Tag Archives: dessert

World Palate Recipes: Sagan Ni Sev (Parsi Style)

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Go to any Parsi household on a Sagan, auspicious day you will always find a big bowl of Sev or vermicelli at the table. Thanks to my Parsi friend, for inviting me to lunch and specially making this nutty sweet Sev. She reminisced how her mother always made Sev for birthdays or Sagan and garnished it with plenty of pistachios, raisins and almonds. ‘Bananas and mithoo dahi, sweet yoghurt was served too’ she added.

Parsi Sev (Vermicelli)

Parsi Sev (Vermicelli)

Iranians (Persians) were involved in trade with India since many centuries. The Parsi from Iran seeking refuge from the Islamic invasion landed in Gujarat, India. Their Zoroastrian faith shared much in common with that of the Hindus. On arrival in Gujarat, Jadi Rana the local ruler refused them entry and sanctuary to these warrior-like people. But soon the priests convinced the ruler that the Parsi would be ‘like sugar in a full cup of milk, adding sweetness but not causing it to overflow.’ Jadi Rana ordered them to adopt the local dress, customs and adapt the cuisine to blend with the Gujrati locals.

Though the Parsi prefered meat and fish they gradually incorporated local cereals, pulses and masalas into their cuisine. However the Persian ingredients of apricots, pistachios and nuts remained a favourite and a distinct reminder of their origins.

                           Dessert Recipe:  Sagan ni Sev

Be liberal with ghee, and have plenty of patience while cooking!

Ingredients

1 packet thin vermicelli

5-8 spoons of pure Ghee (clarified butter)

water as needed

Sugar 5-8 tsps. or suit your taste

For garnish: saffron strands, pistachios, almond flakes, raisins.

Nutmeg and cardamom powder (jaiphal and elaichi)

Ingredients for Sev

Ingredients for Sev

Method:

Crush the vermicelli lightly, leaving medium long strands and keep aside. It will shorten while roasting. Put a big pan on the stove, put 4-5 spoons of ghee and melt it. Add the nuts mixture, roast lightly. The aroma soon fills the kitchen space:). Keep a small amount aside for garnish.

Now add the crushed vermicelli and roast lightly, adding a dollop of ghee again. Sprinkle over some sugar, the Sev gets a dark colour due caramelized sugar.

Sprinkle few drops of water, just enough to wet the mixture. Caution! too much water will make a ‘londho’ or lump! Keep stirring to even out the mixture. Cover for few minutes.

Remove cover, add another dollop of ghee and the Sev is now ready cooked and lightly crisp. Add the cardamom and nutmeg powder. Garnish with nuts mixture. Remove in a decorative plate.

Serve warm. Enjoy the distinct Persian flavour while narrating the ‘Quessa e Sanjan’ and Jadi Rana’s story, just like my friend did.

Sev. (Parsi style)

Sev. (Parsi style)

 

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

 

 

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World Palate Recipes: Nawabi Style Sitaphal Phirni ( Custard Apple and Rice Pudding)

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Today I share with you a traditional Nawabi style fruit filled dessert: rice pudding or Phirni.

Rice pudding is one of the basic desserts found in many cultures. Preparation is simple using two easily available ingredients of rice and milk and then sweetening it. Whether its a traditional Danish Christmas meal with risalmande, or a Hindu custom of Annaprasana, of introducing solid food to a baby preparing a rice kheer or the popular Arabic dessert Muhallibiya made from rice flour, milk and dates. The rice pudding plays an important role in many cultures. Here are some more names for the same:Dudh pak, Phirni, Kheer, Bubur Susam, Riz au lait.

Adding fruits to desserts is yet another tradition. Different seasons different geography and cultures, but the house cook has the same task! Gathering, cooking and preserving Nature’s bountiful fruit. From farm to kitchen to table…fruits add nutrition and taste to chutney, sauce, puddings, tarts, jams and kheer.

Custard apple, Sitaphal as it is popularly called, is in season in Hyderabad, India. The then ruling Nawabs of Hyderabad popularised this traditional Phirni adding the seasonal fruit for a delicious twist.

