BAKED CHICKEN AND APRICOT KORMA-ONE POT DINNER

Easy baked chicken and apricot Korma: Cashew and apricot casserole

Easy baked chicken and apricot Korma: Cashew and apricot casserole

Ingredients

I love this curried chicken because it’s so easy to make, you blitz everything in a food processor, marinate and then bake the chicken. It kind of imitates the flavour of a korma without all the effort. Use dried jardaloo (Indian apricots) or the Turkish ones. Turkish apricots come pitted and save you some effort and time but Jardaloo is a more complex and delicious flavour.

Ingredients (serves 5-6)

1) 1 kg chicken cut into 6-7 pieces with skin and bone

2) ½ cup whole unsalted unroasted cashews or almonds

3) 8 fresh ripe apricots 10 pieces or dried jardaloo

4) 1 cup fresh, plain wholemilk yogurt or curd

5) 4 strands of saffron, crushed

6)½ cup chopped white onion

7)2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste

8) 1/4 tsp turmeric

9) 2 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne pepper

10) 1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds

11) ¼ tsp ground green cardamom seeds

12) 1 bay leaf

13) 1 large 2-3 inch piece of cinnamon broken into 2

14) 2 large black cardamom

15) Salt and sugar to season

16) Optional garnish of apricot kernels and or sprigs of fresh coriander leaves

Instructions

1. If using dried apricots, soak them in hot water for 20 minutes and pit them if they are Indian apricots.

2. Reserve the kernel if you wish to use the nuts inside. This step is optional.

Break the kernels using a pestle or a small hammer and reserve the small nuts inside. Discard all broken shells. If you are using fresh apricots, test taste the nuts. The nut of fresh apricots can sometimes be bitter.

3. Puree all the remaining ingredients from 2-11 to a smooth paste. Season with salt and if the apricots and yoghurt taste sour and a little sugar. The flavour should be tangy and a little bit spicy. If your fresh apricots were sour you may need more sugar. Adjust spiciness by adding more red chilli powder.

4. Pour this mixture over the chicken. Add the whole bay leaf, black cardamom and cinnamon pieces and marinade for 3-4 hours or overnight.

5. Preheat oven to 300 F. Place chicken skin side up in a medium oven proof dish about 12 inches by 8 so the chicken fits snugly. Pour remaining marinade over the chicken.

6. Cover dish with foil. Prick foil in a couple of places with a fork to help release steam and bake for one hour.

7. Raise oven temperature to 375 F. Remove foil and continue to bake until chicken is golden brown and cooked through and the sauce is bubbly and thick. Garnish with the apricot nuts and or toasted cashew pieces.

8. Serve hot with flat breads like naan, roti or parathas.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/baked-chicken-and-apricot-korma-one-pot-dinner/

MANGO GARLIC RELISH

Mango and Garlic Relish: A Pickle with a story

Mango and Garlic Relish: A Pickle with a story

Totapuri mango and garlic jam. Photo: Deepa Netto

Ingredients

I have the monsoons to thank for turning me into a cook. As children my sister and I spent summer holidays with Aaji and Ajoba at their small farm in Belgaum. The front of the plain, ranch-style house was framed by a lush rose garden interspersed with almond, pomegranate and lime trees. To the left of the house was a strawberry patch, and in the backyard, a vegetable and fruit orchard. Ajoba was a proud gardener whose produce competed for and won local awards.

When it rained, we couldn’t play outside so he offered us two choices – learn Sanskrit shlokas and refine the mind or learn cooking and refine the marriage resumes.

For me the choice was obvious.

The monsoons are a lean period for good produce so the months leading to it, especially May, were spent harvesting. Ours was a frugal household, and since most of what we ate during the rainy season came off the farm, we devoted salubrious afternoons to picking guavas, sapota (chikoo), mangoes and cashew apples.

You will have newfound respect for cashews when I tell you how strenuous the reaping is. First, the fruit is plucked off the tree with a diabolical looking hook attached to a long, wooden pole. Then the under-hanging cashew nut is ripped off. We sold the cashew apple to local feni producers, but kept the nuts. The cashew has a hard outer shell filled with a corrosive liquid. We’d slap our hands with oil and, sitting cross-legged on the tile floor, crack open every one of those 2,000 kernels to reveal a tender, crescent-shaped nut wrapped in wrinkled, brown skin. This skin had to be scraped off ever so gently so as not to break the cashew.

