Friday, October 16, 2009

Mango-Coconut Burfi & Chai (Spiced Tea) from India


Diet depends on culture and region. For example, rice is a staple in the south, while wheat bread (roti) is a staple in the north. Indian meals are usually very spicy. Onions are used in most dishes. Different types of curry (vegetables, eggs, fish, and meat in a spicy sauce) are popular. Betel leaves and nuts commonly are eaten after meals to aid digestion. Vegetarianism is widely practiced, often for religious reasons. All castes have different food laws and customs, as does each religion. Hindus consider cows to be sacred and will not eat beef. Muslims do not eat pork or drink alcohol

Go to this link for more spicy, colorful photos of India:

This week's class recipes:

Mango Coconut Burfi

Yield: 10 pieces

  •  2 cups shredded coconut fresh (toasted)

  •  1/2 cup milk (whole)
    1/2 cup sugar

    1/3 cup mango pulp (fresh or canned)


    1 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
    1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1) Spread coconut on a sheetpan and toast in the oven at 350 degrees.  Keep an eye on it, as this takes only a few minutes.  You want it just slightly brown.
2)  In a small saucepan, add the milk, sugar and mango pulp and stir continuously on medium flame.
3)  Let it boil, stirring constantly until very thick. It takes about 15-20 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer, cook it to 225 degrees F.
4) Remove from heat and add the ghee.
5) Add the cardamom powder to the coconut and mix thoroughly.  Add this to the syrup and stir together.
6) Grease a small plate and pour this mixture into it and even it on the top with a spoon or spatula so that it is about 0.5 inch thick.
Cut into desired diamond shapes or even make laddos (small balls) of this.

CHAI (Spiced Tea)

four servings:

4 cups water                                                          
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
10 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
3-4 teabags of black tea
1 cup milk

-bring water and spices to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes
-add teabags and milk and simmer for an additional 3 or 4 minutes.  Remove teabags, sweeten to taste, and serve, pouring the tea through a strainer to catch any floating spices.
-this tea gets stronger the longer it sits, so if you want a stronger spice flavor, let it sit for a while and then reheat.  Add more teabags if you desire a stronger black tea taste.


*****Many thanks to Karina Cherniske for photos taken in class this week!!*******

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