Tag Archives: Cloves

Indian spiced, coconut rice pudding and aromatic poached pears

29 Nov

Yesterday I sent my husband a song through the speakers in the kitchen, via my phone. He walked in, smiled and asked if it was an apology for it was the song he would play when I visited him in his student halls and it subsequently became my ‘walk in’ song on my wedding day. Nostalgia, music and food are all so evocative aren’t they?

I recently asked a question on the blog about your favourite milk recipe and quite a few people mentioned rice pudding and some even with the old favourite of a dollop of strawberry jam. I remember doing that as a child. There’s something about the creamy and smooth nature of rice pudding that sits so well with juicy and plump fruit. For me, rice pudding conjures memories of celebrations; rice pudding with all its saffron, cardamom and rose water glory was affectionately made on special occasions such as a family get together, a religious holiday or as a treat for decent exam results. Rice pudding is consequently a happy dish for me and one that feels so bolstering to eat, hot and steaming against the cool air of the winter. My nostalgic temptation has evolved the fruity dollop into some fine and glowing pears with an Indian accent. I spice poached the pears tenderly, in whole spices including saffron, which has given them a lovely colour. The star anise and cinnamon come through the robust of flavours, but you can most definitely sense the cardamom and cloves.

Indian spiced, coconut rice pudding and aromatic poached pears by Deena Kakaya

I made this rice pudding using a2 Milk™, was used to make the paneer for this recipe. Regular cows’ milk contains A1 and A2 proteins and for some, the A1 protein causes side effects such as nausea, bloating and mucus build up. A2 carefully select dairy cows that naturally produce the A2 protein and not the A1 protein. If you have had trouble digesting regular milk, a2 Milk could be for you.

For the rice pudding (to serve 4)

65g of pudding rice

1 litre of a2 milk (whole milk)

1 tin/400ml coconut milk

80g of caster sugar

A pinch of saffron (approximately 6-8 strands)

¼ tsp. ground cardamom

1 ½ tbsp. rose water

3-4 tbsp. desiccated coconut

Method

  1. In a deep, non-stick pan combine the pudding rice, a2milk and sugar and bring the pudding to a full simmer. Turn down the heat to a moderate simmer before adding the saffron and ground cardamom and cook the rice pudding for approximately 30-35 mins.
  2. Now add the coconut milk and rose water and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  3. Whilst the rice pudding is cooking, heat a non-stick frying pan and gently toast the desiccated coconut until it catches a golden colour. Allow the desiccated coconut to cool and then use it to sprinkle on top of the pudding when you serve the dish.

For the poached pears (to serve 4)

4 firm but ripe pears

1 litre of water

1 1/3 cup of caster sugar

A pinch of saffron (approximately 6-8 strands)

4-6 green cardamom pods

2-3 star anise

1 large stick of cinnamon

6 cloves

Method

  1. In a large pan, heat the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved before adding the whole spices.
  2. In the meantime, peel, core and trim the pears before cutting them into quarters, removing any stems.
  3. Now slip in the pears. Make sure that they are fully immersed, otherwise exposed parts may discolour.
  4. Turn the flame to a low simmer and cook the pears for about 20 minutes or until the pears are tender.

Indian spiced, coconut rice pudding and aromatic poached pears by Deena Kakaya

 

Homemade chilli oil with an Indian accent

23 Oct

IMG_3928

When we go to our favourite Chinese restaurant the first (of many) things we over eat on is vegetarian crackers with loads of chilli oil. Our tummies flare away after a few mouthfuls as do our tongues, but we keep going. We always joke that our Indian heritage is revealing itself here; not everyone hoovers up chilli in this way, surely?

My love for chilies isn’t just based on the heat. The flavour of chilies is something else. Sometimes sweet, sometimes smokey, sometimes tangy. I love the way they get into the nose and cheeks as soon as a they’re bitten.

I’m sure every Asian person has an aunt that carries chilli sauce in their handbag, I know I have a couple at least! In my last corporate role the IT department was filled with people from Calcutta and Bangalore. They and I would queue for the microwaves in the canteen and they would heat up their stacks of Chappati, curry and rice separately whilst I would be tapping my single tub of daal and rice with forced patience and a smile masking my hunger and nervousness about making that meeting.

Anyway, those of the IT people that didn’t bring a packed lunch feast would buy something like chips and guess what they would pull out?

It’s engrained. On pizza, on cheese on toast, on chips, on jacket potatoes…chilli. So I thought, why not? Why don’t I make a chilli oil with an Indian accent, like my ex colleagues from Bangalore and my auntie and my mummy.

Do you know how easy it is to make chilli oil? I wasn’t even sure it warranted a recipe or a post on my site until I spoke to a few of my friends and they said they loved the stuff and asked me about the best place to buy it. So here we are.

These pretty little jars make excellent Christmas gifts that are handmade and special. My husband is away this week on business and I’ve been handing these little jars out to my friends and family who have come to keep me company and they’ve gone down beautifully.

I have used sesame oil and olive oil in my recipe because sesame oil makes the whole mix gorgeously nutty. I’ve used lots of whole spices that are used in garam masala and they all add aroma and gentle heat with some sweetness. Cinnamon and star anise smell sweet and floral respectively. All you need to do is heat it up to aid the infusion, but don’t burn the chilies by boiling the oil. Just be gentle. Remember that the infusion gets stronger over weeks. I would shake the oil once a week and keep it in a cool and dry place. Let me know what you think of this one!

Ingredients

225ml sesame oil
225ml olive oil
20g dried flaked chilies
5-7 whole dried chilies
3 medium sized sticks of cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 star anise
5-6 cloves

Method

1. Sterilise the jars and dry them thoroughly.
2. Pour the oil into a deep bottomed non-stick pan and add the chilies and whole spices.
3. Heat the oil until you see gentle bubbles and turn down the heat. Don’t boil the oil or burn the chilies.IMG_3925
4. Keep the oil on the flame for 4-5 minutes to add the infusion, but on a low flame.
5. Let the chili oil cool and then pour the oil into the jars, try to distribute the while spices evenly.

Store the jars in a cook dry place and shake them once a week.

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