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All the recipes and Photographs on this Site are old Family Recipes and tried and tested by the Author. Please feel free to try out these old recipes, and relish them, but desist from copying and using on other sites without the prior permission of Bridget White-Kumar. Any infringement would amount to Plagarism and infringement of Copy Right punishable by Law

Thursday, August 20, 2015

ANGLO-INDIAN YELLOW COCONUT RICE, MINCE BALL CURRY AND DEVIL CHUTNEY - OUR WEEKEND SPECIAL - CHILDHOOD MEMORIES



ANGLO-INDIAN YELLOW COCONUT RICE, MINCE BALL CURRY AND DEVIL CHUTNEY - OUR WEEKEND SPECIAL - CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
My mum was en exceptional cook and even the most ordinary dishes cooked by her tasted delicious. She was very versatile and imaginative when it came to cooking. She would improvise and turn out the most delicious curries and side dishes with whatever ingredients were on hand. Every dish she prepared was delicious even if it was just the basic Rice and Meat Curry that was cooked every day. My mum had a procedure for everything. The onions had to be thinly sliced and the green chillies and coriander leaves chopped finely. Even the tomatoes for the curry were first scalded or blanched and the skin removed, then chopped into bits and strained through a strainer / sieve so that only the pulp was used and the seeds and skin thrown away!!!
 While our everyday lunch was considered simple, lunch on Saturdays and Sundays was special. Saturday lunch was invariably Yellow Coconut Rice, Mince Ball Curry (or Bad Word Curry as the word ‘Ball’ was considered a bad or slang word in those days), and Devil Chutney. My mind still recalls and relishes the taste of the Mince Ball Curry and Coconut Rice that my mum prepared on Saturdays for us. On Saturdays we had only half-day school so we were back home by 12.30 pm ravenously hungry and we’d be assailed by the delicious aroma of the Coconut Rice and the Tasty Mince Ball Curry even before we reached our gate.
 The mince for the Ball Curry, had to be just right, so the meat, (either beef or mutton), was brought home fresh from the Butcher Shop, cut into pieces, washed and then minced at home. (We had our own meat-mincing machine and Coconut Scraper which was fixed to the kitchen table like every Anglo-Indian family in those days. No making of the Mince at the Butchers as it had to be double ground in the Mincer only at home). The ground meat or mince, was then formed into even sized balls along with other chopped ingredients and dropped into the boiling Curry which was meanwhile cooking on the stove. The curry was then left to simmer till the mince balls were cooked and the gravy reached the right consistency.
 The Yellow Coconut Rice was always prepared with freshly squeezed coconut milk, Sometimes, two fresh coconuts would be broken and then scraped or grated. The scraped/grated coconut had to be soaked in hot water and the thick milk extracted. For every cup of rice double the quantity of coconut milk was the right proportion; a little more would make the rice ‘pish pash’ or over cooked, and a little less would mean that the rice wouldn’t be cooked well. So very accurate measurements were required. The raw rice and coconut milk would then be simmered with ghee or butter, saffron or turmeric, bay leaves and a few whole spices of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves till the rice was cooked perfectly. This delightful fragrant Rice preparation formed the perfect mild subtle base of our Saturday Special Anglo-Indian Meal. 

The Yellow Coconut Rice and Mince Ball Curry (also known as Bad Word Curry) was always accompanied with a typical Anglo-Indian Sauce or Relish known as Devil Chutney.  Devil Chutney is a fiery red chutney or sauce. Its bright red colour often misleads people to think that it is a very pungent and spicy dish, while its actually a sweet and sour sauce, and only slightly pungent. The vinegar and sugar used in its preparation react with the onion and red chilli to produce the bright red colour. Devil Chutney is also known as “Hell fire or Hell’s flame chutney or Fiery Mother-in-law’s Tongue Chutney” due to its vivid colour.

