Local Heart, Global Soul

October 3, 2019

Rude Information?

Peeling carrots recently, I came across this little gem. I will leave it to you to decide how to look at it… is this carrot giving me Information? Or representing something more rude? Or a combination of them both…. Rude Information!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 22, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Gajar-ka-Halwa (Carrot Halwa Dessert)

Filed under: FOOD,INDIA,Indian Cusine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa Dessert)

1 litre full fat milk
200 grams (grated) carrots
2 Tablespoons Gee
6-7 Tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 ½ Tablespoons raisins
1 ½ Tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts
2 teaspoons crushed cardamom seeds

This particular Keer / Kheer recipe is a little different because grated carrots replace the rice often found in these desserts, so I went looking for more information about one of India’s national desserts.

Wikipedia tells me:

“Kheer is prepared in festivals, temples, and all special occasions. The term Kheer (used in North India) is derived from Sanskrit words Ksheeram (which means milk). Other terms like Payasa or Payasam (used in South India) or payesh (used in Bengal region) are derived from the Sanskrit word Payas which also means “milk”. It is prepared using milk, rice, ghee, sugar/jaggery, Khoya. Some also add a little bit of Heavy Cream to give it more richness in taste. It is often garnished using almonds, cashews, raisins and pistachios.

It is an essential dish in many Hindu feasts and celebrations. While the dish is most often made with rice, it can also be made with other ingredients. It is one of the most significant desserts served in Assamese families and quite often a part of religious ceremonies.

The South Indian version, payasam or payasa is an integral part of traditional South Indian meal. The South Indian payasam also makes extensive use of jaggery and coconut milk in place of sugar and milk.
In a South Indian meal, payasam or payasa (Kannada) is served first at any formal or auspicious occasions.”

Method:

Pour the milk into a medium sized non stick pan and heat over a gentle flame. Stir regularly until the milk thickens and reduces to approximately half its volume, which is a process known as “keer” and takes roughly 40 minutes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the grated carrots to the keer and stir frequently (to prevent burning) for a further 40-50 minutes until the mixture thickens into a paste-like consistency.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cover the pan and let the carrot mixture cook down…  remember to stir it every so often.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the sugar…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the raisins…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the pistachio nuts and stir to mix thoroughly.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continue cooking the mixture down so that it become less liquid…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now add the gee for extra flavour and to slightly thicken the mixture…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Gajar-ka-Halwa needs to be quasi-dry so continue cooking for another 10 minutes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Remove from the heat and spread the mixture evenly in a shallow dish…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the crushed cardamom seeds…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Teacher’s Serving Tip: This delicious dessert can be served hot or cold. It can be kept in the fridge for a number of days without loss of taste. It is neither too heavy or too sweet whilst retaining the goodness of the carrots.

Kiwidutch Notes: We were advised that some people prefer this dessert served when it’s still warm and others when it’s cold. My classmates and I tried it both ways and my personal preference was for the warm version. One thing  surprised me:  it almost tasted like there might have been rice in this, even though  I had seen with my own eyes that there wasn’t.

As I’ve mentioned earlier elsewhere in this blog I have a lung condition and severe asthma  and have to avoid dairy products most of the time because they give me problems.  Himself isn’t  actually allergic to milk, but suffers from some measure of intolerance to it so unless we are having enough visitors to help us polish off most of this, it’s not realistically going to be high on our family  list of desserts. ( This also means I miss the cooked rice puddings with loads of cinnamon that I love too.)

I was still delighted to have tasted this… and to have learned all about a dessert that was totally new to me.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kheer

February 3, 2011

Spicy Parsnip and Carrot Soup… Easy Step-by-Step WONDERFUL!

Filed under: FOOD — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In a follow-up to yesterday’s post,  where I made Kung Pao Chicken for our lunch meeting guests, I also had a soup that preceded the main course.
This soup has become a staple winter favourite in our house for the last three years, and is a favourite not least because it has been part of my adventures with parsnip  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/new-227/.

This is also THE soup that prompted “I-think-I-have-always-hated-soup”  Himself to rethink his views.

As a member of the ex-Recipezaar website (now known as Food.Com) I found this recipe posted by member “Patchwork-Dragon”    http://www.food.com/recipe/spicy-parsnip-and-carrot-soup-203270 and it has been a feature at family buffet meals, entertaining  with friends as well as being a winter treat on our dinner table.

If you make this recipe, I’m sure she would be delighted if you could please be so kind as to leave her a review.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Over the years I have to confess to making a few personal changes: here are my notes:

– I have substituted red (or green) curry paste for the curry powder and we all prefer the deeper, more subtle complex flavours that it brings to the recipe.Add it carefully, starting with a small teaspoon and you will find a wonderful tangy (but not too fiery) heat in the aftertaste… fear not ! even fussy guests have come back for seconds. Experiment a little and increase to add more heat if you prefer. Personally we like spicy so use a heaped teaspoon of  curry paste.

– using curry powder instead of curry paste gives quite a different flavour… also, I found that adding it when cooking the veggies or at the end also changes the flavour.  I now prefer to use curry paste and to add it only at the blender stage, after the vegetables are totally cooked. The flavours stay more “pure” we think.

– I have added several peeled and diced potatoes to the recipe as they are a natural thickener and  we love this soup thick!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

– After running out of milk on time,  I now skip the milk in the recipe as we found we liked it better without.

– I add plenty of freshly ground pepper, some whole bayleaf, but no salt. (Shhhhh ….No-one I’ve served it to knows this and nobody has missed it yet!)

– Cooking the vegetables in the olive oil before adding any other liquid gives amazing flavour.. skipping this step does make a difference to the result! ( I sometimes add a tablespoon of butter to the olive oil for a little extra yum factor)

I have given the recipe per the original and added my extras as “optional”

Ingredients:
1 onion
450g parsnips (1 lb)
225g carrots  (1/2 lb)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
350 ml vegetable stock
300 ml skim milk
salt and pepper

1 small teaspoon Green (or Red) curry paste (or to taste)  (optional)

3 potatoes, peeled and diced ( cook with carrot and parsnip) (optional)

2 bayleaf ( cook with vegetables but remove before blending!) (optional)

Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and cut parsnips and carrots into evenly sized pieces.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the vegetables, coat with oil,and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for a minute.
Stir in the stock and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Allow to cool a little, and then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. If it’s too thick for your liking add more stock.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is when I like to add the curry paste…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s the consistancy of mashed potato so I add some water to thin it….

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I took these photos after it came out of the fridge and before heating it in the crock-pot later, so it looks thicker now than it  ended up being when we served it. ( and the very top photo in this post is of an earlier batch, but still the same soup)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Reheat gently to serve.

…and Enjoy!

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