Kesar or Saffron Roshogolla – Revisiting a classic

Kesar or Saffron RoshogollaKesar or Saffron Rosshogolla is a golden take on the classic Bengali sweet, rossogolla.

Late last year, my friend Susan Hubbard at the farm had given me a large gift pack of saffron. I had not been able to put it to good use until recently. I have used it a couple of times and they were every bit of perfect in these saffron roshogollas.

A couple of years ago, I shared a classic  recipe for these lovely delicate poached sweets .

These days I stay away from the pressure cooker and make these on the stove top. I find I have more control over the results and almost find the entire process very peaceful and therapeutic. I also find my roshogollas expand better doing this method.

Saffron Rosshogolla

It has taken a long time, but my children finally have learned the magic and beauty of both the rosshogolla and sandesh. Despite my compulsive and incurable sweet tooth, I have not been able to bring myself to savor commercially made Indian sweets. It just does not cut it for me. My repertoire for homemade Indian sweets is not huge but the ones I do make I do a decent job.

Kesar Rosshogolla

Fresh tasting clean ingredients, a minimalist approach to sugar, all adds up in bringing home a fresh tasting sweet well worth the effort and calories. This beauties are found in almost all occasions in Kolkata, brought home it earthenware pots called a bhaanr. Our version of this tradition is to enjoy them warm, soft and fresh. The tips to a perfect roshogolla is pretty straight forward –

Tips for the Perfect Roshogolla

Fresh Homemade paneer or channa drained for about 4 to 5 hours

The drained paneer is kneaded well with just a hint of semolina

The sugar syrup should be light in fact my versions using a 3 is to 1 ratio of water to sugar yields a very light syrup

The balls should be poached gently. We should use a pot with enough space to cook and expand properly and should cool for about 20 minutes before the pot is opened.

The pristine white ones are always good, but if you want to flavor them, saffron, cardamom and rosewater are good options. These heady saffron roshogollas rest in a light and beautifully seasoned saffron syrup.

Kesar or Saffron Roshogolla – Revisiting a classic

Prep Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 20 roshogollas

A saffron infused version of rosshogolla, kesar or saffron roshogolla.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon milk
  • 2 limes or lemons
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon fine semolina
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon saffron

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk in a wide bottomed pan and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. When the milk comes to a rolling boil, turn off the heat. Cut the lime or lemon in half and remove the seeds
  3. Squeeze in the lime or lemon juice one half at a time, stirring well, until the milk solids separate from the whey.
  4. Gather the freshly made paneer cheese/channa in a cheesecloth and set aside to drain for about 4 hours.
  5. Gather the drained channa and add the semolina and place in a food processor and pulse for about a minute until the channa forms a ball. Alternately knead well for about 6 to 7 minutes until you can feel the fat from the channa on your fingertips.
  6. Shape into 15 to 20 small balls. These will double in size when poached so it is important to make them fairly small. Cover with a moist cloth and let them rest while you process with the rest of the process.
  7. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a wide bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. The pot should have enough room to allow the roshogollas to expand and double.
  8. Once the water reaches a foamy boil, reduce the temperature and gently add the roshogolla balls and the saffron strands.
  9. Cover and cook on medium low heat (ie in a very gentle simmer) for about 20 minutes.
  10. Cool for about 20 minutes before serving. These are either served warm or chilled. It is a matter of preference.

Notes

Most of the time is passive time.

http://www.spicechronicles.com/kesar-saffron-roshogolla-classic/

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Everyday Thai Red Curry Paste

Everyday Thai Red Curry PasteThis recipe for Thai Red Curry Paste is the prelude to a recipe, well actually, many recipes before and after.

My husband loves Thai food although over the years he has gravitated away from the richer dishes. Red curry still has a special place in his heart. Back in the day, I had made versions of the red curry paste from recipe books on hand. I ended up with various ingredients such as dried shrimp, fish sauce, etc some of which I did not later have much use for. For a while I used canned red curry pastes. Some of them worked pretty well, my favorite brand being the Mae Sri one.

Thai Red Curry Paste

Then thanks to H-Mart, I had a ready supply of ingredients such as lemongrass, kafir lime leaves and stuff. The quest for creating a practical reasonably authentic tasting curry paste began. Sure it is good to have a ready made option, but nothing beats the flavors of your own homemade creation when it comes to spices. Making your own also allows you to control the amount of heat and other flavors that you like more or less of.

Thai Red Curry Paste

I actually add in some sweet red bell pepper into the mix, not authentic but it complements the mixture well. It adds a gentle fragrant sweetness with a lots of color. It helps me add body to the mixture without notching up the heat too much. This paste works well for my vegan and vegetarian friends and frankly any time I have used it, I have not seen complaints from the husband. A few attempts done, I am ready to save this recipe for posterity.

Everyday Thai Red Curry Paste

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

A beautiful easy to make fresh tasting thai red curry paste.

Ingredients

  • 10 dried spicy red chilies, soaked for 15 minutes in 1/4 water
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 6 kafir lime leaves
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger or galangal
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass, the bulb portion only
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon powdered coriander
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered black pepper
  • 1/4 cup mild chili powder or paprika
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Place the soaked red chillies, bell pepper, lime leaves, shallots, ginger and garlic in the blender with 2 tablespoons water. Pulse a few times and then blend until smooth. It might need to be stopped a few times and scraped to ensure an even blending.
  2. Add in the powdered coriander, cumin, black pepper, mild chili powder or paprika, brown sugar and soy sauce and blend again until smooth.
  3. Store in a non reactive jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use this.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/everyday-thai-red-curry-paste/

 

 

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Chocolate Pots de Creme or Pudding

Chocolate Pots De CremeThis year for Valentine’s Day I made a collective dessert – Chocolate Pots De Creme. I steamed it in the pressure cooker. The results, even if I say so myself were nothing short of perfect.

