Pistachio brandy snapps

Posted on October 22, 2009. Filed under: Snacks, Sweets | Tags: , , , |

These golden, honey laced biscuits make good accompaniments to a hot cup of tea. You may even serve them with fruit salad or ice-cream to make an interesting dessert.

Cooking Time : 8 to 10 mins.
Preparation Time : 5 mins.

Makes 10.

1/3 cup melted butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup plain flour (maida)
2 tablespoons golden syrup or honey
½ teaspoon ginger powder (soonth)
¼ cup pistachios, peeled and finely chopped
1. Mix together the flour, ginger powder and pistachios and keep aside.
2. Combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan and heat on a slow flame, stirring continuously till the sugar melts.
3. Cool a little, then add the flour mixture and mix well.
4. Put 1 teaspoon of the mixture on a greased baking tray leaving enough room for expansion. Approximately 3 to 4 snapps can fit in at a time depending on the size of your baking tray.
5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C (350°F) for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Remove from the tray using a palette knife and place on top of an upturned tart mould or katori. Press onto the snapp so that it gets the shape of the tart mould / katori.
7. You can use a clean cloth to do this, as the snapp needs to be moulded while it is hot. You can even roll these to make a cylinder.
8. Repeat the procedure to make 9 more brandy snapps.
9. Store in air-tight container.
If the mixture becomes too runny or soft, freeze it for about 15 minutes and then start making the snapps again.
In a large oven, you can make 2 to 4 snapps at a time.
But ensure that the mixture is placed on the tray in such a way that there is a lot of room for expansion for each portion.
If they join, cut them apart using a sharp knife.
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Posted on June 30, 2009. Filed under: Sweets | Tags: , , , |

1 litre/1¾ pints whole milk yoghurt OR 500ml/17½fl oz Greek-style yoghurt (It is necessary to have a larger quantity of whole milk yoghurt than of Greek-style yoghurt because whole milk yoghurt will lose more water when drained.)
milk, for infusing
½ tsp saffron threads
6-8 tbsp icing sugar, or to taste
¼ tsp freshly ground green cardamom seeds, or to taste
To serve
2 tbsp chopped unsalted pistachios
2 tbsp flaked or sliced almonds
edible silver leaf (available from Asian grocers, optional)
pomegranate seeds

1. Line a large sieve with a double layer of paper kitchen roll. Place a bowl under the sieve and pour in the yoghurt. Refrigerate for as long as possible to allow the liquid to drain off the yoghurt. This will take a minimum of 5-6 hours.
2. Heat a little milk in a small pan. Place two teaspoons of the milk into a small bowl and crumble the saffron strands into it (the rest of the milk can be used in another dish). Allow the saffron to infuse the milk for about ten minutes using the back of a spoon to crush the saffron further into the milk.
3. Remove the yoghurt from the fridge (the liquid in the bowl below can be discarded). Sift the sugar into the thickened yoghurt, then add the saffron milk and ground cardamom. Cover and chill in the fridge.
4. To serve, divide the yoghurt among four bowls and garnish with the nuts, silver leaf (if using) and pomegranate seeds.

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Chrentais melon rasayana

Posted on June 30, 2009. Filed under: Sweets | Tags: , , |

The Charentais melon is juicy and sweet and perfect in this South Indian-inspired dessert. The melon leaks into the creamy coconut and is uplifted by the pomegranate seeds. A beautiful, refreshing dessert. Serve cold.

225g/8oz Charentais melon flesh, skin removed, chopped
225ml/8fl oz fresh or canned coconut milk
2 tbsp sugar, or to taste
1 pomegranate, fleshy seeds only
To serve
2 handfuls crushed ice
1 handful flaked almonds, lightly toasted in the oven until just golden

1. Place the melon pieces into a deep bowl. Using your fingers, crush them so that they are no longer regular in shape and start to leak out their wonderful juice, but do not let them become mushy.
2. Add the coconut milk and sugar and mix well. The colour should be a beautiful pale peach.
3. Stir in the pomegranate seeds and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
4. To serve, place a tablespoon of crushed ice in the bottom of each of six serving bowls and top with the rasayana. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

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Poached peaches

Posted on June 30, 2009. Filed under: Bengali dish, Sweets | Tags: , , , |

Timing :

Preparation time: less than 30 mins

Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients :

  • 6 ripe peaches
  • 1.5 litres/2½ pints cold water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 star anise, left whole, plus 2 tsp ground star anise
  • 4 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 225g/8fl oz sugar
  • 400ml/14fl oz Greek-style yoghurt
  • flaked toasted almonds, to garnish

Method :

1. Score a cross shape in the bottom of each peach. Place the peaches into a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 30 seconds, then drain the peaches and fill the bowl with cold water to refresh. Set aside for a further 40-45 seconds, then drain the peaches again and peel using a sharp knife.