Today, it was a laborious joy of opening the soft, squishy fruit, deseeding it and mashing the pulp to add to Phirni or Kheer. sitaphal-fruit

Sitaphal Phirni (Custard Apple and Rice Pudding)

Ingredients

1 cup full flavoured rice (or any of choice)

1 litre full cream milk (or use a condensed milk can)

2 cups sugar

Sitaphal pulp about 200 gms ( 3-4 fruits)

For garnish: few cashews, pistachio, saffron strands

phirni-ingredients

Method

Soak the rice in 2 cups water for over an hour. Then process to rough grainy consistency in blender, along with water. Put milk to boil in large bottom vessel on low flame ( yes! time consuming, but traditional method in most cultures.) (Or use condensed milk, lightly thinned with water or milk.) Add the grainy rice paste and keep stirring and boiling. (till patience runs out:) and the mixture turns thick.

boiling milk for phirni

boiling milk for phirni

 

Open the fruit, deseed and keep pulp aside. Lightly mash, keep covered. Prepare cashews and pistachio for garnish, slice them thin. Soak saffron strands in warm milk for few minutes till colour turns bright orange.

Add necessary amount of sugar to the rice-milk pudding, keep stirring. Add fruit, this too lends sweetness! Add half of garnish.

Take vessel off the heat and stir mixture / Phirni well.

 

 

 

Serve warm or chilled, pouring it into desired containers. Use silver cups for regal or festive, baked mud cups for traditional serving. Garnish with remaining fruit pulp and pistachio and saffron.

Happy feasting! Let me know how your friends and family liked this treat.

Sitaphal Phirni

Sitaphal Phirni

 

I take much enthusiasm and energy to prepare food and capture photos. Please respect and give credit as needed or contact me.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

World Palate Recipes: Hyderabadi Qubbani Ka Meetha

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                Qubbani ka Meetha or Dried Apricot Pudding

This  simple dried fruit dessert, made with abundance of apricots from Central Asia, was given a  ‘shahi’ or royal makeover by the entourage of khansama (cooks) of the Nawabs of Hyderabad.

Hyderabadi or Deccani cuisine evolved during the rule of the Qutb and Asif Jahi rulers of this Deccan city. The food bursts with fullness of flavour, spice, richness of ghee or cream and assorted nuts. The culinary journey reminds us of history, leisure and artistic splendour in both food and architecture.  Hyderabadi cuisine boasts of an amalgamation of imported Turkish and Mughlai cuisines combined with regional Telugu and Marathwada flavours that are full of spice and tangy taste. For a historical narrative on the city market see here.

Qubbani or Kubani is the Urdu word for apricots.  Meetha means sweet in Urdu and Hindi.

Qubbani ka meetha -2

Nowadays this dessert is popularly served at weddings, banquets and Eid celebrations, as Hyderabad has a mix of cultures of both Hindu Telugus and Muslims.

Ingredients:

15-20 dried apricots

2 cups water to soak

150 gms. sugar ( 5-8 tbsp.)

1 tsp. lemon juice

Double cream as desired

For garnish: 2-3 almonds, 2 pistachios, apricot kernel/seeds and few saffron strands

Soaked Apricots and other ingredients

Soaked Apricots and other ingredients

 

Method:

Soak the desired number of dried apricots in water in a big bowl, allowing space for them to plump up in size. Leave aside for at least 6-8 hours. Strain them with a sieve or ladle and de-seed them. Place them back into the bowl of water. Keep the kernels aside. Later break them and use the small seeds for garnish. they add a wonderful nutty texture to the pulpy pudding.

soaked apricots (Qubbani)

In another thick pan (traditionally brass or copper) or any other heavy bottom pan place the soaked water . Add the de seeded apricots. Add sugar as desired sweetness.  Bring to boil on very low flame. Add some lemon juice, to prevent crystallization of sugar.

Once apricots are fully cooked, switch off flame. Rest them to cool. Place little pulpy mixture in bowl. Top it with fluffy cream. Garnish with pistachio nuts, apricot kernels and if desired, some saffron milk and strands.

Keep cool on ice cubes or in refrigerator.  Serve hot or cool as desired after a perfect Hyderabadi spicy Biryani and Ghosht curry.

Have you tasted this dish before? What are your views? Do you have a similar recipe. Do share with us.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer