Gulab Jamuns infused in a Saffron Cardamon Rose Syrup

Gulab jamun is one the popular desserts in Indian cuisine. These milk balls are fried first to give its golden color and is then drowned in an aromatic sweet syrup to soften.  I have always failed at making Gulab Jamuns before, maybe about thrice, but the last attempt I made to make it turned out pretty well. The  fried ball was not to hard after soaking it and neither was it too soft that it disintegrated into the syrup.
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Recipe (makes 12 balls)

Milk Dough

  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour (all purpose)
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter (melted)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk + extra depending on the consistency of the dough

Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of Saffron strands
  • 3 tablespoon rose water
  • 3 cardamon pods crushed lightly
  • Drop of lemon juice( about 1 tablespoon)

Method

  1. Firstly, to make the syrup, combine the sugar and water and let it boil till a little syrup consistency. Add in the lemon juice followed by the cardamon, rose syrup and saffron and let all those aromatics infuse.
  2. Combine the milk powder, flour ,salt and baking soda into a bowl and mix till combined.
  3. Add in the ghee and mix with hand till soft crumbles.
  4. Pour in the milk and mix dough till it is holds its shape and it is not crumbly.
  5. Do not over mix until it becomes to dough like bread dough.
  6. Coat ur palms lightly in ghee and form balls. Do not make it too big as they will expand when they are fried and further expand when they are soaked.
  7. Deep fry the balls till golden brown in medium heat. Do not let them sink to the bottom of the pan as it might get really brown on just one side.
  8. Add these golden balls into the syrup and let it steep for about 2 hours
  9. Serve warm- softer and comforting .

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This is a sweet but really rewarding dessert or how we Indians call it ‘mishti’.  It is one of my favorites and is really easy to make though you need to get the right consistency of the dough. Once the fried dough ball is in the syrup, it acts like a sponge soaking up all the rose, cardamon flavor and the saffron color from the saffron strands. These milk balls look like a pot of gold drowned in a ‘rich’, shiny, velvety coat and in this case, I mean rich in the sense of the hefty price of saffron as well as the color which is infused into the syrup.

Always try and do not give up after a failure. Hope this recipe works and you can enjoy this delicacy just like I did.

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Caramelized Onions, Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms, Mozzarella Cheese Puff-Pastry Squares

So these are the ultimate tea-time snack or picnic bites one should really try out. It is super easy to make as well as incredibly delicious. The brown jammy sweetness which is brought out from the caramelization of the onions really pairs great with the saltiness from the mozzarella cheese. The meaty mushrooms adds a little texture and a crunch from the freshly chopped coriander garnish. All these yummy flavors sits on a buttery puff pastry in which you do not even need to prepare!

So I adapted this recipe from this website:

littlespicejar.com/gruyere-mushroom-caramelized-onion-bites

I did not have any balsamic vinegar and I used three types of mushrooms which were White button, Portobello and crimini. I wanted to mix it up a little and for the garnish I used coriander stems and leaves! I really love the flavor of the stems as well and adds a little crunch.

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Culinary Dreams

So, I haven’t written in this blog for a very long time and thought now is a good idea to follow up from where I left off!

Lately , I have been interning at two kitchens. A restaurant and a hotel.

Let me start off with my restaurant experience. That was my rocket into this culinary world. I started off from the bottom with no working experience nor proper kitchen skills. It is a well known restaurant in Asia and was recently classified in Asia’s top 50 restaurants as well as the world’s top 100 restaurants. I learnt through the hard way honestly.

Plucking 3 kg of water cress for more than 2 months, working at the back of the kitchen by peeling vegetables, keeping them back and what not. But it was always a learning journey. Moving my way up to the dessert station then to garde manger for a couple of weeks made me realise you need to know the basic before you jump straight up to the front line. It was definitely tough from long work hours, minimal sleep intervals to the next day, service and keeping up to point of mise en plas. However the greatest feeling from this was being able to learn new things, making my dream ignite slowly and also to know how a kitchen works.

I am truly glad my that my chef who put me in the restaurant believed in me that I could manage the toughness. After these four intense months, I moved back to Qatar to intern at The Ritz Carlton, Doha.

From all the experience I gained back in Singapore, I was more confident in my job. I started in the pastry kitchen for about a month. Glad to learn however glad to have left that kitchen as well. No comments about that but experience wise, I did learn how to make a few pastries, creams, cakes and other small recipes. In addition to that, I was a part of a chocolate fashion show!