Moist rich spoonable bites of creamy rich chocolate, which my kids however have christened pudding.

It is indeed a rich and luscious version of chocolate pudding.

I started off with this recipe and Trader Joe’s bar of dark chocolate. Then of course I just started making things up along the way. What else is new? I have to confess I am getting old, I actually made the husband reschedule our dinner reservations for the 15th, because I wanted to avoid the crowds. Valentine’s Day for me among other things is an excuse to buy out of season strawberries and not feel guilty. Of course, usually the first taste makes me remember that they are off season.

Chocolate Pots De Creme

This dessert was effortlessly steamed in my electric pressure cooker and too my surprise resulted in possibly the best textured pudding um pots de creme I have ever chanced upon. I have only tried this dessert twice before, in two very different settings. This version tasted as good as promised and is easy enough to make again and again.

Chocolate Pots De Creme

As for the weather, just when we start planning for spring, the weather decides it is winter. Just like my so called two breather weeks have somehow translated themselves into crazy busy weird weeks.  I have several house projects planned and with the super extended FLL season, it looks like I will be flying solo with them. First project, rework the study and arrange my props. Let us see how that goes.

Chocolate Pots de Creme or Pudding

Prep Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

An indulgent and rich take on chocolate pudding.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate plus more for grating
  • 6 egg yolks beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Sliced strawberries and almonds for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the heavy cream and milk until it reaches a boil. Cool slightly and stir in the chocolate.
  2. Remove 1 cup of the liquid and add to the beaten eggs a little at a time and beat well after each addition.
  3. Add this mixture to the remaining cream mixture. Stir in the sugar and mix well.
  4. Pour into 6 ramekins.
  5. Place in the electric pressure cooker or any other steaming bowl and add water about half way to cover the ramekins.
  6. Gently steam for about 20 minutes until the custard is just set.
  7. Cool and then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours or overnight before serving.
  8. Garnish with sliced strawberries and almonds before serving.

Notes

Most of the prep time is for chilling the pudding

http://www.spicechronicles.com/chocolate-pots-de-creme-pudding/

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Maple Sesame Chicken from The Migraine Relief Plan

Migrane Relief PlanThe Migraine Relief Plan is a new offering from my dear friend Stephanie Weaver at Recipe Renovator. I will tell you about my new favorite Maple Sesame Chicken very soon!

In Stephanie’s posts and offerings, she has been talking Migraine Relief for a while.

In fact, Stephanie talks about about clean eating and healthy living in general. Stephanie is An author, blogger, certified wellness and health coach. She has a Master of Public Health in Nutrition Education and has dedicated her life to eating well and living healthfully.

Continue reading

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Turkish Lentil and Eggplant Stew

Turkish Eggplant and Lentil StewI had spied the original version of this Turkish Lentil and Eggplant stew at the food and wine magazine.

I loved the concept. Luscious eggplant, soft lentils and sweet and sour pomegranate molasses, all seemed like a perfect match made in heaven. I was hooked! As with all things, I tweaked this just a little. A little more tomato and some crushed almonds for garnishing and some more herbs for good measure and a star was born.

My children or at least my son, is not a huge fan of eggplant. I keep trying to find ways to get him to learn to enjoy this rich vegetable. This is a summer dish, perfect for those months when the garden is flowing with tomatoes and eggplants. This stew is best made a day earlier, reheated and garnished just before serving.

Turkish Eggplant and Lentil Stew

I made a large batch of this stew over the weekend, which is just as well. My visit to the dentist resulted in tooth extraction today. As I rest in bed feeling sorry for myself, this will sustain the husband and the brood for today and snowy tomorrow. I did loads of cooking over the weekend, so I am good for the next couple of days. I am suddenly surprisingly busy, as I get ready to wrap up things here for a new beginning.

Turkish Lentil and Eggplant Stew

As, I pick up this recipe again, I realize that I have slept away a lot of the snowy day. Every one in the house feels well rested today. The verdict on this dish was that the daughter did not rave but did take seconds. The husband actually loved it, and the son well, he grudgingly finished it. As for me, I think this dish is relatively easy to assemble with a little planning, I loved its sweet and savory flavors, and love the fact that it adds brightness to the table. Turkish Lentil and Eggplant stew is but a keeper!

Turkish Lentil and Eggplant Stew

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

A very fragrant and flavorful stew, that is great served the next day.

Ingredients

    For the lentils
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils (soaked for 2 to 3 hours)
  • salt
  • For the tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium sized red or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin (optional)
  • 8 medium sized tomatoes such as ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • For the eggplant and assembly
  • 3 medium sized young eggplants (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or mint
  • 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds.

Instructions

  1. Boil the lentils in 2 cups of water and salt, until partially cooked. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil and add in the onion and the garlic and saute for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Add in the tomatoes, mint, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt and cook for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the sauce has begun simmering and thickens slightly.
  4. Slice the eggplant and place in a colander and sprinkle with the salt and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. This can be done at the beginning if you wish.
  5. Blot with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
  6. To assemble, place some of the tomato sauce at the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot (with a tight fitting lid). Add in a layer of the eggplants, drizzle with a little olive oil and add in the lentils. Follow this order ending with the tomato sauce until all the ingredients are used up.
  7. Top with the pomegranate molasses, drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Cover the pot tightly and cook over low heat for an hour and half.
  8. Let the stew rest for another 30 minutes or a couple of hours before serving.
  9. To serve mix in the chopped parsley or mint, garnish with the almonds and serve with crusty bread.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/turkish-lentil-eggplant-stew/

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