Throughout the monsoon Aaji turned these nubile nuts into lip-smacking fried masala cashews, farasbi kaju usal, moogache kaju dabdab, a Karwari specialty of curried bean sprouts that required us to peel the green husk off every single moong bean. This was the culinary equivalent of a Navy Seal training camp.

Flame red seedless papayas, (Ajoba called them disco papitas) grew abundantly, as did videshi panas (breadfruit), a meaty fruit Aaji sliced into kaape, dusted with semolina and pan fried.

cashew plant and seedless cashews

A cashew plant in the backyard & unshelled cashews (R). Photos: Tara Deshpande Tennebaum

Among the many bananas Ajoba grew were the small paper-skinned cardamom-scented Safed Velchis of Maharashtra, Karnataka’s highly-prized Chandrabale red bananas, and the unique Nanjangud (it received protected geographical status in 2005). They were whacked off early and hung up to ripen in ponderous bunches from a disused four-poster bed in the verandah. We took afternoon naps with our adopted stray dog, Brandy under this canopy of carbohydrates. Soft sunlight, a doggy to cuddle and the heady fragrance of sweet bananas made for excellent siestas.

These bananas were turned into hot fritters, halwa and banana dalchini jam. And you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a caramelised banana jam slathered over homemade white butter on a slice of Swamy Bakery’s coconut bread.

The pride of Ajoba’s garden, however were his mangoes. Some Badami, Raspuri, Totapuri but mostly Langda, the north Indian transplant grew inexplicably well in his garden’s black soil.

Belgaum is disputed territory, claimed by both Maharashtra and Karnataka. Ajoba, who was Marathi speaking, grew varieties of fruit from several states to please his palate and his patriotism. This resulted in delicious politics, the source of which was our maali, Ratan kaka. He had spent much of his life around vegetables that he’d acquired their qualities. A face as shriveled as bitter gourd and gait as curved as a marrow, he was a walking and mostly cussing, hybrid.

But he had veggie magic. Like some potion-brewing druid, he could talk to gourds, resurrect tomato vines even bring brinjal back from the dead. Such talent is alas also opinionated.

Kaka turned his nose up at any produce that wasn’t Kannadiga and because he was born in Maharashtra he was willing to make exceptions for Konkan breeds. When we asked him why Ajoba’s favourite mango was called Langda, (the word means lame,) he explained it was the deformed, treacherous, less good-looking brother of Hapus. Aah, the mango family is ruthless I’d thought, but in fact it was kaka. He despised Langda.

Ajoba had forbidden him from growing Alphonso. Kaka, who was originally from Ratnagiri, the home of Hapus couldn’t abide this lesser-known mango when by birthright he should have cultivated the King.

If the guavas were pitted, maali blamed Langda for poisoning the soil. If the strawberries were not sweet, it was Landga’s fault. Ajoba showed staunch loyalty to the Langda. The graft was a gift from a close friend and a happy reminder of his days in Delhi. “They have far more character of flavour,” he insisted.

But, there was a deep and dark secret the prize-winning cultivator didn’t want anyone to know – Hapus simply wouldn’t grow in his garden!

So, Badamis and Raspuris were turned into aamras, served with saucer-like puris that flew out of Aaji’s kadai onto our plates at the speed of light. Mangoes were also turned into pickles – methamba with fenugreek, sakharammba with saffron and my favourite, garlic and mango lonche. While Langda was reserved for ice-creams and chilled soufflés.

I’m convinced that the Marathi words ‘salsaleet’ and ‘zanzaneet’ were created for foods eaten during the monsoon – when it’s cold and wet outside you warm up to a sizzling, spicy dinner inside.

I remember we’d race up the hillock behind the farm to collect ‘Dongrachi Kali Maina’- the black nightingale of the rocks also known as Karvanda, a fruit that thrives in dry weather on prickly bushes. Wet, our clothes stained red by luscious berries we’d return home for a meal of baby eggplants stuffed with gode masala and steamy jowarichi bhakri. I remember my fingers, tender from the thorns tingling at the touch of those spiced eggplants.

In the monsoons you literally fritter away your time. Love of deep-fried snacks is a genetic Indian syndrome and resisting them is like trying to medicate for a common cold. Give in gracefully.

Onion bhajjis, crisp on the outside soft on the inside, and fragrant milk tea with pudina and ole chaha (lemongrass stalks) are irresistible on rainy days.