I would now like to share my mum’s recipes for these three special dishes. They are very easy to prepare.
 YELLOW COCONUT RICE   
Serves 6   Preparation Time 45 minutes
Ingredients
1 pack of coconut milk diluted with water to get 4 cups of milk or 1 fresh coconut grated and milk extracted to get 4 cups of diluted milk
2 cups of Raw Rice or Basmati Rice
½  teaspoon turmeric powder or a few strands of saffron
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons butter or ghee
3 cloves, 3 cardamoms, 3 small sticks of cinnamon and 2 bay leaves

Heat ghee in a large vessel or Rice cooker and fry the spices for a few minutes. Add the washed rice, salt, turmeric and 4 cups of coconut milk and cook till the rice is done.
 Coconut Rice is best served with Ball Curry or Chicken curry and Devil Chutney.
 ANGLO-INDIAN MINCE BALL CURRY (BAD WORD CURRY)
(Mince Koftas in a coconut based gravy)
Serves 6    Preparation time 45 minutes
Ingredients for the Curry
3 large onions chopped
6 or 7 curry leaves
3 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
3 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
3 big tomatoes pureed or chopped finely
½ cup ground coconut paste
1 teaspoon  all spice powder or garam masala
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon coriander leaves chopped finely for garnishing
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
 Ingredients for the Mince Balls (Koftas)
½ kg minced meat beef or mutton (fine mince)
½ teaspoon all spice powder or garam masala powder
3 green chilies chopped
A small bunch of coriander leaves chopped finely
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
 Heat oil in a large pan and fry the onions till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and the curry leaves and fry for some time. Now add the chili powder, coriander powder, all spice powder or garam masala powder, turmeric powder and coconut, and fry for a few minutes till the oil separates from the mixture. Now add the tomato puree and salt and simmer for some time. Add sufficient water and bring to boil.

Meanwhile get the Mince Balls ready - Mix the all spice powder / garam masala powder, salt, chopped green chilies, turmeric powder and coriander leaves with the mince and form into small balls. When the curry is boiling, drop in the mince balls carefully one by one.
Simmer on slow heat for 20 minutes till the balls are cooked and the gravy is not too thick.
Serve hot with Coconut Rice and Devil Chutney.
 DEVIL CHUTNEY (HELL’S FLAME CHUTNEY)
Ingredients
2 medium size onions chopped roughly
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (use Kashmiri Chillie Powder)
1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons vinegar
 Grind all the above ingredients together till smooth. If chutney is too thick, add a little more vinegar.
 Serve with Coconut Rice and Mince Ball Curry


Monday, August 17, 2015

CHICKEN ROAST




CHICKEN ROAST
This simple and delicious Chicken Roast makes a perfect meal either for lunch or dinner. The left overs make good sandwiches the next day. This recipe is featured in my Recipe Book ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE - A LEGACY OF FLAVOURS FROM THE PAST. 

Serves 6   Preparation Time 1 hour
Ingredients
1 whole chicken cleaned and washed well
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons ground black pepper powder
1 teaspoon Chillie powder
2 tablespoons oil or ghee
2 or 3 dry red chillies
A few whole pepper corns

Marinate the whole chicken with the salt, pepper and chillie powder for about half an hour. Heat oil or ghee in a thick -bottomed pan and add the whole chicken together with the broken red chillies and pepper corns. Turn the chicken from side to side and fry for about for about 5 minutes or till the chicken becomes firm. Add about 2 cups of water and mix well. Cover the pan with a tight lid and cook first on high heat then over low heat turning the chicken occasionally till the chicken is cooked and all the water / soup  is absorbed. Continue to cook till the chicken is roasted to a lovely golden brown. Serve with steamed vegetables such as peas, carrots, 

Thursday, August 06, 2015

LAMB / MUTTON HUSSAINY CURRY OR STICK CURRY - A old Colonial Dish






















LAMB HUSSAINY CURRY OR STICK CURRY
Serves 6           Preparation Time 1 hour
Ingredients
1 kg boneless lamb or mutton cut into small cubes
1 cup curds / yogurt
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons chillie powder
2 onions sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste /puree 
10 or 12  bamboo sticks or  skewers 4” in length
3 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste
Marinate the meat with a little turmeric powder, salt and a little curds / yogurt for one hour.

Heat oil in a suitable pan and sauté the onions for a few minutes. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a few minutes. Add the chillie powder, tomato puree / paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, remaining curds and salt and stir fry for a few minutes. Add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Meanwhile pass the  bamboo sticks / skewers through the marinated meat. About 5 pieces should fit on each stick. Place the sticks of meat in the curry that is boiling. Close the pan and simmer on low heat till the meat is cooked. Serve without removing the sticks. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Monday, July 27, 2015

TROTTERS SOUP
















TROTTERS SOUP
Trotters Soup and Cow Heel Soup were traditional Soup dishes that   were cooked in almost every Anglo-Indian home in the olden days. Each family had their own recipe and method of preparing the soup according to their taste. The soup could be prepared with either goat, lamb or pork trotters, preferably the front ones. It is a very nourishing soup recommended when one is recuperating after a long illness.

