Skip to main content

Happy Diwali



The last few days, my drive back from work has been brighter than usual with buildings and malls all lit up. The markets are all full of people scrambling for last minute gifts. And any minute now, the air will get thick with smoke of firecrackers, the sky will light up with shooting stars. No wonder then, that Diwali is my favourite time of the year.

Our family has always bought rather than cooked diwali sweets so we don't really have a tradition of any special diwali dishes. This year though, I wanted to create a special dessert. I chose to take on my favourite jalebi. Typically, jalebi spirals are deep fried and then immediately dunked into sugar syrup, making them way too sweet. When I fried my jalebis though, I added a tiny bit of sugar into the dough itself so they were crisp and lightly sweet. And then I spooned over an orange caramel sauce, adding some citrusy goodness. There is more sauce to dunk your jalebis in if you want them sweeter. To round off the hot jalebi with something cold, there is rabdi ice cream in the middle.

Have a sweet, fun filled, happy diwali everyone!

Ingredients
For Jalebis
1 cup plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 cup curd
oil for deep frying

For orange caramel sauce
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice

For rabdi ice cream
1 litre full fat milk
50 grams sugar
8-10 pistachio nuts
5-6 almonds

Start your jalebi dough the night before you want to make them. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients (except oil of course) and whisk well until you have a thick batter. You might need to add a tbsp or so of water if your batter is too thick but make sure it's of dropping consistency like a pancake batter and not runny. Cover the bowl and set it aside to ferment. The next morning, you will see bubbles all over your batter. If you are not ready to make jalebis immediately, put the batter in the fridge so it doesn't over-ferment. It can also take longer, unto 24 hours in fact, depending on your weather, so be guided by how your batter looks and if there are bubbles to show it is fermented.

Let's get on to the ice cream now. Rabdi is nothing more than thickened milk and that's exactly how we have made this one. Pour the milk into a large, thick bottomed pan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, then cook until the milk is reduced to half, stirring frequently. At this stage, add the sugar and coarsely ground pistachios and almonds. Keep cooking until the milk is reduced to 1/3rd of its original quantity and is quite thick. Chill, then churn in your ice cream maker as you usually do. Pop the rabdi ice cream back in the freezer until ready to eat.

To make the caramel sauce, put sugar and vinegar in a saucepan along with 1/4 cup water. On a medium heat, stir until the sugar dissolves then leave it alone. Watch the pan closely as the sugar bubbles and gets to a deep amber color. At this point, turn off the heat and immediately pour in the orange juice. Step back as the sugar will bubble over and it can splatter. Once the drama dies down, stir your caramel to make sure there are no lumps.

Heat oil in a pan. Put your jalebi batter in a piping bag, snip off the end and pipe rounds directly into hot oil. Fry until golden on both sides and serve immediately with a scoop of rabdi ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, with more sauce on the side.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Bowlful of Comfort

I have a friend who is quite the globetrotter. Lunches at her place, often right after her trips, are a treasure trove of global flavours. But the last time we met, she was just back from Tamil Nadu and out she brought a bowl of curd rice. I love curd rice and have eaten a lot of it over the years but my friend's version was so full of flavours and textures, it was a revelation. Obviously, I asked for the recipe.

The genius of this curd rice lies in adding the tempering or the tadka twice, once to mix in the rice so it absorbs all the flavours. Then you make a second batch to top the rice with just before you serve, so it adds crunch to the usually mushy dish. The recipe also has a few other elements added in for texture, freshness and flavour.

I over-ate at lunch at my friend's and I over-ate again when I made this for myself for lunch. Plus, all the ingredients you need are likely in your kitchen already so you may as well go make it now.

Ingredients
1/2 cup rice
1 cup plain…

Fruits of the Forest

I know there hasn't been a new recipe on these pages for a while. But worry not, I'm back with a real zinger. Earthy, creamy, crunchy - this is an appetizer that ticks all the right boxes. And if you happen to be a mushroom lover like me, this is the best way to eat mushrooms I've found so far. I present to you, for all your year end parties and appetizer cravings - creamy mushroom pate on toast.

Its mushroom pate two way - just on its own and panko-crumbed and fried. Both go on a crisp garlic baguette with watercress and some kewpie mayonnaise. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients
Crunchy garlic butter toasts (I buy them as is, but you can also slice and toast baguettes)
200 grams button mushrooms
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
kewpie mayonnaise (or regular mayonnaise)
watercress or micro herbs
salt and black pepper to taste
oil for deep frying

First, make mushroom pate. Y…

Farm to Fork in Chail

Back in 19th century, when Shimla was the summer capital of India, the Maharaja of Patiala got the British rulers riled over his dalliances and got banned from entering the city. Not the one to be put down so easily, he found a tiny little town about an hour from Shimla and made Chail his very own summer capital. Today, Chail still has the impressive Palace that the Maharaja built and the highest cricket ground in the world. There really isn't much more to the city apart from a small local market and a couple of hotels that get spillover crowd from Shimla in the summers. It's a pleasant little diversion but that's not why I went to Chail. I stopped nine kilometers short of the town to make Ekam my home for a weekend.

Sumeet Singal built this house on a cliff as his own weekend home. Today, even when Ekam is open as a luxury boutique resort, the cosy homely feeling remains intact. I asked Sumeet what there was to do during my three day holiday at Ekam. He told me that ther…