Aaji battered up a plethora of bhajjis and pakoras, rice flour chaklis, twisty kodbale, crunchy muduku, sweet corn vadis dotted with green chilies and mounds of masala sev.

She also made delicious guava jam and poached guavas, but it was her guava Sasav with prawns that stood out. Sasav, a thick, sweet and spicy curry that’s utterly delicious over boiled rice is a Saraswat specialty traditionally made with Kala Ishaad mango.

There was also a specialty called ‘shevra‘, or dragon stalk yam, which was chopped and stir fried with a rai-hinga phodni (mustard and asafoetida tempering), colocassia leaves were turned into alu wadi and baby methi was tossed with baby potatoes.

Interestingly, the monsoon brings several bitter vegetables to the table. Karela or bitter gourd, ambadi, chakwat, chuka, red and green Amaranthus leaves called Maath and Kardai (safflower) were all sautéed, turned into usals, rassas, palya bhajis, koshimbris or stirred into lentils and Shevya (vermicelli noodles).

The monsoon months of my childhood were intense lessons in cooking, eating and being blissfully happy.

My marriage resume thus fortified, I married a nice American boy from Minnesota. Ajoba would be relieved to know he loves Langda. Thathastu.

Mango and Garlic Jam (makes about 1½ cups of jam)

This is more a relish than a pickle and is excellent with pulao, bhaat, curd rice, plain flatbreads or a vegetable dish. It’s also excellent with cheese and crackers, roast chicken and grilled fish. You can use a variety of mangoes for this recipe.

Use mangoes that are still green and firm but avoid the totally raw, hard kairis.

Ingredients

4 unripe but not raw Langda or Badami mangoes

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

4-5 large cloves garlic, lightly smashed

3 inch cinnamon stick

1 tsp red chilli flakes (not chilli powder)

A pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Wash the mangoes. Grate them with the skin on. Discard the seeds.

2. Steam the grated fruit and chilli flakes for 5 minutes in a pressure cooker, rice cooker or steamer, without water.

3. Boil the sugar with 1 cup of water in a pan till thick and syrupy. Swirl pan if required but do not stir. Do not let the sugar brown.

4. Stir in the garlic and cinnamon. Continue cooking.

5. When the syrup is very thick, add the grated and steamed mangoes. Cook on high heat, till thick, swirling periodically to prevent burning.

6. Remove from heat and add salt and a little water if you prefer a thinner consistency.

7. Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce heat and simmer again for 8-10 minutes until thick and bubbly.

8. Remove the cinnamon stick. Bottle in a clean, airtight, sterilised jar while the relish is still hot.

9. Keep it refrigerated.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/mango-garlic-relish/

Baked Chinese 5 Spice Chicken with Plums

Baked Chicken with Plums and Homemade Chinese 5 Spice

Baked Chicken with Plums and Homemade Chinese 5 Spice

Ingredients

If you cannot find plums Indian plums (genus prunus) are smalL, dark and often confused with a local fruit, jamun, also called Malabar or Java Plum. Plums came to India 4,000 years ago from China. While they are now a commercially important crop in China, in India they are grown as quickly flowering fillers for mangoes and litchi. Cultivated mostly in the temperate zones of north India and all over Punjab, India is the 9th largest producer of plums like the Satlej purple, Kala Amritsari, Triton and Alu Bukhara, the latter is also a generic term used to describe dried plums or prunes. City markets only get plum varieties unsuitable for drying.

Chinese 5 Spice is a classic staple of the Chinese kitchen. You can buy it anywhere, but it’s also easy and fun to make at home since an Indian kitchen has most of these spices anyway. This mix traditionally contains Schezuan peppercorns, which I substitute with its close cousin teppal or trifal, used in Konkan fish curries.Plums can range from sweet to very sour. Taste your marinade and adjust sweetness before you bake the chicken.

Serves 4-5

1 kg chicken with skin and bone in 8 large pieces

6 red plums pitted

4 red plums whole

3 small white or red onions peeled and quartered

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp white sesame seeds

1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce

4 tsbp honey (if plums are on the sour side add more honey)

3 tbsp chinese red chilli paste or a red chilli hot sauce

1 teaspoon orange zest

juice of one orange

FOR CHINESE 5 SPICE

1 .5-inch stick cinnamon/6 cloves/ 1 teaspoon fennel or saunf seeds/1 teaspoonSichuan peppercorns or use Teppal/1 whole star anise all seeds removed

Garnish

Fronds of fennel or young celery and some raw plums (optional)

2 heads of bok choy, washed and separated (prepare just before chicken is taken out from the oven)

Instructions

1. Toast all the spices for the Chinese 5 Spice in a dry skillet on medium heat about 2 minutes. Cool and grind to a fine powder.

