FALOODA!

The name says it all ! This is the stuff dreams are made of, if you happen to dream any dreams comprised of exemplary desserts. In non-exaggerating terms Falooda is a splendid dessert both visually and taste wise, an astounding blend of textures and colors ! There !! You just can't  describe it in ordinary terms, I tried.


There are many ways to make this dessert, but Tukmaria ( sweet basil/sabja) seeds and corn flour noodles are the ingredients which makes this parfait a FALOODA !
You know this already, but Tukmaria ( sweet basil) seeds are not Chia seeds even though the looks are deceptively similar, read why one is not the other here
Recipe
Falooda noodles cooked, rinsed in cold water, and drained - 2 cups tossed with 1 tbsp. rose syrup. You can substitute the falooda noodles with thin vermicelli

Rose syrup (I use Dabur brand ) - 2 tbsp.

Dry tukmaria( sweet basil) seeds - 3/4 cup Soak in 4 + cups of water for 30 minutes, drain, rinse with more cold water, drain and refrigerator

Strawberry Jell-O cut into small pieces - 3 cups (Make Jell-O according to packaging instructions, but with half the amount of liquid suggested, so that you will have a sturdier Jell-O to chop into fine pieces. ( Optional)

Very finely chopped mangoes, pineapples, bananas etc.- 3 cups
Finely chopped assorted toasted nuts ( pistachios, cashew nuts and almonds) - 1/2 cup to garnish
Kulfi cream
4 cups milk
½ tsp. crushed Cardamom
5 pistachios
1 ½ slice white bread with edges removed
½ cup sugar
Pour milk over bread, keep for 10 minutes. Grind the soaked bread milk mixture with rest of the ingredients in a blender till the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a thick bottomed saucepan and add sugar. In low heat, cook with constant stirring till the mixture thickens. Chill for at least 1 hr.
Rose cream whipped topping
( This is my quick fix ice cream substitute, but if you have ice cream in stock use it by all means)
Whipping cream - 2 cups
Gelatin - 1 tbsp.
Rose syrup - 1 tsp.
Cardamom powder - ¼ tsp.
Confectionery sugar - ¾ cup
Add 4 tbsp. boiling water to gelatin, stir well till the mixture is clear. Allow it to cool down to room temperature with occasional stirring. Mix all the ingredients and the melted gelatin and immediately start whisking and keep whisking till stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a freezer container and freeze at least for 3 hrs. or overnight
Assembling the Falooda
This I promise, is the best part. Take a tall Sundae glass and spoon/scoop in the prepped components in the following order. I usually eyeball the quantity and try to divide the stuff equally between the glasses that I am using . So depending on the size of the serving cup used the quantities listed here will make 12-24 servings
Noodles
Soaked Tukmaria seeds
Kulfi cream
Chopped Jell-O
Mixed fruit
Kulfi cream
Chopped nuts
Rose cream whipped topping
Now drizzle with rose syrup and top with more crushed nuts.

A simple salad

This is the closest to a real time post in this blog in a while photo-wise. Many of the other pictures you saw here recently are ancient artifacts; I am as surprised as anyone else when I discover them.

 
But for today, since it was a sunny sprightly summer kind of day, allow me to introduce you to our dinner, or more precisely to my favorite salsa-ish salad dressed with “Almost burned chili pepper lemonette”, served just barely three hours ago with a baked piece of fish.



Chopped salad with “Almost burned chili pepper lemonette”

The lemonette


Red chili flakes – 1 tsp.

Coconut oil – 2 tbsp.

Lemon juice – 3 tbsp.

Heat a frying pan. When the pan is hot, add the red chili flakes and dry roast till the flakes are deep brown (and not black :) ). Immediately transfer to a bowl. Add coconut oil and lemon juice and whisk together for 1-2 minutes. Keep aside for 5 minutes.
Chopped salad


Cucumber finely chopped – 2 cups

Tomatoes finely chopped – 1 cup

Semi ripe mangoes finely chopped – 1 cup

Red onions finely chopped – ½ cup

Cilantro minced – 3 tbsp.

Salt – to taste

Mix all ingredients for the salad together. Add the vinaigrette, toss well and serve

Throwback Swieback !

I am unearthing piles of pictures of food from days past ,it confirms my hazy memory of running for my camera soon as I finish cooking anything reasonably accountable. These rusks in the pictures here for example were made for my daughter when she was teething, and that was about six years ago. Now we are more excited when one of those precious milk teeth wiggles. The rusk did not help much with the process back then though, the child managed to teeth by biting on the headboard of our then brand new bed ! Now when I see those marks I can only smile, it takes a couple of years to attain that level of composure sweet people :)
 

This rusk recipe is adapted from a Zwieback recipe from King Arthur flour’s website, tweaked  to get the Indian style rusk, tea’s best friend. My childhood breakfast, lunch and dinner whenever I spiked a fever, like it was for many other kids of that time. Indian style rusk is usually spiced with Caraway seeds or Ajwain seeds or a combination of both.

 

Indian Tea Rusk

Recipe

All purpose flour - 2 cups

Sugar- 4 tbsp.

Yeast - 1 ½ tsp.

Salt -½ tsp.

