Saturday, September 23, 2017

Suji Phirni/Dessert Made of Semolina


With the festive season already here, it's time for some milk-based desserts and phirni made with semolina is quick and so easy. This is what I made yesterday. I have been saving my home-grown rose petals and put them to good use. There's a bit left in the little jar and I'll be finishing them off the moment I get back from my trip.
I am going on a short trip to Europe, and this is going to be my first time. This will be more of a culinary trip with like-minded ladies and we are all looking forward to being in places like Paris, Rome and Brussels.
Phirni is a popular North-Indian dessert made with rice flour, milk, and garnished with nuts. This variation with semolina is also equally delicious.

Suji Phirni (serves 4)

1 litre milk
A pinch of saffron
A pinch of cardamom powder
Sugar as per taste
1 heaped tbs suji
1 tbs vegetable oil
Sliced pistachoos
Some dried fragrant rose petals

Place a heavy-bottomed pan on the flame and add a bit of water to it. Then pour the milk into it. This ensures that the bottom does not catch easily.
On a medium flame let the milk get reduced to half. Stir from time to time.
Take about a tablespoon of the hot milk in a bowl and add the saffron to it. Crush with the back of a spoon and put the contents back to the milk pan.
Add the pinch of cardamom as well.
In another pan, pour the oil and toast the suji till it turns golden and the raw smell disappears.
By this time the milk will have reduced to half. Pour the toasted suji in the milk and continue to stir. Gradually the mixture will start to thicken.
Cook till it is thick enough but still of pouring consistency.
Remove from the flame and let it cool.
Before serving in individual bowls, scatter the rose petals and the sliced pistachios.
Enjoy!
P.S. I could have used ghee for toasting the suji but some people do not like ghee hence the oil. Personally, I prefer ghee.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Patishapta With Rabdi Filling

Patishapta with rabdi filling & a scattering of pistachios and rose petals
Sometimes to rectify one dish another needs to be created. This was what happened to me. I made rabdi yesterday but it turned out to be a little too sweet. Instead of using a spoon. I poured the sugar from the packet and more than what was intended went into the thickened milk. Sigh! And patishapta seemed to be the answer. I could use the sweet filling without a sweetened batter!

Patishapta, is a term in Bengali for crepes made of a mix of all-purpose flour and semolina. The filling is usually of sweetened coconut or rice pudding. A delightful dish which is widely consumed during the winter months. In this case, I added rice flour too as I had some left over and I wanted to finish it off. The only ingredient I didn't use was sugar to the batter as I needed to balance out the sweetness of the filling.
I made the rabdi with 1 litre of milk. This was left on a low flame and stirred from time to time so that the milk would not catch at the bottom of the pan. Towards the end I added sugar and a pinch of saffron. You could add cardamom but I left it out.
Ingredients:
For the crepes.....
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tsps semolina
3 tsps rice flour
Milk as needed
Oil/butter/ghee to fry the crepes
Rabdi made from a litre of milk
Generally the flours are mixed together to a smooth paste with milk. But since I had the larger granules of semolina, I decided to soak it in milk. I also added the rice flour and mixed it well before placing the bowl in the fridge. I added the all-purpose flour the next morning before making the crepes.
Mix all the flours to a smooth paste by adding some more milk. The batter should be thick but spread-able.
Heat a non-stick pan and drizzle it with oil.
With a round ladle, scoop up the batter and pour it in the pan.
Swirl the pan around so that the batter spreads and takes the shape of the pan.
Let it cook for a few minutes. Add the filling in the middle. I used three tsps of rabdi for each crepe.
Fold on both sides and let it remain for a couple of minutes before you remove it to a platter.
Repeat till the batter is used up. In my case the outcome was four crepes with a bit of the filling left over. This I slathered on the crepes before eating. 
Before serving, scatter the sliced pistachios and rose petals on the patishapta.

Our breakfasts are never this festive. But it's September and we are looking forward to the cooler months and this seemed like a good start.:)) And the balance of sweetness with this combination was just right! The rose petals I used here are home grown.
Happy September!