mohabhoj


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Berried-mango kheer

I was introduced to aam-kheer by my mother-in-law. It’s a luscious concoction of whole milk reduced to a heavy cream-like consistency, which is called kheer in Bengalifresh mango (aam) pulp and sugar. The way she prepares it is a bit different though. Instead of adding mango pulp to the kheer, she garnishes it with bite-sized mango pieces. And that is how I have begun to love it.

During a phone conversation with her a couple of weeks back, she had mentioned that she was making aam-kheer. The thought of aam-kheer lingered on, even after the conversation had ended.

I had picked up some Haitian mangoes from the grocery store on Sunday and there was this long forgotten can of evaporated milk in the pantry. The ingredients were on hand; all I had to do was put them together, really. I did it, today. Just that I decided to go down the pulp-way this time around. And as long as I was doing something new, I decided it was okay to blend in three strawberries as well.

Reducing whole milk to kheer is a painstakingly long process but that’s how Bengali women have been doing it for generations. My ma does it that way, so does my mother-in-law. I on the other hand recourse to a can of evaporated milk. Just ten minutes of boiling and the kheer was ready. I stirred in the mixture of fresh mango and strawberry pulp once the kheer had completely cooled down.

The strawberries did to mango, what coffee does to chocolate — heightened its flavor.

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The ‘Parfait’ Breakfast, Snack & Dessert

Parfait for me: Blueberry yogurt, granola and fresh berries.

Parfait is French for ‘perfect’, and my taste buds have taken a fancy to yogurt parfaits lately.

While the word ‘breakfast’ sounds very comforting, I must admit that the thought of toiling over pots and pans, early in the morning, to dish out one is rather discomforting. When it comes to breakfast, I prefer something that doesn’t involve the use of the stovetop, microwave or oven. And yogurt parfaits adhere to my preference.

Under 300 calories: Blueberry yogurt – 140 calories; half-cup fresh berries – about 40 calories; a generous sprinkling of granola – about 100 calories.

A medley of fruits (go for seasonal [organic?] fruits); yogurt of your choice (plain or flavored) and a generous sprinkling of granola (I get mine from Whole Foods [really?] )has the potency to kick start your day in a healthy way.

With homemade parfaits you have control over the calorie intake and also partake in the “know your food” part of the “Know your Farmer, Know your Food” campaign. Buy the ingredients from your local farmers’ market and you will get to “know your farmer” too.

TASTE your Temptation!

The parfaits act like analgesics in calming down cravings in-between-meals and also does a commendable job in pleasing your sweet tooth, in the guise of a dessert.

The smooth and luscious yogurt combined with sweet berries, interlaced with bursts of tartness, and the crunchy granola won’t disappoint you!


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Fun with baking

When it comes to baking, experimenting with ingredients can yield fabulous results. Every time I prepare chocolate cake I make sure to add some instant coffee powder as well as freshly brewed coffee to the batter. Today I went a step ahead and added some buttermilk to it. And the result was a super moist batch of chocolatey goodness.

What added to the fun was these funky baking pans. Garnishing with shaved chocolate curls and raspberries added a special touch.

And talking about presentation, individual dessert servings always look overtly tempting.