Friday, 5 January 2007

This, I can make at home, for nut-Hing!

For those of you who know the BBC comedy series Goodness Gracious Me, you will know who says this so convincingly! If you're only getting initiated today, you will hear this sentence being uttered in the first skit, by the adorable little matriarch (and also towards the middle of the 10-minute video - Youtube is a boon!).

The same can be said of what I made over the weekend.. paal kova, an Indian sweetmeat with milk as its main ingredient, using a recipe from one of my dear friends (you know who you are :) ).

Unfortunately, overconfidence got the better of me. While I remembered the main ingredients being milk powder, ghee and sugar, in 2, 3 and 6 tablespoonsful, you guessed it, I mismatched the ingredients and quantities!

I now believe 2 should have been for the ghee, 3 for sugar and 6 for milk powder. I got the ghee and sugar mixed up, so while I didn't mind my paal kova with less sugar, I was disappointed that it got crumbly since I had to add more milk powder to absorb the oil, and subsequently real milk to curb the crumbling. My nose told me to add cardamom, and who would have thought? Friability aside, it tasted pretty much like what I wanted it to - the ones I usually buy by the kilo (at roughly 17€ a kilo) from Ganesha Sweets in Paris (16 r Perdonnet)! I can make it at home! For nut-Hing!

How to: Melt 2 tablespoonsful of ghee (or butter, but unsalted, and don't let it burn), add 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cardamom, 3 tablespoonsful of sugar, then 6 moderately-heaped tablespoonsful of milk powder, one at a time. Remove from heat and mix well, then put in moulds. Cut up into squares. Makes about 8 squares.

Variations: Add chopped pistachioes, cashews or any other nuts. Saffron, ginger or cinnamon to replace the cardamom. Very thin sheets of silver or gold leaves are also used to decorate these sweetmeats on special occasions.

Body count: 0 (assuming no cows died during milking!)

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