2. Puree 6 plums with the Chinese 5 Spice, ginger, garlic, soy, sesame oil, orange juice, zest and red chilli paste or sauce. Stir in a teaspoon of salt and sesame seeds. Taste the marinade for salt, sweetness and spice levels. Adjust.

3. Toss chicken, quartered onions and remaining plum halves in this sauce, cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a baking tray. Place the marinated chicken skin side up, onions and plums in the tray and spread about. Cover with foil, prick the top of foil with a fork and bake 30 minutes.

Remove foil, raise heat to 375F and contine to bake another 25-35 minutes until chicken skin is golden brown, partially blistered and fully cooked.

Stir in the bokchoy leaves and stems. They will wilted in the heat of the casserole. Garnish with green herbs of your choice, a raw plum to add color if you wish.

Serve hot.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/baked-chinese-5-spice-chicken-with-plums/

QUICKEST STOVETOP MACARONI AND CHEESE

QUICKEST STOVETOP MACARONI AND CHEESE

QUICKEST STOVETOP MACARONI AND CHEESE

Ingredients

SERVES 3-4

1.5 CUPS WHOLEMILK

1.5 CUPS WATER

200 GRAMS MACARONI

1 CUP SMOKED GOUDA SHREDDED OR CHOPPED INTO SMALL PIECES

1/2 CUP BUFALO MOZARELLA DI LATTE IN PIECES

SALT AND PEPPER TO SEASON

Instructions

HEAT THE MILK AND WATER IN A LARGE SAUCEPAN UNTIL IT REACHES A BOIL. ADD THE UNCOOKED MACARONI AND COOK STIRRING FROM TIME TO TIME UNTIL MACARONI IS AL DENTE.

STIR IN THE CHEESES AND MIX UNTIL WELL COMBINED AND THE CHEESE HAS MELTED. SWITCH OFF FLAME AND SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER. SERVE HOT.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/quickest-stovetop-macaroni-and-cheese/

VATANA USAL – SAUTEED FRESH GREEN PEAS

GI

VATANA USAL-SAUTEED FRESH GREEN PEAS WITH COCONUT

VATANA USAL-SAUTEED FRESH GREEN PEAS WITH COCONUT

Ingredients

USAL IS A TRADITIONAL SAUTEED VEGETABLE RECIPE FROM MAHARASHTRA. IN KONKANI IT IS CALLED UPKARI. THIS USAL IS SATVIK-PREPARED WITHOUT ONIONS AND GARLIC AND IS OFTEN MADE DURING GANESH CHATURTI AND OTHER RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS. IT IS DELICIOUS WITH A FLATBREAD LIKE PHULKA OR WITH RICE AND YELLOW LENTILS.

SERVES 4

2 CUPS SHELLED FRESH GREEN PEAS

1 TEASPOON CUMIN SEEDS

PINCH ASAFETIDA

6 FRESH CURRY LEAVES, TORN

2 INDIAN GREEN CHILLIES SLIT INTO FOUR LONG PIECES

1 INCH GINGER JULIENNED (OPTIONAL)

1/5 TSP TURMERIC

1.5 TABLESPOONS GHEE OR VEGETABLE OIL

SALT AND JAGGERY AS REQUIRED

TO GARNISH

1/4 CUP FRESHLY GRATED COCONUT

1/2 LIME

2 TABLESPOONS FRIED OR TOASTED CASHEW PIECES

Instructions

HEAT THE OIL OR GHEE IN A MEDIUM SKILLET ON A HIGH FLAME.

ADD THE CUMIN SEEDS AND SAUTE 1 MINUTE. ADD CURRY LEAVES, GREEN CHILLIES AND ASAFETIDA. SAUTE 30 SECONDS. ADD THE PEAS AND STIR WELL. ADD TWO CUPS OF WATER, TURMERIC A TEASPOON OF SALT AND COOK UNTIL PEAS ARE DRY AND TENDER. ADD MORE WATER IF REQUIRED.

