Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 14, Tuesday, September 28, 2004




diary of a
food obsessed person

It is that time of the year again... Shabe-Barat and then... Boom! It is Ramadan. I love everything about that month. Fairy lights everywhere, people scurrying like ants before Iftar, foods galore, shopping after foods galore, shopping after iftar, thinking of ways to avoid muggers and cops with the same gusto. Whew! It takes all my wits to keep up with the frenzy of activities. But you know what caffeine addiction is? I need, I want, can't do without my morning cuppa. Anyway, I have given up hope, thinking there is going to be a revelation of some sort, where a cup of tea was permissible. Anyway, as Shabe-Barat is approaching, I was thinking that this time I am going to be different and instead of giving halua and roti, I will give fancily decorated sweet confections. Yeah, maybe
some of my neighbours will say that I have given all these because I don't know how to do the deshi stuff, or maybe because I'm too much of a “mem saab", but who cares? Maybe I am a bit of both, but at least I will be interesting. I am sure my neighbours children will enjoy my treats.
So here goes Diary…..

Colourful Cup Cakes
(1) 80g butter
(2) 1 ½ cups of sugar
(3) 2 cups of flour
(4) 4 eggs
(5) 1 tbsp of baking powder
Butter icing
(1) 1 80 g butter
(2) 1 pkt of icing (shifted) sugar
(3) food colour (optional)

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs gradually and then the flower and baking powder. Pour into cup cake pans and in pre-heated oven bake till 20-25 mins at 180 degrees or till spring to touch.
After the cakes are cooled put butter icing on top and sprinkle with coloured sugar sprinklers.

Fruit Tarts
For the pastry
(1) 60 g white flour
(2) 40 g butter
(3) 1 egg
For the filling
(1) 300 ml milk
(2) 1 tbsp custard powder
(3) 1 egg
(4) 1 tbsp caster sugar
(5) 2-3 drops of vanilla essence

For the topping
1 80 g canned mixed fruit
Pre heat the oven 15 mins before baking the pastry cases.
Sieve the flour into a bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour with the egg. Using your hands, work the mixture together to form a pliable, but not sticky dough. Wrap them chill for at least 1 hr. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.
Take individual tart pans (6x3 in) and line them with pastry dough. Bake without opening the oven door for 12-15 mins at 180 degrees or until pasty is cooked through. Remove from oven and leave until cold.

To make the filling heat the milk, then add the custard powder, sugar, beaten egg, gently stirring until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add essence. Spoon custard into pastry cases. Arrange canned mixed fruit over the custard filling.
I have topped the tarts with my home made marzipan strawberries. Marzipan recipe another day.

My triple chocolate brownies
125 gm cold butter chopped
200 gm dark eating chocolate chopped finely
165 gm (¾ cup) caster sugar
2 egg lightly beaten
1 cup plain flour
150g white chocolate chopped
100g milk chocolate chopped
Cocoa powder for dusting

Pre heat oven. Grease pan combine the butter and dark chocolate in a large pan, stir oven low heat, until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, them the eggs, flour, chopped chocolate. Spread mixture in pan. Bake in a moderate oven at 180 degrees for about 35 mins or until firm to touch. Cool in the pan.
Cut into squares. Dust with cocoa.

I will from my personal treasure chest decorate with a dollop of fresh cream and a chocolate.

Chhanar Shondesh
4 pkts of milk vita milk
sugar -- as per taste
elachi powder ½ tsp
Lemon juice or vinegar

Bring milk to boil. Then add lemon juice or vinegar till milk curdles. Then strain the milk and leave it in the strainer for at least 2 hours for all the water from the milk to seep away. Then add sugar to the chhana as per taste and mix well with your hands on a dry surface. Add elachi powder. The pat the chhana into a big square. The cut the big square into small squares and put one raisin on top of each square and serve.

Finally, a halwa recipe
(1) ½ kg chana dal
(2) ½ kg sugar
(3) 1 cup of ghee
(4) 3 tbsp of powdered milk.

Firstly boil the chana dal with water and powdered milk. After the dal in properly boiled and water has evaporated then mash the mixture in a blender. Heat ghee, acted blended dal & fry. Then add sugar and some diluted milk and keep on stirring till it looks done. Then spread it on a tray & leave to cool. After it in properly cooled cut into triangles and serve on a platter. I will be decorating each triangle with silver a gold edible decorative balls and sugar candies in the form of butterflies and teddy bears.

I can bet one thing diary, what ever happens, at least my tray will look… weird but interesting.

By Sam Q
Photo: Zahedul I Khan
Special thanks to Sam Q for arranging the photo shoot



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