I used to enjoy. 

Here's the recipe: 

Bottle gourd    - 1 cup  after squeezing out the water
Khoya            - 350 gms (dried milk)
Ghee               - 2 tbs
Sugar               - 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Milk                 - 2 tbs 
Saffron             - a pinch
Pistachios         - 2 tbs
Green liquid food coloring - a few drops

1. Peel the bottle gourd cut off the stem, trim the bottom and cut it into two halves vertically.
2. Scoop out the pulp and seeds in the center with a teaspoon and discard them.
3. Grate the gourd finely, squeeze out the juice by hanging it in a cheese cloth overnight or for a few hours. 
4. Melt 2 tbs ghee in a non-stick sauce pan on medium heat and lightly fry the grated gourd till it turns translucent. 
5. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, mix well. 
6. Grind the khoya to a fine powder and add to the pan. Add 2 tbs milk, green food coloring and mix well. Add more sugar if needed according to how much sweeter you want it.
7. Cook on low or medium low heat only while stirring continuously. 
8. Allow the gourd mixture to thicken and when it starts leaving the sides of the pan, remove and put it in a baking dish greased with ghee at the bottom as well as on all the sides. 

9. Sprinkle the saffron threads and halved pistachios on top, cover with tin foil and bake in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees fahrenheit for 20-25 mins or till lightly golden at the bottom. 
10. Remove from the oven, allow it to cool down, then chill it in the refrigerator, cut into diamond shapes and serve chilled. The bottle gourd burfi is ready to enjoy. 

1. Cook very gently with patience on low and medium low heat only.
2. Take care not to over brown or burn the grated gourd shreds while cooking or baking. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Banana Halwa Cake

Banana halwa cakes

This recipe is my own creation. But I was kind of inspired by chef Sanjeev Kapoor's Banana Halwa recipe.The name itself made me imagine a yummy taste, but when I read the recipe it made me feel heavy. It is no doubt a delicious recipe made with rich ingredients (like khoya, ghee, cashewnuts, sugar etc), but not quite suitable for my kids' taste. First of all they hate indian sweets because they are so sweet and secondly they don't like anything heavy which all indian sweets are. So I decided to make it in my own way. I wanted to use edible gum and flour in combination with the bananas. I couldn't imagine how it would turn out but at the end, nothing went wrong as everything pulled together and the banana halwa cake evolved on its own. Everybody loved it!

Here's the recipe.

Ripe Bananas- 4
Condensed milk -1 can
White butter- 1/4 +1/8
Durrum wheat flour-1 cup
Edible gum- 1 tbs
Vanilla cream - 1/4 cup
Black Poppy seeds- 1/4 tsp
Almonds - 1/2 cup + 6 for decoration

1. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a non-stick sauce pan on medium heat. Add the flour and toast until well combined and smooth.

2. Pulse the edible gum with the almonds in a grinder and grind to a fine powder.

3. Add the ground almonds and gum to the toasted flour in the pan and toast the whole mixture well till you get an aroma.

4. Fold in one can of condensed milk and blend well with a spatula so that there are no lumps anywhere.

5. Now grease a cake pan and set aside.

6. Add the remaining 1/8th cup butter to the sauce pan. Mix well. Keep turning the mixture over in the pan and when it starts leaving the sides pour the mixture in the cake pan and then bake in the preheated oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 10 mins.

7. Remove and let it cool. Spread vanilla icing on top. Sprinkle some black  poppy seeds and cut into desired shapes.

8. Leave it in the fridge to chill for sometime and enjoy with a cup of tea.


You can try with white flour instead of durrum wheat flour and use less condensed milk if you want it less sweet. Also try with khoya and brown sugar instead of condensed milk. And substitute almonds with walnuts.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Crunchy fried banana

My son developed this craving for fried bananas after dining at a Carribean restaurant. I have never tried frying a banana before, because it never occured to me that fruits could be fried. Anyway it turned out mushy when I first fried it. I somehow managed to satisfy his palette by frying it again after rolling it in flour. It turned out well this time and he enjoyed it too. But my imagination by now had scaled to different heights I wanted to do much more than that. Being a south indian myself I was enamoured by stuffed banana recipes from Kerala and Thasneen's blog post on pan fried bananas stuffed with coconut and raisins, kind of inspired me. But no, coz my kids with their canadian taste buds would deem it too sweet. So I decided to stuff the bananas with a mixture of nuts and nutella and also give it a crunchy outer crust. So I did with success and served it with vanilla ice-cream. It turned out to be a big hit.!
Medium ripe bananas- 2
Nutella - 2 tblspns
Mixed nuts chopped (Almonds and pistachios or just walnuts) - 1/4 cup
Egg -1
White flour - 1/4cup
Corn flakes - 1/2 cup crushed
Enough Oil to deep fry

Peel the bananas, cut into 2 pieces hotizontally and set aside. Beat the egg and get two half plates ready - one with white flour and the other with corn flakes. Chop the nuts into small pieces, add nutella to it and mix well. Slit the bananas lengthwise, stuff them gently with the nutella nut mix and close them by pinching the opened edges together with your fingers and smoothen the closed slit well so that it is fully secured. Take each stuffed banana piece, roll it in flour, then roll it in beaten egg and finally roll it again in the crushed cornflakes. Repeat the same procedure for all the stuffed pieces and set aside. Put the oil in an electric deep fryer or frying pan and set it to medium heat. To test if the oil is hot enough just put a small crumb in the pan and if it sizzles it means it is ready for frying. Do not fry them on high heat, nor put them in the pan when the oil is not hot enugh. Deep fry two or three pieces at a time (not more than that as they might burst due to change in temperature). Drain them on paper towlels and seve them hot on a bed of cold vanilla ice-cream. You might think it is weird eating a hot and cold dessert. But it a great experience. Try it.