SQUEEZE LIME JUICE OVER THE COOKED PEAS. TOSS WITH COCONUT, CASHEWS AND TASTE FOR SALT BEFORE SERVING AND SRI IN CRUMBLED JAGGERY IF MORE SWEETNESS IS REQUIRED.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/vatana-usal-sauteed-fresh-green-peas/

Cauliflower, Peas & new Potato Rassa (File New Recipe)

Cauliflower, Peas & new Potato Rassa

Cauliflower, Peas & new Potato Rassa

Ingredients

Rassa is means 'jus' and refers to a dish with a soupy gravy generally. It differs from a Patal gravy in that it is thickened with a small amount of coconut or rice flower. This is a traditional recipe from the western coast of India.

½ Ib peeled new potatoes, halved

½ Ib cauliflower florets (medium size)

1 cup if shelled green peas shelled

4 red plum tomatoes chopped

salt to taste

Wet Masala

Grind finely 2 tsp jeera & ¼ scraped coconuts roasted on a pan with ½ ginger, 4 green chilies & 4 cloves garlic 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder

Tempering or Tadka

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds whole

6 fresh green curry leaves

Pinch asafoetida (about 1/6 tsp)

3 tbsp vegetable oil

Garnish

2 tbspns fresh chopped cilantro or coriander leaves

1/4 fresh lime

Instructions

Method

Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a small kadai or saucepan on high heat and fry ½ tsp mustard, curry leaves & little hing until they sizzle and rise to the surface. Lower flame to medium and add the potatoes and chopped tomatoes and a 1/2 cup of water and cook until potatoes are almost done. Add remaining vegetables and the wet masala and cook until tender. Remove from fire season with salt to taste and garnish with chopped cilantro and juice of ½ fresh lime.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/cauliflower-peas-new-potato-rassa-file-new-recipe/

SIMPLE BALLED MUSKMELON SALAD

SIMPLE BALLED CANTALOUPE SALAD

SIMPLE BALLED CANTALOUPE SALAD

Ingredients

MUSKMELON IS A FAMILY OF MELONS THAT INCLUDE MANY VARIETIES LIKE CANTALOUPE, KOREAN,HONEYDEW,CANARY AND SUGAR MELON. THEY ALL BELONG TO THE GENUS CUCUMIS UNLIKE WATERMELON AND ASH GOURD OR WINTER MELON THAT COME FROM A DIFFERENT STRAIN. CHINA IS THE LARGEST PRODUCER OF MELONS. IN INDIA THEY ARE IN SEASON APRIL TO JULY. CANTALOUPE IS A GOOD SOURCE OF VITAMIN A AND C AND IS 90% WATER.

I LIKE TO SERVE MUSKMELON CHILLED AS AN APPETIZER BUT ITS ALSO GOOD AS A SALAD, PALATE CLEANSER AND DESSERT ON A HOT SUMMER DAY.

IN AN INDIAN SENSE OF SALAD YOU WILL FIND A RECIPE FOR MELON DILLON KA WITH SAFFRON OIL.

SERVES 4 SMALL PORTIONS

ONE CANTALOUPE, RIPE, HALVED, SEEDS REMOVED

BALLING TOOL

FOR THE SEASONING

PINCH OF FINELY GROUND BLACK SALAT OR KALA NAMAK

PINCH OF FINELY POWDERED PAPRIKA

A SQUEEZE OF LIME JUICE

Instructions

USING THE BALLING TOOL SCOOP OUT ROUND BALLS FROM THE MELONS FLESH AND PLACE THEM IN SMALL 4 OZ SERVING CUPS. PILE THEM UP ONE OVER THE OTHER.

KEEP COVERED AND CHILLED IN THE FRIDGE UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO SERVE THEM FOR UPTO 4 HOURS.

SERVE COLD WITH CRUSHED SALT, WEDGES OF LIME AND GROUND PAPRIKA ON THE SIDE FOR PEOPLE TO HELP THEMSELVES. THIS SEASONING SHOULD ONLY GO ON WHEN YOU ARE READY TO SERVE THE MELON BECAUSE SALT LEACHES WATER AND THE MELONS WILL LOOSE THEIR FIRMNESS IF SALTED IN ADVANCE.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/simple-balled-muskmelon-salad/

BOSTOCK- FANCY FRENCH TOAST WITH FRANGIPANE, RUM AND ALMONDS

BOSTOCK- FRENCH TOAST WITH FRANGIPANE, RUM AND ALMONDS

BOSTOCK- FRENCH TOAST WITH FRANGIPANE, RUM AND ALMONDS

Ingredients

Bostock is a French toast like no other. A classic from Normandy the bread can be soaked and layered several hours before you are ready to bake it.

