I absolutely love the flavors of rose water, honey, pistachio and saffron. They are present in abundant doses in one of my all time favorite desserts, Baklava. But it was the spotting of Gulkand or rose jam, the omnipresent ingredient in the mouth refresher paan, that triggered the thought of creating this recipe. It is a muffin that has all these flavors, except it can be eating at breakfast and tea time with some soothing mint tea.
I started with one of my favorite jam muffin recipes from @seriouseats and modified it to its middle eastern/Indian relative. The original recipe can be found here. https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/03/bread-baking-jam-muffins-recipe.html
Here’s my variation.
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 heaped tsp cardamom powder
- 3/4 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup gulkand or rose jam (I used Super Tower Gulkand from the Indian store)
- 2 tbsps toasted pistachio nuts
- 3 strands of saffron
- 1 heaped tbsp granulated sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Toast the pistachio nuts and crush with saffron and granulated sugar in a mortar and pestle till it is a coarse mixture. Set aside.
3. Whisk the flours, baking powder, salt, and cardamom and set aside.
4. Mix the milk, oil, egg, and honey well and pour this into the flour mixture, folding gently till the ingredients are combined.
5. Swirl the gulkand into this mixture with a fork.
6. Divide the batter into the muffin cups.
7. Top with the pistachio nut mix and tap down slightly.
8. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and continue baking (without opening the door or taking out the muffins) for another 8 minutes. The muffins are done when the tops are brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
Enjoy with hot mint tea!
glThey sat there in the fridge looking expectantly at me on a cold winter day. The little bag of baby carrots, waiting to be let out and begging me to unleash some creativity.
Hunger and not necessity is sometimes the mother of invention. So, I took the carrots and blanched the entire contents of the little bag. And then very simply tossed these warm carrots with tahini, olive oil, berbere, green chillies, fresh coriander, mint and lemon juice to create a salad that was the perfect, healthy lunch. It really is as simple as mixing these ingredients, but if you need a more precise how-to, here it is.
One small bag of baby carrots (One pound bag)
Two tbsps tahini
One tbsp olive oil
Two tbsps chopped coriander leaves
Two tbsps chopped mint leaves
Two tsps berbere (or paprika or one tsp chilly powder)
One hot green chilly finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Mix all the ingredients and serve hot or cold as a salad or side dish. If you have a few pomegranate seeds, you can use these for a colorful garnish.
I’ve expressed this form of love before and here I go at it again. Yes, it is Yotam Ottolenghi yet again along with his baking partner Helen Goh who have me in raptures. Well, it is not really them, but their “Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake” that was just featured in the New York Times that has me all excited.
Just reading the list of ingredients (pistachio, rose-water, lemon juice, almond meal and more) had me in the car on an assembly spree.
And this afternoon, as the pistachios whirred in the food processor and the smell of rose-water wafted in my kitchen, I almost felt like I had been blessed with a virtual visit from the talented powerhouse of Goh and Ottolenghi.
If one could describe the ideal dessert as one where beauty makes a connection with the soul, this has got to be it.
Just a few words of warning!
This does not follow my penchant for light dishes.
True to its middle eastern origin, the cake is sweet and blends in many an exotic flavor. So if you want to get on a magic carpet and take a ride with a subliminal blend of tastes, here’s the way to get on this trip.
Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake