Black Sesame Gelato

Well, I got me just the toy to make summer better – an ice cream maker! And, boy, have I been using it since! I’ve had it for a little over a week and have already covered my bases on frozen desserts – ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and granita. It has just brought out the creative cook in me like nothing else in a long time.

Every time we are in the vicinity of Connaught Place, we make sure to pick up a tub or two of Tender Coconut ice cream from Natural’s, our favorite flavour. When I finally agreed to add another gadget to my kitchen tools, this flavour was going to be the litmus test. If I could re-create reasonably good tender coconut ice cream at home, then giving over some kitchen retail to the new gadget could be deemed to be well worth it.

Before I could even make a list of the ingredients I needed, The Husband, as he drove off, called to say he was sending the coconut vendor my way. I answered the bell, hesitated briefly, and asked for two coconuts. I handed over two bowls to the vendor, one to hold the tender coconut water and the other for the coconut flesh. When I went to check he was scraping out the flesh from what looked like a pretty mature coconut. He had assumed I would prefer it for making chutney. I requested a really tender coconut, one with malai.

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Ragi Laddoo for Diwali

What better reason to post after a long gap than Diwali! It’s a low-key Diwali at home this year; Baba, my father-in-law, left us recently, and the son is also studying far away. But marking Diwali with some frenzied activity in the kitchen still feels natural and so I made these quick laddoos last night after a regular day at work. I shared a few pictures in my Instagram stories which had many asking for the recipe and I thought why not “revive” the blog with a quick recipe that anyone with half an hour to spare can make.

All you need is ragi (finger millet) flour, jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), ghee, almonds, and cardamom – all healthy, minimally processed ingredients. I stocked up on the first two ingredients at the just-concluded Women of India Festival 2017 at Dilli Haat showcasing organic products manufactured by women. These laddoos are a great way to include millets in our diet. I will need to make more to share since we’ve already polished off half the lot and it’s not 24 hours since I made these!

Ragi Laddoo
Makes 18 small laddos

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The Perfect Flan: In the Kitchen with Manisha

The Perfect Flan: In the Kitchen with Manisha

At the Garden of the Gods

[Continued from the previous post]
The next morning Andrea graciously offered to drive us through the Garden of the Gods before dropping us off at Jim’s office downtown. Kristin was driving up from Denver to pick us up. She, her husband Paul, Jim, and I, had been classmates at KSU and later Paul and I ended up working together in Denver. Today they own a successful design firm that is doing impressive work in and around Denver. It was so good to note that not only were all of us make a living out of what we had trained to do but also that we loved doing it!

In Denver, Paul and Kristin took us down memory lane, literally. Together we drove to some of the once-familiar places including the little garage-unit at Corona and 11th (it had it’s own fractional address: 1125 1/2!) that had been my home, and the office at Cherokee and 11th. By the time we were through it was too late for a Japanese country-style lunch at Domo’s, which had been a favourite with the office bunch. So we went to Benny’s for Mexican instead – chimichangas and margaritas it was. Later we hung out at the City Center Cultural Complex with quick visits to the Denver Public Library, the Capitol Plaza, and the Denver Art Museum before catching the bus to Louisville from the all-new Union Station.
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Patali Gur er Payesh

Some time last year, I was finally able to lay my hands on three beautiful blocks of Patali gur (also called Khejur gur or nolen gur in Bangla) from West Bengal.  Even though Sroboshi no longer worked with us in the office in Delhi, she sent the promised gur, that had arrived with her parents from Kolkata, through a courier from Bombay where they had all moved to.  It is always a busy time here and more often than not, I put such gifts into the refrigerator, where they hide reside till their time.  Only destiny decides when that might be.  This one was languishing in the office refrigerator along with some dried shrimp that had been stored there all winter as well.  Come summer, the refrigerator was required for mundane purposes, such as providing chilled drinking water, to all of us in the office.  TH put his foot down, and I had to remove the offending package – the shrimps.  With that I re-acquainted with the blocks of patali gur.  They were in double packaging and looked as good as new.  These were removed to the fridge in the kitchen downstairs.

patali gur

Patali gur is an unrefined sugar made from the sap of the date palm.  You might compare it to jaggery made from sugarcane, but it would be inappropriate.  I am not about to take sides here; they are not as different as chalk and cheese, but I will say that they may not be substituted for each other, and that I love them both.  Patali gur definitely has a more intense caramel-ly, smoky flavour than jaggery.

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