Thursday, December 31, 2009


Making rasogollas sounds really easy if you just look at the recipe that I have received from my friend Shagufta. And I have made it several times in the past... although I have not made it in 4 years! I had somewhat forgotten how tricky it is to make the perfect rossogolla! Well, if you wonder what a rasogolla or rasgulla is... let me explain here. Rasogolla's actual translation would be cheese balls in syrup:-). That may not sound appetizing to you but they are the most popular sweets in the Indian subcontinent! Mostly bought in the corner sweet shops and their origin is controversial! The current form if rasogolla was first created and marketed by Nabin Chandra Das of Kolkata in 1868 whose profession was sweet making!

Posted via email from Kaberi's stream of (un)consciousness

Happy New Year!

Posted via email from Kaberi's stream of (un)consciousness

Monday, December 28, 2009

Steamed persimmon pudding

persimmon pudding, originally uploaded by lorises.

I have been trying to get hold of a good persimmon pudding for a while. Persimmons are so abundant in the central valley of California in the winter and they are perhaps one of the best seasonal fruits apart from mango and jackfruits! Well, here comes by asian bias...:-). Finally, I got a recipe from my friend Kathryn Whitehouse who actually got it from her late mother. She gave me a copy of the recipe typed in an actual typewriter. You have to use the soft hachiya ones for the reicpe. Here in the recipe she talks about filling up a kettle large enough to hold two quart pudding mold. In most places outside USA, kettle refers to a metal pot or stewing pot or a dutch oven or a big sauce pan. I used a pressure cooker without the whistle for cooking and a tightly lided indian stainless steel tiffin box instead of a pudding mold.

Here is the recipe that she had written:

1 cup pureed persimon (about 3 persimmon peeled, seeded, then pureed).
2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 pound of butter, at room temparature
1 and1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp rum ( I substituted with plum brandy)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 broken walnuts or pecans (I substituted that with sliced almonds)
1/2 cup raisins

Fill a kettle that is large enough to hold to a 2 quart pudding mold with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Let the water come to a boil over medium heat whiel you are mixing the pudding batter. The mold must have a lid or be snugly covered with a tin foil while steaming a 3 lb coffee can with a plastic lid works well). Also, there must be a rack under the mold to allow the water to circulate freely while the pudding is steaming.

Grease the mold.

Put the persimmon puree in a small bowl and stir in the baking soda set aside while mixing the other ingredients (persimmon mixtrue may become quite stiff). Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, lemon juice and rum and beat well. Add the flour, cinnamon and salt and stir to blend.

Add the persimmon mixture and bat until weel mixed. Stir in the nuts and raisins.

Spoon the batter into the mold, cover and steam for 2 hours. Remove from kettle and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn onto a rack or cool just little and serve warm with unsweetende whipped cream or lemon sauce. Freezes well.

Lemon Sauce:

1 cup sugar
2 heaping tbsps corn starch
2 cups water
Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and clear.

Stir in: 4 tbsp of butter
2 or more tbsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp or more grated lemon peel.