Serves 3

3 thick slices of brioche bread about 3/4 inch thick

4 teaspoons thin cut orange marmalade or apple jam

For the milk bath

2 eggs whisked

1 cup wholemilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tbspn castor or granulated sugar

For the frangipane:

1/2 cup powdered almonds with skin

3 tbspn castor or granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

Pinch salt

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp. brandy or spiced rum (OPTIONAL)

1/4 tsp cinnamon, powdered

Garnish

1/2 cup cinnamon syrup or fruit compote or mild honey

1/2 cup finely sliced almonds with skin, toasted to a golden brown

Powdered sugar, for serving

For the cinnamon syrup:

Boil together 1 cup castor sugar, 1 tbspn brown sugar, 3 inch stick of cinnamon and 2.5 cups of water on a medium flame until you have 1 cup of syrup. Cool, strain and discard cinnamon stick. Stir in 1 tbsp rum or brandy. Keeps refrigerated for a month. Great in cocktails, over gelato and bread pudding.

Instructions

Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon together. Pour into a 9 by 12 inch cake pan. Place the 3 slices of bread in the egg bath and allow them to absorb the liquid on both sides.

Spread the top of each slice lightly with the marmalade or jam of your choice. If you plan to bake this later cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Let it reach room temperature before you bake it.

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare middle rack.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the frangipane in a medium mixing bowl using a balloon whisk. You should have a wet, soft, easily spreadable mixture.

Divide this mixture into 3 portions and spread over the marmalade on the brioche slices.

Bake in the middle rung until the frangipane is bubbly but still moist about 20-25 minutes at 350F.

Remove cake pan and using a sharp flat spatula remove each slice onto a plate. Top with toasted almonds and powdered sugar.

Serve warm as is or with cinnamon syrup, fruit compote or mild honey.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/bostock-fancy-french-toast-with-frangipane-rum-and-almonds/

FROZEN FRESH FRUIT JUICE POPSICLES IN CHAI GLASSES

FROZEN FRESH FRUIT JUICE POPSICLES IN CHAI GLASSES

FROZEN FRESH FRUIT JUICE POPSICLES IN CHAI GLASSES

Ingredients

Beat the heat with Chaisicles- popsicles made from fresh fruit juice in chai glasses. Blueberry and black tea, watermelon, lychee and lime flavours. You could try almost any fresh fruit juice.

FOR 6 4 OZ OR HALF CUP CHAI GLASSES

5 cups of your choice of fresh fruit juice such as watermelon, orange, pineapple or flavoured iced tea such as mint or black tea. You can also use lemonade or limeade.

1 cup finely chopped fresh fruit to pair with you juices. blueberry and black tea, pineapple and orange juice, mango with passionfruit, use any combination you like

6 flat candy sticks to insert in the glasses

Instructions

Pour the juice or steeped into Chai glasses, add the fruit and stir. Stick them in the freezer until soft ice forms between 1-3 hours depending on you climate- it takes longer in hot weather. Press a candy stick in the middle of the semi formed ice and return to freezer until it solidifies.

To unmold rub the glass with both hands to loosen popsicle. Give the candy stick a twist and a tug. Enjoy!!

For adults only you could add a dash of booze.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/frozen-fresh-fruit-juice-popsicles-in-chai-glasses/

Fruit Charlotte

Charlotte Russe

 Charlotte Russe

Ingredients

Charlotte Russe adapted from a recipe in an 1886 edition of Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cookbook. The first edition was published in 1884. Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book is possibly the earliest American cookbook to print a recipe for Charlotte Russe.

Charlotte Russe is a chilled, set dessert of Bavarian cream in a mold lined with ladyfingers.

Ladyfingers are sometimes replaced with day old bread (apple Charlotte) or soft biscuits and sponge cake.

Not as many have heard of this book but it changed the way Americans cooked. This book is a fore-runner to the world-famous 'Boston Cooking-School Cook Book' by Fannie Merritt Farmer, (the book that contained one of the earliest recipes for Brownies, the way they are made today).

Charlotte Russe is a French dessert created by the legendary chef Marie-Antoine Carême named for his employers, George IV's only child, Princess Charlotte and Czar Alexander I. Russe is the French word for Russian.

