Tag Archives: Foodie

When a favorite Indian dessert gets converted into an exotic cake

We all have rituals that make us smile.  For my husband, it is the act of eating a single piece of the Indian sweet Rasmalai which never fails to put a smile on his face.  So when Melissa Clark from the New York Times converted this sweet into a cake for a good friend, I absolutely had to recreate it in my kitchen.

Just a quick primer on Rasmalai.  It literally translates into “Ras” meaning juice and “malai” meaning cream.  It’s a dessert made with homemade cheese and served in a milk-based syrup flavored with rosewater, cardamom and sometimes saffron.

What Melissa did is absolutely brilliant and I continue to learn and be inspired by the art and science of this creation.  Mirroring the inspiration is accomplished through the beautiful art of layering flavors.  The cakes are subtly flavored with cardamom and rose water, then get a soak of milk that is infused with cardamom, followed by a sandwiching process with rose water flavored ricotta filling and a final, stylish flourish of creamy, mascarpone frosting that has a subtle flavor of rose water.

And here’s the final end product staged with a topping of dried rose petals and pistachios.  A sight to behold and a beautiful treat to devour.

As you might have guessed by now, you’ve got to tell yourself the calories are not real and simply a figment of your imagination:)

If you’d like to recreate this, here’s the link to the recipe I followed.

PS.  I do want to thank all the readers/experimenters of the original recipe who generously shared their learnings.  This was instrumental in turning my creation out beautifully!

Easy, breezy green papaya salad

I’m so so grateful that the world of salads is where it is today…..throw in any combination of pulses, greens, fruits, nuts or more and create a new concoction each day.

True to that spirit, I took my love for the yummy green papaya salad served at Thai restaurants and created my own.

Ingredients:

Half a green papaya shredded (green papayas are readily available at Asian Food Stores)

Two medium sized or plum tomatoes thinly sliced

Two hot green chilies thinly sliced

One lime zested and juiced

A few tbsps of cilantro (I use more since I love the flavor)

Two tbsps soy sauce

A tsp of sugar

Two tbsps peanuts crushed (I used the spiced kind, you can use plain as well)

Salt to taste

 

IMG_1402
Ingredients for green papaya salad

 

How to:

In a bowl, mix the shredded papaya, tomatoes and green chilies.

Mix the soy sauce, salt, sugar, lime zest and lime juice to make the dressing.

Add the dressing to the veggies and toss.

Sprinkle the cilantro and crushed nuts on the salad.

Serve with a slice of lime and a chilly on the side.

Enjoy!

Meet my Beets!

It’s one of those moments again.  I have a half a bag of baby spinach, a few beets and some freshly grated coconut.  Can I convert it into a healthy side dish or a modern salad?

Taking my inspiration from the traditional south indian “thoran” a dish with veggies and coconut, I created this quickly in my kitchen.

Ingredients:

Two or three fresh beets, washed, peeled and cut into small pieces

A half a bag of spinach or any smaller greens, washed

Four tbsps freshly grated coconut or two tbsps coconut milk

A tsp of mustard seeds

A tbsp of oil

One or two dried red chilly pods broken

1 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

How to:

Heat oil in a pan.  Add the mustard seeds and dried chilly pods.  When the mustard seeds start popping, add the beets, salt and turmeric powder.  Cover and cook till the beets are cooked, yet crunchy (about 10-15 minutes).

Add the spinach, fresh coconut or coconut milk and toss a few times.

Enjoy!