Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Kiwi, cream and mango pudding

If you, like me, are a visual eater. then the bright images should send "I want" signals to your hungry brain, in about three seconds. Or peak enough curiosity you'll attempt the recipe that will come up shortly after reading through to the end of this article. If you believe this can and will apply to you, pull up close, friends and get ready to listen. 

Before I begin, those who understand the significance of the colors and timing of post, can totally get why I painted Indian patriotism all over today's page. 

To you who have no idea of what it is about, here you go...India celebrates its Independence Day on August 15 and hence the sweet salute to the stripes of the Indian Flag 🇮🇳🇮🇳. I should admit it can be personally liberating to plan a post that plays to one's nationalistic fervor, where you can celebrate holidays of countries/regions you belong to/claim nationality to/ once lived in or desire enough that you believe you actually do.

On the 15th, most Indians attend patriotic parades, watch flag hoistings, fly kites, attend politically incorrect charged functions, even those living outside the nation. like to design desserts to matchy match country flags.  Last point is most likely tantamount to the ultimate religious experience.

At one period in life, I fell hard in love with layered puddings. It would be a time when culinary fashion in my small town demanded every wedding/baptismal/birthing/preschool-to-highschool graduation served multiple rows of these old school desserts. They were technicolored, often had a biscuit base, with textures ranging from bright pops of fruit, to silken Milkmaid creations and toppings of assorted caramel crunch. My life became brighter and an undying love for 2 ounce pudding-in-a-cup cups bloomed to the point that I knew, beyond doubt, I was destined to master multicomponent dessert-ing.

Kiwi, cream and mango pudding. The flavor profile can be read in its very name. Subsequently,  there is an incredible assortment of texture to keep a mouth curious and enough tricolored beauty to make it levels more distinctive than the manufactured gloop you were going to buy the other day.
The ingredient list is impressive. About eight kiwis solidify the fact you are consuming a stupendous serving of fruit. These, along with pinches of mint - totally optional and not mentioned- contribute to our hulk hued base layer

A smidge of tang works wonders in heavy cream desserts and splendidly balances the combination of condensed milk with thickened dairy. It's what a silky cheesecake filling would resemble, without being overly cheese-y. If you desire a fluffier, less contained structure, then subtract some gelatin to err to an airier whip side.

The final custard is made using a packaged mix doused with a plentiful amount of mango puree , thus making it shine. Because the plan here is to not overwhelm with a dish that will keep you in the kitchen for half a day. The particular brand I use is more of a thickener that benefits from enhancement and has you wonder if you actually did do it from scratch. 
When raw ingredients cooperate with your patriotic endeavours🍊🥝🥛

Use today's edit as a blueprint for the commemoration, occasion, shout out or sit down you'd like it to highlight. It adapts quite justly, doesn't demand much and will wow pieces of garments off anyone you present it to. Feel free to replace fruits/ colors/presentation to realize a full range of thematic desires.

Happy Independence day India!
God bless.

Green layer-
  • 2 packets gelatin (14 grams of 5 tsp)
  • 1⅓ cup white grape juice
  • 8 kiwis, peeled, sliced and quartered
  • ⅓ cup cold water
White layer:
  • 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 packets gelatin (14 grams or 5 tsp)
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup roasted, salted cashew pieces
Orange layer:
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 3 tbsp custard powder
  • ½ cup mango puree
  • 1 cup assorted peeled and finely chopped fruits- either/or/and oranges/peaches/mangoes.
Green layer:
  • In a bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup of grape juice.
  • Meantime, in a saucepan, bring kiwi pieces in remaining juice to a boil. Allow to simmer and kiwi to cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat.
  • Combine gelatin mixture with this and stir till dissolved.
  • Pour into cups or molds, about 1/3 up. 
  • Refrigerate.
  • Prepare the white layer.
White layer:
  • Beat cream, condensed milk and cream cheese in a stand mixer, on medium speed, until smooth.
  • Sprinkle gelatin in cold water and let it stand for like 5 minutes.. Heat in the microwave until it turns liquid again, almost 40 seconds.
  • Combine with cream mixture. Stir in cashews.
  • Set aside until lightly thickened but not set. Then pour over firm set kiwi layer in cups or molds, another 1/3 up.
  • Refrigerate and allow to firm.
  • Prepare the orange layer.
Orange layer:
  • Heat milk in a double boiler. Add the custard powder. Allow to thicken and simmer. 
  • Take off heat. Let cool for a 2-3 minutes.
  • Take a few spoons from the heated custard and add it to the mango puree, so it doesn't separate. Stir this mixture back into the custard and combine until you have a smooth emulsion.
  • Transfer this to a medium sized bowl.
  • Add oranges, peaches, mangoes to the the puree-custard. Combine well.
  • Refrigerate in bowl until cooled.
  • Spoon over the white layer to fill to rim. The orange layer has softer texture and does not set stiff.
I used 4 sprigs of mint, blended it with 1/4 cup of water to add color, and a bit pep to the kiwi (green) gelatin.
For the white layer, you could also add pieces of tender coconut.
The pudding above has chopped mangoes in it. For the bottom picture, oranges were used. Fruit toppings as a fourth layer work well too.
"No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NABRE)

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Beet chapatis/rotis/flatbread

The chapati, or roti, as it's generically known, is the Indian's way of telling the world they have mastered the art of the flatbread. Often upstaged by its renowned artisanal, counterpart, the naan, chapati, unfortunately, does not get the universal recognition it rightly deserves.