I use extra gelatine (if you are vegetarian use agar agar also called China grass)) to make this recipe because in India the climate is warm and cream splits easily. If you live in a cold climate and have access to high quality well homogenised cream use 15 grams of gelatin or agar agar. If you use eggless cookies or cake this dish contains no eggs.

An 8 inch round pudding tin

14-16 ladyfinger biscuits (some may break while handling) or Savoiardi cookies also called boudoir, sponge biscuits and baby biscuits

1 cup thick fruit puree or compote such as strawberry, raspberry, peach

2 tbpns sliced or whole fruit berries to garnish

For the Bavarian Cream

3/4 box gelatine or use agar agar (18 grams just under 3 sachets)

1/2 cup castor sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups chilled heavy cream

1 tbpsn fruit kirsch of your choice (optional)

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup sugar syrup stirred together with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tbsp kirsch (optional)

Instructions

Line the inside of the pudding pan with plastic wrap leaving a large overhang of 3-4 inches outside the mold.

Lightly brush the sides of each ladyfinger with sugar syrup using a pastry brush or drizzle with a spoon and line them one next to the other in the pudding basin to form a kind of rounded cone shape.The top of the Charlotte Russe can be a bit uneven because it will be garnished with more compote and fruit later.

The syrup on the sides of the ladyfingers will help them stick together. Place another bowl inside the basin-this will help press the ladyfingers to the walls of the basin and prevent them from falling until the Bavarian cream is prepared.

Add the gelatine to 3 tablespoons of cold water. Swirl the cup about a little bit but don't stir. Let sit 6-7 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup boiling hot water to the softened gelatin and stir thoroughly to dissolve. Let cool completely but begin work on the cream before the gelatine begins to set.

In a stand mixer or using an electric hand whisk whip the cream, sugar and vanilla on medium speed no more than 1 minute. Add the gelatine and whip again until cream begins to thicken to medium stiff peaks. Do not over beat as the cream will split, Gently stir in half the fruit puree and the kirsch using a spatula.

Remove the smaller bowl from inside the pudding basin and slowly pour the thick, whipped fruit cream inside. Some of it will spill through the spaces between the cookies-you want this because once it sets it will hold the cookies upright. Smoothen the top of the cream. Lay the remaining 3 ladyfingers over the base. This will not be seen so you can also use any broken lady finger pieces here. Press the overhanging plastic over the dessert to ensure it is properly closed. Cover with a lid if the pudding basin has one otherwise use foil.

Refrigerate ideally overnight.

TO UNMOLD

Prepare a flat serving dish. Remove the mold from the fridge and open in the lid nor foil and gently open the plastic overhang. Tug gently a the sides of the plastic to loosen the Charlotte but do not pull the pudding out.

Place the serving platter over the dish and turn the pudding basin over on the platter.

Slowly remove the pudding basin and then gently peel away the plastic wrap.

Top the pudding with some more compote and garnish with berries or cut fruit.

Serve immediately.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/fruit-charlotte/

Strawberry Charlotte

Serves 8
Meal type Dessert
Misc Serve Cold
Region French
By author Tara Deshpande
Please consult your doctor about any health restrictions or allergies before enjoying this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (FOR THE FILLING:)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 package unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup eau-de-vie de poire (pear brandy)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons eau-de-vie de poire (pear brandy)

Directions

For the cake: Preheat oven to 400°. Butter a 9" springform pan and line bottom with buttered parchment. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale yellow. Gradually beat in flour until mixture is smooth. Add vanilla and set aside. Whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form, then fold whites into yolk mixture, taking care not to deflate whites. Pour into pan and bake until brown, 25–30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. For the filling: Put raspberries, sugar, and 1 cup water into a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries break down, about 10 minutes. Press through a sieve set over a bowl to catch purée. Return 2 cups purée to pan and set over low heat. Reserve remaining purée for sauce. Sprinkle gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water, set aside until softened, then add to purée in pan, stirring until dissolved, 1–2 minutes. Remove from heat, add eau-de-vie, and set aside to cool. Whip cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold cooled purée into cream.
3. Unmold cake and discard parchment. Slice cake in half crosswise, then return cake bottom to pan with ring reattached. Pour in filling, then replace cake top, brown side up. Cover with plastic; refrigerate for 24 hours.
4. For the sauce: Combine reserved berry purée, sugar, lemon juice, and eau-de-vie in a bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved. Slice cake and serve with sauce.