2. Place the measured cold water, cinnamon, star anise, ginger slices and sugar into a large saucepan, stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture resembles syrup.

3. Add the peaches to the syrup mixture and cover them with a disc of greaseproof paper measuring the same diameter as the pan.

4. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the peaches are cooked through (they will be soft when pricked with a knife). Remove the peaches and set aside on a warm plate.

5. Continue to boil the syrup until its volume has reduced to 200ml/7fl oz. Set aside to cool.

6. Brush the peaches with a little of the syrup. Stir half of the remaining syrup and the ground star anise into the Greek-style yoghurt until well combined, adding more syrup as necessary, to taste.

7. To serve, cut each of the spiced poached peaches in half and place two of the peach halves onto each of the serving plates. Spoon a portion of the star anise yoghurt alongside each peach. Drizzle a little syrup over each peach. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

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Mango mousse

Posted on June 30, 2009. Filed under: Sweets | Tags: , , , , |

This dessert takes very little time to make and can be prepared a day before serving. For a vegetarian version, omit the gelatine. Serves four to five people.

Timings :

Preparation time: less than 30 mins

Cooking time: over 2 hours

Ingredients :

  • 2 large Alphonso mangoes, stones and skins removed, flesh chopped (about 450g/1lb mango flesh)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 100g/3½oz sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 free-range egg white, whisked until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed
  • 2 gelatine leaves (optional)
  • 180ml/6½fl oz double cream, whipped until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed
  • handful chopped pistachios, to garnish

Method :

1. Blend the mango flesh to a purée in a food processor. Stir in the lime juice.

2. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture resembles syrup. Bring the mixture to the boil and continue to boil for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture has reached the soft ball stage. (The mixture has reached the soft ball stage when a sugar thermometer reads 118C/225F when inserted into the mixture.)

3. Gradually add the hot sugar to the whisked egg whites in a thin stream, whisking continuously, until all the sugar has been incorporated and the mixture is thick and glossy.

4. You may choose to use gelatine for a firm set. If you are using it, place the gelatine leaves into a small pan and cover with cold water. Set aside for 4-5 minutes to soften, then drain well, squeezing any excess water out of the leaves and return to the pan.

5. Add two tablespoons of water to the gelatine leaves and heat over a medium heat until the leaves have dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly, then add the mango purée and stir until well combined.

6. Fold one third of the whipped cream into the mango mixture until well combined.

7. Add the remaining whipped cream and the egg white mixture and gently fold the into the mango mixture until well combined.

8. Spoon the mango mousse into a large serving dish or into individual serving glasses and chill in the fridge for two hours.

9. To serve, sprinkle over the chopped pistachios.

Chef’s tip:

Your mousse is only as good as your fruit. I would always use Alphonso mangoes to make this mousse, but as I was writing this recipe out of Indian mango season, I had to look around. I found Venezuelan mangoes that arrive here in February and have a similar, Indian mango flavour. Do taste the mangoes before embarking on the recipe – some are sweeter than others.

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Posted on June 19, 2009. Filed under: Sweets | Tags: , , |

A delicious dessert of broken wheat.

Cooking Time : 20 min.
Preparation Time : 5 min.

Serves 8.

1 cup broken wheat (gehun ka fada)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cardamom powder (elaichi)
1/4 cup warm milk
6 tablespoons pure ghee
1. Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the broken wheat, stirring continuously till it is golden brown in colour.
2. Meanwhile, heat 3 cups of water in another pan till warm.
3. Add the water to the broken wheat and increase the flame till the water starts to boil.
4. Then reduce the flame and cook, stirring occasionally till the wheat is almost done.
5. Add the sugar and cardamom powder and mix well.
6. Cook on a slow flame till the ghee separates.
7. Allow the lapsi to cool for some time.
8. Before serving, add the milk and heat again.
9. Serve hot.
If the lapsi becomes dry while cooking, add more water.
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Moong dal sheera

Posted on June 19, 2009. Filed under: Sweets | Tags: , , , |

Cooking Time : 20 min.
Preparation Time : 10 min.

Serves 4 to 6.