For the next 4 months of my training, I was in Cold Kitchen aka garde manger. There I met the most funniest people who made the kitchen atmosphere a much happier place. I was taught on buffet set-ups, fruit cuts, salad preparations and the arabic plating and dishes.  This journey came to an end as well because my next step forward is the first step of my culinary education in culinary school.

With God’s blessing, I got accepted into The Culinary Institute of America! Nearing to the beginning of this new journey, I end off with a positive note to my culinary experience in Singapore and Qatar.

 

 

My Most Loved, Molten chocolate cakes.

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Molten Chocolate Cake

Chocolate is one of the best food discovery ever no doubt. In all kinds of forms, it provides so much love and warmth. One of my favourite form of chocolate is when its turned into molten chocolate cakes. Soft cake rims filled with dark,sweet, warm gooey melty chocolate waiting to ooze out when its cut open. Well the recipe which I have takes you just a jiffy when you are craving for something chocolatey and need it right away!

This recipe serves for one just one normal teacup or ramekin.

1 egg

2 tablespoons brown sugar (granulated)

dash of vanilla essence

1 heaped tablespoon flour

1 and 1/2 tablespoon butter

1/3 cup chocolate chips

All you need is 2 bowls and your ramekin or oven proof teacup

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. In one bowl (microwavable) place your chocolate chips and butter and melt in the microwave. Do it at intervals to prevent spluttering and splitting.
  3. In another bowl, combine the egg, vanilla essence, sugar and flour and mix well. ( no lumps!)
  4. Once chocolate and butter is melted, let it cool for a while.
  5. Meanwhile, grease your ramekin or teacup lightly with some butter or oil. Place a little flour into the cup and swerve it around till the insides are nicely coated. (Do not put too much flour or your cake would be floury when it comes out)
  6. Pour in the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and mix well. (It would become thicker)
  7. Pour the lovely chocolatey batter into your ramekin or teacup and place it into the preheated oven for 15 mins – 20 mins . ( Important – Check after 10 mins by shaking the ramekin or cup. It is not done when you can clearly still see the batter and its still liquid. You will know when it is ready by shaking the cup and it is still wobbly but cooked on the outside)
  8. Once it is out of the oven, tip out the cake onto a serving plate and serve whatever you like such as ice-cream, berries, more chocolate sauce, caramel sauce or whatever which desires you!
  9. Once you have relished this chocolatey beauty, you will feel like a chocolate pot but you have satisfied your craving right on point!

Hope it turns out well for anyone trying out this recipe !

Italian Cooking Class

Today I attended a cooking class at an Italian restaurant called Porcini. It was a remarkable experience! The chef, Daniele Vacca thought us how to make Melanzane alla parmigiana as an appetizer, gnocchi in a garlic and sage butter sauce for mains and for dessert,  chocolate ravioli. Starting of with the Melanzane alla parmigiana, it is a traditional Italian dish which is basically composed of aubergines and parmigiana cheese stacked.11040036_10205400810952285_879678207_n (1) It is so simple to make and delicious too. As the chef said ‘mama style’ , he meant that we should stick with the main recipe from how they cooked it back then in the olden times. By modernizing it, the main taste of the dish is transformed into something completely different. The mains were exciting to me as I have always wanted to try gnocchi but never did. Truth be told, I wanted to try it exactly the way he had prepared it. I had always come across gnocchi in a garlic and sage butter sauce but never had the chance to make it or try it.

11016579_10205400810672278_333619190_n The first taste in my mouth was the soft gnocchi and then followed with a tingle of buttery garlic and hints of sage mysteriously emerging. One surprising thing he did to garnish the dish was by gently deep frying a leaf of sage and adding a light sprinkle of salt. I could eat a whole bag of those crisp semi-salty leaves! As I love to save the best for the last, the dessert was definitely a sweet yet spicy adventure. Chocolate ravioli filled with a passionfruit chocolate ganache served with spicy strawberry puree and raspberry sorbet on a bed of crushed cookies. This is a story to tell. I enter the blissful world of my sense organs. Starting with the taste on my tongue and end up in my ears calling for serenity. Warm Chocolaty goodness oozing out as I cut open the brown flower shaped 11047113_10205400810472273_526684408_nravioli. Then comes a dagger of heat from spicy strawberry chili  hitting your throat till your nose, accompanied with the cold raspberry sorbet melting in your mouth and adding a boost of  sweetness by diffusing into the spicy chocolate sensation. The balance of flavors should always add up to the divinity of the dish. Each dish should be prepared by love and from there, it could take you to many places without even moving from your seat.