Shajeera ( Caraway seeds) ground - ¼ tsp.

Ajwain seeds ground- ¼ tsp.

Butter softened - 3 tbsp.

Egg - 1

Milk - ½ cup

Raisins ( optional) - ¼ cup

Mix all ingredients and make a soft and sticky dough, adding enough water if needed. Keep in a warm place for 1½ - 2 hours or till the dough doubles in size. Shape the dough into a 12 inch log, longer if you would like smaller rusks. Cover the dough and allow it to rise for another one and half hour. Towards the end of this rising time, preheat the oven to 350 C. Bake for 20 minutes , take the loaf out of the oven and leave it on the kitchen countertop loosely covered with an Aluminum foil till the next day. Heat the oven to 200 C. Slice the bread into half an inch thick pieces and arrange the cut slices on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the rusk pieces over and bake for 10 more minutes. Turn the oven off. Leave the rusks inside the oven for 20 more minutes. Take it out and cool in the countertop for at least three hours. The recipe yields about two dozen rusks. Serve with black tea
 




 
 

Less is more

One of these days I will stare at a potato for a couple of minutes hoping for an amazing dish to happen ! My love for fewer ingredients in a recipe is growing by leaps and bounds. Here is a new favorite.
 

Lemon Chilly Prawns

Prawns - Tail on and cleaned or cleaned and unpeeled - 1 lb

Kashmiri chilly powder - 2 tbsp

Sugar - 1 tbsp

Lemon - 1

Coconut oil - ¼ cup

Salt - to taste

Keep the prawns in a bowl, sprinkle the chilly powder and salt, squeeze half of the lemon on top, toss well to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Heat oil in a wok, add the sugar and stir well till the sugar is deep golden brown. Add the marinated prawns,stir fry at high heat for 3 minutes. Now turn the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, gently tossing every two minutes or so, do not cover the wok. Squeeze the remaining half of the lemon over the prawns and stir fry at high heat for 2 minutes until the prawns are dry and coated with the spices. Turn off the heat, keep in the wok covered for 5 more minutes before serving
 
 

HAPPY VISHU !

"മനസ്സിലുണ്ടാവട്ടെ ഗ്രാമത്തിൻ വെളിച്ചവും
മണവും മമതയും, ഇത്തിരി  കൊന്നപ്പൂവും"
 
എല്ലാവർക്കും  സ്നേഹം നിറഞ്ഞ വിഷു ആശംസകൾ !
 
 
Golden chain tree (Laburnum Alpinum) in bloom close to where I work
 

Sunny side up

We did not use a single egg for making this sweet tart, I promise. Even if we wanted to, there was no choice other than hopping off to the grocer’s to grab some eggs. We ran out of eggs you see, painting them away on Easter day ! So we give you this Peach Mascarpone tart, a recipe inspired purely by what was left over.
 

Mascarpone peach tart

Recipe

Ready to use frozen puff pastry sheet (10”x15”)  - 1
Jam - 4 tbsp
Yellow or white cake crumbs - 2 1/2 cups
Mascarpone cheese/or cream cheese - 1 cup
Confectioners sugar - ¼ cup
Rum flavoring - 1 tsp
Corn starch - 2 tbsp
Milk - 2 cup
granulated sugar -1/2 cup
Gelatin - 1 ½ tbsp
Canned peaches or apricots in syrup - 8-10 halves

Thaw puff pastry, leaving a half an inch border on all sides prick or score with a knife.The unscored part will serve as an edge for the tart  when the pastry is fully baked. Heat oven to 400C. Bake the puff pastry on a baking sheet for 12-15 minutes or until the pastry turns golden. Cool. Microwave jam for 1 minute. Spread it evenly over the puff pastry, refrigerate for 15 minutes. While the pastry base is getting cooled, whisk  the cheese with confectioners sugar and rum flavoring, till the mixture is smooth. After the cheese mixture is ready, add the cake crumbs in 4 batches, gently mixing with a fork. Spread this mixture over the cooled puff pastry base evenly and smoothen out the top with an offset spatula. Drain the peach slices, and tap it try on paper towels. Arrange the peach halves on the pastry base with some space in between. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Warm the milk with granulated sugar, add ½ tbsp gelatin, whisk to combine. Make a paste of cornstarch and ¼ cup water, add it to the warm milk with constant whisking, keep whisking till the mixtures thickens. The mixture needs to be of pourable consistency. Transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl with a beak to help with pouring. Keep whisking for 3 more minutes. Pour this over the prepared tart in such a way that it spreads around the peach halves.

Mix 1 tbsp gelatin with 4 tbsp water. Melt the gelatin completely by microwaving for a minute. Mix very well to make sure there are no lumps and the mixture is clear. Using a pastry brush, gently apply the gelatin mixture over the peach slices.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving
 

 
 

Happy Easter !


Sending you all much love and rolling these watercolor painted eggs your way. We had great fun working on this very cool Easter egg project, all you need is a set of watercolors and some blown eggs.


Lupines ? May be !


Ranunculus or rose, do we really care ?


Pink and purple flowers of some kind


And now perched neatly on top of Sarah's well used egg cup is the egg that she painted.

Have a fantastic day !

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