1 cup split yellow gram (yellow moong dal)
1 cup milk, warmed
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi)
a few strands of saffron
6 tablespoons ghee
For the garnish
slivers of almonds and pistachios
1. Soak the moong dal in water for 3 to 4 hours.
2. Drain and grind to a coarse paste using very little water.
3. Dissolve the saffron in 1 tablespoon of warm milk and keep aside.
4. Melt the ghee in a broad non-stick pan.
5. Add the moong dal paste and stir the mixture continuously on a low flame till it becomes golden brown.
6. Add in the warm milk and 1 cup of warm water and cook, stirring continuously till absorbed.
7. Add the sugar and cook on a slow flame till the ghee separates.
8. Add the saffron and cardamom powder and mix well.
9. Serve hot, garnished with slivers of almonds and pistachios.
If the moong dal paste had excess water after grinding, drain it out through a strainer.
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Stewed pears with orange sauce recipe

Posted on October 15, 2008. Filed under: Sweets | Tags: , , |

Stewed pears with orange sauce

Stewed pears with orange sauce

Preparation Time : 5 minutes.
Cooking Time : 5 minutes.

Serves 6.

For the stewed pears
6 medium sized pears
7 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cloves
Other ingredients

6 tablespoons orange sauce (recipe given below)

For the stewed pears
1. Peel and slice the pears.
2. Mix the sugar, lemon juice, cloves and 3/4 teacup of water.
3. Add the pears and cook until soft.
4. Cool.
How to proceed
1. Put the stewed pears into individual bowls. Top with cold orange sauce and serve immediately.
Health Information :
Stewing retains the texture and flavour of the fruit. A dessert which is simple to prepare yet sophisticated.


Preparation Time : 5 minutes.
Cooking Time : 5 minutes.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

3 teaspoons chopped china grass
juice of 3 oranges
a few drops lemon juice
3 teaspoons sugar
a few drops orange essence
a few drops orange colouring
1. Add 1/2 teacup of water to the China grass and cook on a slow flame until it dissolves completely. Strain.
2. Add the orange juice and boil for 1 minute.
3. Cool until lukewarm and then add the lemon juice and sugar.
4. Pour the mixture into an ice tray and put to set in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator. When partially set, stir for a few seconds.
5. Add the orange essence and colouring.
Health Information :
A tangy sauce, rich in Vitamin C which complements stewed fruits and vanilla squares.
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Rasmalai float recipe

Posted on October 4, 2008. Filed under: Sweets | Tags: , , |



Rich fruit-filled rasagoollas served in saffron flavoured milk.

Cooking Time : 20 mins.
Preparation Time : 20 mins.

Serves 6.

12 large rasagoollas
5 teacups milk
3 teaspoons milk masala (1/2 teaspoon powdered cardamoms, 3 blanched and chopped almonds, 3 blanched and chopped pistachios, 1/4 teaspoon saffron)
15 teaspoons sugar (approx.)
For the stuffing
1 banana
1 orange
2 to 3 tablespoons grapes (seeded)
1/2 apple
2 teaspoons rose water
3 teaspoons powdered sugar
2 cardamoms (powdered)
cherries for decoration
1. Squeeze out the syrup from the rasagoollas and divide each into two.
2. Scoop out the centres.
3. Put the milk to boil with the sugar. Boil for 15 minutes and add the milk masala.
4. Give one more boil and switch off the heat.
5. Chop the fruit for stuffing very finely and mix with all stuffing ingredients.
6. Stuff the rasagoollas with this mixture.
7. Arrange them in a plate. Pour the boiled milk on top.
8. Decorate with cherries.
9. Chill thoroughly.
10. Serve cold.
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Tava chenna peach delight

Posted on October 4, 2008. Filed under: Sweets | Tags: , , |

A selection of juicy fruits encased between 2 layers of lightly fried paneer.

Cooking Time : 10 min.
Preparation Time : 10 min.

Serves 4.

200 grams paneer grated
1 tablespoon plain flour(maida)
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
some chopped fruits
 ghee for cooking
For serving

ORange sauce 

1. Mix the paneer, sugar and flour and knead well.
2. Divide into 2 portions.
3. Press half the mixture into a 125 mm. (5″) square or round dish.
4. Spread the fruit pieces on top.
5. Cover with the remaining mixture and press well.
6. Chill for 1/2 hour.
7. Cut into small squares.
8. Cook on a tava on both sides with a little ghee.
9. Serve hot with chilled orange sauce.
Cook these on a gentle flame, so that they brown evenly and also so that the paneer does not stick or crumble.
You can take strawberries, canned peaches, canned pineapple as the fruits.
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