a. Name four of my favourite desserts
b. Pass this award to four fab bloggers.
Now both these tasks are just a little bit complicated for me.The first one, because I have been (in)famous within my friends and family as a dessert hater-more specifically I have always avoided Indian desserts as I find most of them overwhelmingly sweet- the prospect of having jalebis, gulabjamuns, laddus etc. is daunting for me.
However, a few desserts which are mildly sweets (and chocolates),are welcome once in a while.These are :
1. Mango with sweet sticky rice (Khao neow mamuang): This is a famous thai dessert that we discovered accidently this January during a cooing workshop in Phuket. Imagine my surprise on discovering how delicious this dish is when just before the class, I was urging the instructor to let me swap this one for another salad/noodle dish. However, she insisted that I should try this and I am glad that for once I listened to those who know better !
2. Chocolate fudge: Almost 2 decades ago, this was the first dish I ever made, from a Tarla Dalal recipe, and recently chocolate fudge again off Deeba's blog.
3. Ada pradhaman : I first had this at Ananda Bhavan in Singapore as part of my thali and found it amazingly mellow and delicious.
4. Movenpick Caramel Ice cream: For all my talk of disliking sweet desserts, this is one of the very few ice creams I like and it happens to be seriously sweet. But this one works for me..dunno why ! Call me wierd but it does remind me of Mishti Doi, which is another sweet that I am pretty fond of !
Now comes the second part and my confession:
OK..OK , cut to the chase..so what is my confession ?
I, um have shamelessly bookmarked dozens of recipes in my non blogging days, usually even without a little thank you or comment to the blogger who took the pains to click, write and post a recipe. ( Hang my head in shame). Partly because I was not sure how to intoduce myself to the blogger, and partly my laziness. Not that either of the two is a good enough reason, but well that's how its been.
- Manasi of A cook at heart, who taught me the very delicious Dadpe pohe, a yummy unfried version of the ever popular poha. Not only has her healthier recipe made me lose 57 gms of excess weight that i attribute to my fondness for poha but has also caused a great poha divide between me & P, who still favours the cooked version.
- Kamini of The Bubbling Cauldron : Her awesome aloo sabzi has perked up many dull dinners for us, I think I have bookmarked nearly half of her blog.
- Daagh of A.R.A.D, who taught me to finally start liking simple vegetables like Guvar and palak tamatar, as much as the yummy cheese balls and mont carlo that the charming fatee whips up!
- Saju,Mohsin,Joanne & Graingers of Chachi's kitchen for who showed me that with some effort, everything from vegan sushi to moussaka is possible.
These four amazing bloggers have made our meals happier, easier and newer by introducing me to unusual recipes and showing me how to make some of our favourites.There are lots of other bloggers too who have inspired me but today I have to limit myself to only four. Henceforth, I have also made it a point to always leave comments before book marking any recipe, else let the curse of the food gods turn my food to dust! A very warm and heartfelt thanks to all of you and hope you will forgive me for not acknowledging and thanking you then.
Finally when on my birthday in March, I decided to 'gift' myself a blog, I realized how much thought goes into each and every post. That too, when my photography is limited to a very old & basic digicam, or my camera phone. I can imagine the kind of effort it is for those who take great pains to create beautiful settings and click those fab pictures that can put glossies to shame.
Now I also know how happy new comers feel when a veteran notices and encourages them. This is how I felt when I first saw Bee's comment. And I could hardly believe it when subsequently Asha, Richa, Trupti, Manasi, Nandita and Anita visited my still rather 'rough around the edges' blog. It's like you grow up watching Amitabh Bachhan, and one day he turns around and says hi !
All of you are such heroes that I would not have the audacity to hand you an award, even though your blogs are yummy beyond doubt.
All I can say is THANK YOU for sharing your lovely pictures and recipes with us so generously and enriching our lives with your wonderful writing.
And finally, for those of you who are still with me, here's the recipe, for one of the simplest desserts ever:
1 cup of glutinous rice*
1 cup of coconut milk
5 to 6 tbsp of sugar ( to taste, actually)
a tiny pinch of salt ( yep, salt!)
Your favourite mango, sliced or cubed ( i used the Alphonso in the picture below)
* This is a special opaque,short grained rice easily available in asian stores, looks something like this:Rinse and soak the rice for 3 hours or even overnight. If in a hurry, you can even make do with 30 to 60 minutes of soaking, but pre-soaking is a must.
The traditional method calls for steaming the rice for about 20 minutes in a muslin cloth (similar to what you use for making paneer/coconut milk). However, I have recently learned a MW method which works almost as well, which is to cook rice with 10% more water than the rice (1 cup rice to 1.1 cup water) for about 9 to 10 minutes at full power. The rice should be cooked completely and give easily but not be too mushy. Here's a close up of the final dish:Separately, we make the coconut sauce: On a low heat, mix the sugar & salt with the coconut milk till dissolved & keep aside. The salt is absolutely integral to the recipe as it emphasizes the sweetness of the sugar and coconut. When the rice is still warm, add 3/4th of the sauce to the rice, mix gently and keep covered for 10 minutes.
At the time of serving, plate some rice and mangoes for each person, pour some sauce on top and sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds. BTW, another popular way of serving this in thailand is with some fried moong dal sprinkled on top ! Yes, the same dal that we all love to snack on :)