Chocolate and Cardamon Custard Pots

This is a combination I spotted in my new purchase the ‘Flavour Thesaurus’ by Niki Segnit, my current bedtime read, I hope to blog more about it soon.  I had once tried some delicious cardamon milk chocolate and wanted to make something custard based as a dessert so I had a go at experimenting and out came this.  The result adds a gently fragranced characteristic to a smooth chocolate custard which forms a very pleasant end to a meal. 

This makes about 2 and half little ramekins worth so double the quantities if you need more.

Ingredients:

1/2 Pint of whole milk

4 cardamon pods

50g of dark chocolate

2 dessert spoons of sugar

a teaspoon of cornflour

2 egg yolks

Method:

Mix the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a bowl.  Heat the milk with the crushed (or split) cardamon pods gently until hot, you don’t want it to boil.  Add the hot milk to the egg yolk mix and whisk together then return to the pan and heat very gently stirring continually.  Keep going, be very gentle with the heat as you don’t want scrambled eggs, then take off the heat once thickened.  Add broken up chocolate and stir.  Pour into little bowls or ramekins and then chill thoroughly in the fridge.  Clearly any wastage is up to you to dispose of as you will, but lets just say there is plenty of opportunity for licking the spoon and scraping the pot!

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Kheer – Indian Rice Pudding

I used Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe for this from http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/indianricepuddingkhe_90219.  I slimmed it down slightly by adding half skimmed milk as well as whole but for a really full on creamy result I think all whole milk does the trick.  I’ve been snacking on this intermittently since I made it yesterday lunchtime but I had it this morning for breakfast (!) with blueberries, which made a delicious  start to my day.

Milk Barfi

I love these Indian sweets and would usually have taken a little stroll up to my local Indian sweet shop Ambala for these but I sometimes worry that they may make them with flour in so I had a little surf on the internet and combined some of the recipes I saw into this really, really simple method that has resulted in a quite delectable dessert.  Also not sure about the spelling here, I see Burfi and Barfi used equally on the t’internet so not sure what is correct.  Please correct me if you think I’ve got it wrong.

Ingrredients:

200g Milk powder

1 tin of condensed milk

About 150ml of whole milk

3 cardamon pods

Method:

Put condensed milk, milk powder, cardamon and milk in a pan.  Heat.  Keep stirring for about 5-10 min until the mixture is thick and starting to leave the sides.  Pick out the cardamon pods (it might be better to use cardamon powder, I didn’thave any).  Pour out on to a cling film covered board. Wrap into a squarish parcel and refrigerate for about 2-3 hours.  Once set and cool cut into squares and decorate with pistachio nuts.  Serve for dessert, or snack on whenever you feel the urge!

Carrot Halwa

Grated carrots

I have been craving this pudding since a trip to the Banana Leaf, a south Indian restaurant in Croydon, over a year ago.  They served it there warm with ice cream and ever since I have been dreaming about it and searching the net for a credible and fairly simple recipe.  Yesterday I finally found a recipe on  http://www.cookitsimply.com/recipe-0010-0889i9.html.  I halved the ingredient list and started to prepare the dish.  Half way through cooking, whilst browsing the net and looking at other recipes and youtube videos of how to cook it, I decided to adapt the method slightly and my ingredients as I didn’t have any ghee (and was not about to start clarifying butter) and had no pistachios.

This is a truly sweet and addictive dessert, I kind of wished I had gone the whole hog and made more but theres always next time!

Ingredients:

225 g carrots, grated
450ml milk
60g sugar
2 cardamom pods
2 heaped teaspoons of butter
30 g (2 tbsp) raisins
30 g (2 tbsp) pistachio nuts, skinned and chopped ( I didn’t have these but I think they are well worth putting in if you can)
Method:
Bring the milk to the boil in a large saucepan with the sugar and cardamon pods.  Add the grated carrots and simmer very gently for about an hour or until the liquid has evapourated.  Stir mixture from time to time.  Add the raisins to the pot towards the end of cooking.  Serve hot or cold.  It’s great warm with ice cream but just as luscious cold out of the fridge.
Tip:  I noticed that on the youtube clip they used a much wider, shallower pan than I used, this should speed up the evapouration of the milk and not have you waiting for a whole hour for this delicous dessert to get cooked.

Persian Sweet Rice

Recipe and proper name to come courtesy of Reshma. Eid Mubarak!

Right the recipe for the Nawabi Persian Sweet Rice! This is one of my favourite recipes because it’s easy to make and you can’t really go wrong with it-even if you are an amateur chef!
 
There are numerous ways of cooking it and it varies from country to country both in Persia and the Indian sub-continent. This recipe in particular is more Persian than Asian, and I learnt this from my mother whose ancestors originated from Persia.
 
 
The reason why this is a ‘royal’ dish is because of the expensive ingredients such as saffron, almonds, kish-mish, pistachio etc and only those who were wealthy (such as the royals) could afford to make such a dish because of the ingredients.
 
Ingredients:-
 
1-2 tbs veg oil-Do not use olive oil!!!
4 green cardamon pods.
2 cinnamon sticks.
3-4 saffron strands. (optional)
A pinch of orange food colour (optional).
2 cups of Tilda Basmati rice, leave to soak in water for a maximum of an hour.
1 cup of granulated sugar.
Dessicated coconut (optional-to taste).
Kish Mish (optional-mixed dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins etc-to taste).
Chopped walnuts (optional-to taste).
Chopped almonds (optional-to taste).
Pistachio (optional-to taste).
 
 
Method:-
 
1. Boil the rice with 2 cardamon pods, 1 cinammon stick, saffron and food colour until the rice is 3/4 cooked-drain.
 
2. In a large pan/wok heat the oil and add the remaining 2 cardamon pods and cinnamon stick.
 
3- Add the drained rice and stir gently on a low flame. The oil should evenly coat the rice.
 
4-Add the sugar and stir gently so it is evenly distributed.
 
5-Add the coconut and agin stir gently so it mixes well.
 
5-Add the kish-mish, almonds, pistachio d walnuts and then turn off the heat.
 
6- Allow to cool.
 
Et voila!
 
This is served either warm or cold.
 
Reshma