Nothing like fragrant, sweet, pink Rose Milk Cakes to bust mid-week blues! 😉
Celebrate Diwali with these fusion Phirni Tarts (Indian Rice Pudding Tarts)! ❤
This fusion Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake will be the star of your Diwali menu!
Hello, my lovelies! Let me start off by wishing you and yours a very Happy Diwali! May peace, love and joy always reign in your lives, and may you find prosperity everywhere you go. ❤Continue reading “Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake”
The past week, Indians all over the world celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights! And we celebrated it in our little way. Well, we didn’t play host and invite relatives, friends and neighbours over. Instead, we celebrated it, just the two of us. We decorated the house, lit diyas (tiny oil lamps made with clay), bought some delicious sweets from the local halwai (sweet shop) and I cooked some to-die-for Paneer Butter Masala (roasted cottage cheese cooked in a buttery tomato gravy) and this incredible sweet dish – Shahi Tukra.
Literally translated, the name Shahi Tukra means ‘regal slice or royal piece’. It is rich and indulging; what with the crisp of the bread and the sweetness of the sugar syrup, finished off with the soothing yet oozing-with-flavour rabdi (an Indian or Pakistani milk-based sweet dish). It is delicious. And it is aptly named, for it is the food of the royals, if not the food of the Gods! 😀
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the lowest and 10, the highest), the difficulty level of this dish would be a 2. There are a lot of elements that need to be taken care of, but in no way are any of the processes difficult. Time consuming, yes; and they require your full attention. So, here’s how to put together this taste-bud-tickling desi dessert! 🙂
For the Rabdi:
For the Sugar Syrup:
For the Fried Bread:
Here’s how to make Shahi Tukra. 🙂
Step 1: To make the Rabdi, set a heavy bottom pot on low flame and pour the milk into it. After it comes to its first boil, add in the crushed cardamom seeds and saffron. Continue cooking, making sure to collect and add the cream formed on top after every boil back into the milk. Scrape the sides and stir regularly to ensure that the milk doesn’t brown at the bottom. After cooking for a half hour, mix in the sugar and leave to boil. Keep stirring and adding in the formed cream. After about an hour and 20 minutes, when the milk has reduced well and the texture is coarse, add the chopped pistachios and almonds and leave on the heat for another five minutes. Take it off the heat and leave to cool.
Step 2: Pan fry the bread slices in ghee until both sides are golden and crispy.
Step 3: To make the sugar syrup, boil the water and sugar till it comes to one-thread consistency. Add in the crushed cardamom seeds and give it a good mix. Immerse each piece of crispy fried bread into the sugar syrup. Soak on both sides and then remove. Pour cooled rabdi over the slices and gobble them up to your heart’s content!
With that, you have the most amazing Shahi Tukra ready to eat! What I love about this recipe is that the bread remains crispy even after about a half hour of pouring rabdi over it. This renders the dessert a lot of texture; well, so do the coarse creamyness of the rabdi and the crunch of the nuts. Rich, full of flavour, fragrant and sweet; it is everything you want in a lip-smacking Shahi Tukra!
I hope you had a Happy Diwali! But Diwali or not, your loved ones are going to love you for making them this delicious desi dessert. Go ahead, try this recipe, NOW!
I spent most of last week in bed, sick to the bone, unable to lift my head off the pillow, getting eaten up by antibiotics. It was not pretty. All I did all day was sleep, eat meagerly thanks to my dead taste buds and crave sweets. I lay in bed thinking about warm chocolate croissants – their buttery flaky pastry, chocolate oozing through; creme brulee – its crackling bittersweet crust and the luscious custard; and Basbousa – its sticky crumbly texture dripping with sweet syrup. (That’s what happens when you love baking; you dream of sweets all the time!)
Basbousa is a traditional Egyptian dessert – it is a moist semolina cake, made with desiccated coconut, soaked in a rose flavored sugar syrup. It is made with several variations in different parts of the Middle East – sometimes the syrup is flavored with orange juice, other times the cake is only made with semolina, leaving out the desiccated coconut.
Here, in Oman, Basbousa is available in every department store and sweet shop, all year round. But there’s something about the store bought variety – they are sickly sweet, way too doused in syrup and no longer retain the crumbly texture of the semolina. Like all store bought things, they are a let-down as compared to homemade versions.
After spending a week craving Basbousa, I decided to make it on the occasion of Eid ul Adha, which is being celebrated by Muslims all over the world, this weekend.
For the cake:
For the syrup:
This is how you make it:
I was pleasantly surprised at how the Basbousa turned out. I had never tasted homemade Basbousa before and making it myself gave me insight about how artificial and monotonous-tasting the store bought variety can be. The cake is moist and has a course granular texture courtesy of the semolina and the coconut. The syrup is stickily sweet and gives the cake a warm, juicy feel and the decadent flavor of the rose water comes through perfectly. For someone who has cake so often, this dessert is a breath of fresh air – the crumbly texture melting in your mouth and the different essences which come through, play fantastically on your taste buds.
I have always loved Basbousa, and now I only love it more. I packed some in a small plate and tied a festive ribbon around it and carried it to a good friend’s place when visiting her family for Eid and I’m still awaiting feedback. The boyfriend’s family enjoyed it and even more shocking – the boyfriend loved it! I didn’t think he would like it much ’cause it wasn’t his kind of dessert – it was not chocolaty and it had coconut – yet he was raving about it which had me pleasantly surprised. And as for the parents? I had kept a box-full of Basbousa in the fridge and was out for most of the last two days, only to come home last night and find just one piece remaining! They absolutely loved it!
A little tip: Use only as much syrup as you want, depending on how sweet you like your desserts to be.
Bring some Arab flair and Eid festivities into your home with this homemade Basbousa. My family, friends and I thoroughly enjoyed it and so will you!
Here’s wishing you and your family a blessed Eid! 🙂