These tortilla- like breads, essentially daily sustenance on streets across India,  are made of wheat and served with anything ranging from chutney to enriched curds,and/or the native curry fortunate to make its pair.

Wheat that's unleavened and, for the most part, unadulterated, is kneaded with a bit of water and an even tinier bit of oil. It's not frequent that one staple ingredient and a mere 2 essentials get you such satisfactory recipe leverage. Yet, the homemade, handkneaded bread carries an unassuming air, in its slim, dark spotted demeanor, and houses boss packed wholesomeness in a 6 inch frame.

Today is all about the chapati, taking on an artsy spin. If you can recall middle school art class and how you were taught to "envelope color to enrich, enliven, enthrall"...well, I believe I did just that.

Meet beet chapati.

This isn't the first time I painted flatbread. You've seen me do it before, where blended salad greens created foliage colored roti.

The general feels are that beets aren't the most popular vegetables on the planet. But before you come to a conclusion, or even dismiss the one someone else has come to, wait till I finish these next 100 words.

Ground beets camouflaged in wheat is pure brilliance and solidifies a universal truth: eye catching vegetables mashed to rival crayola are the perfect guise and an excellent nutritive addendum to food you normally can't get kids, no matter the age( even the grown up adult ones that refuse to make a single thing on their own- yes, you!), to eat. And now, who's the fool?

It's when these same underlings people clamor for frequent said meals that it makes an even truer testimony to the wantability(if that's word) factor for a given recipe.

Finally, addition of root puree is a luminous attempt in amping chapati's health quotient, aesthetics, and overall textural quality. It's so good, you'd happily eat to your mouth's content and simultaneously grab for a next one.

Before you begin, I've taken the liberty of jotting down some suggestions that could help in your own chapati maker journey.

⭐It's all in the knead. Apart from being a supreme stress buster, kneading determines the dough's consistency. After a few trials, the number of pounds and turnovers required for a soft, pliant bread becomes instinctual knowledge.
⭐️Get a feel of when enough is enough. Be it liquid, dry ingredient, salt, fat.Too much/too little of any one element could totally offset the result. One person's moisture content is not another's.
⭐ A perfect round can and will be achieved with practice. Even if your chapati is closer in shape to the outline of a small Eastern country on the map, and not the circle it's intended to be, no fret, because it will taste just as good. And you could purchase a large, round biscuit cutter.
⭐  Let your imagination fly. Play this any way you want- flavorfully, nutritionally, visually. Sneak in stuff your diet might be lacking in, yet tastebud urgings may not always be calling out for. Carrots, cabbages, zucchinis, turnips and collards could find a sure future as the rainbow on your plate.

Since accompaniment potential is limitless, this is the ideal meal prospect for the vegetarian, the non vegetarian and the undecided alike.

So, really, is there an excuse?

These are to be devoured before they get cold. But if you have motivated appetites, like the growing boychild who believes he has become the adult he clearly is not, you'd press out a few dozen before the actual process of cooking.

  • 2 beets, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole wheat durum flour(know as chapati atta) (you could substitute with whole wheat flour)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • salt
  • 5 tsp olive oil
  • Peel and cut beets into small chunks. Puree in blender with 1 cup water on high until a nice liquid forms.
  • In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, whisk flour, garlic powder, salt. 
  • Slowly add beet puree, along with 2 tsp oil, into flour mixture. Knead, using kneading attachment on stand mixer's high option. Add additional water, if needed, until mixture forms a smooth ball. Cover with a a damp cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes.
  • Take dough out and roll out 1 inch smooth balls. Keep covered, so they don't dry out.
  • Roll out each ball to a  5-6'inch diameter using a rolling pin on a floured surface, a very clean and flour dusted countertop will do. Try to roll out into
  • Heat a flat pan and smear with oil over medium flame.
  • Heat chapati on one side for not more than a minute, flip to the other side until done. 

Silverware? No thanks. Pieces of chapati and your very own hands feed best.
"Revive us again, O God! I know you will! Give us a fresh start!
Then all your people will taste your joy and gladness." Psalm 85:6(TPT)