Serves 6      Time required: 45 minutes
Ingredients
6 to 8 trotters (mutton or pork) each to be chopped into 2 pieces
2 or 3 green chilies (optional)
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon pepper powder
1 teaspoon chillie powder
2 or 3 cloves
1 stick of cinnamon (about one inch)
2 medium size tomatoes chopped into quarters
1 large onion chopped roughly

Wash the trotters well. Place all the above ingredients together with the trotters and sufficient water in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for about 20 minutes or till the trotters are tender. Mix in a tablespoon of flour and simmer till the soup is fairly thick.  Serve hot with bread. This is a very nourishing soup.


Thursday, July 02, 2015

ANGLO-INDIAN HOT BEEF FRY























ANGLO-INDIAN HOT BEEF FRY
Serves 6  Preparation Time 1 hour
Ingredients
1 kg Beef cut into cubes
3 green chillies
1 small piece cinnamon
1 or 2 bay leaves
3 onions sliced finely
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon chillie powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon pepper powder
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Salt to taste

Boil the meat with a little salt and a pinch of turmeric in sufficient water till tender. Strain the soup and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions, chopped garlic, cinnamon, bay leaves, and green chillies till slightly brown. Add the ginger garlic paste, chillie powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder and vinegar and fry for a few minutes. Add the meat and mix well. Add the remaining soup and a little more salt if necessary. Keep frying till almost dry and the fry is a beautiful dark brown. Serve with bread or as a side dish with steamed rice and pepper water. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

MEAT GLASSY / GLAZIE / GLACIE.




MEAT GLASSY / GLAZIE / GLACIE. 
Meat Glassy or Meat Glacie / Glaze, also known as Fruity Meat Curry or Sweet Mango Beef Curry is an old Colonial Dish. It was probably one of the first experiments of the Khansamas / cooks during Colonial times where a spicy curry dish was made more palatable with the addition of Sweet Mango Chutney or chunks of fruit such mango or pineapple which reduced the spiciness of the dish giving it a slightly spicy - sweetish - tangy taste. Major Grey’s Mango Chutney, Col. Skinner’s Mango Chutney and the Bengal Mango Chutney were normally used in this Anglo-Indian dish in the olden days.
The term Glassy or Glazie’ was a misrepresentation of the word ‘Glace’ by the cooks in the olden days. (Glacé is a rich brown stock obtained by browning bones and vegetables in a roasting pan before combining them in a pot with water to get a thick rich stock with a more pronounced flavor and deeper color).  
Serves 6   Time required: 1 hour
Ingredients
 ½ kg boneless Beef or Mutton cut into steaks 
3 large onions sliced finely
2 tablespoons Sweet Mango Chutney (any brand) or 1 cup of mango or pineapple chunks 
2 large tomatoes chopped finely or 2 tablespoons tomato puree 
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 one inch pieces of cinnamon
1 Bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons chillie powder 
2 teaspoon Coriander powder
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon plain flour
3 tablespoons oil

Flatten the beef or mutton with a mallet to break the fibers. Marinate   the meat with the flour, a pinch of salt and pepper, and ½ teaspoon of ginger garlic paste for about one hour.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the marinated meat (a few pieces at a time) till brown and half cooked. Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan, (add a little more oil if desired) fry the onions, Bay leaf and cinnamon till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste, pepper, chillie powder, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and tomato and fry well on low heat for a few minutes till the oil separates from the mixture. Add the fried meat pieces and mix well so that all the pieces are covered with the mixture. Add 2 cups of water and cook on low heat till the meat is tender and the gravy thickens. Now add the Sweet mango Chutney or fruit and mix well. Cover the pan and simmer for 2 or 3 more minutes, then remove from heat.
Serve with steamed white rice or as a side dish with bread. 



 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

PRAWN AND POTATO CUTLETS
























PRAWN AND POTATO CUTLETS
 Serves 6     Time required: 1 hour
Ingredients
300 grams cleaned and de-veined Prawns
3 potatoes boiled and mashed                                   
2 teaspoons chopped mint
2 teaspoons chopped coriander leaves 
2 green chillies copped 
1 teaspoon pepper powder                     
Salt to taste
1 egg beaten                                           
3 tablespoons oil                                     
3 tablespoons bread crumbs


Wash the prawns well and cook in a little water with some salt and a pinch of pepper and turmeric till tender. Remove and keep aside to cool. When cold mix in the mashed potatoes, green chillies, mint, coriander leaves, pepper and salt. Form into oval shapes and flatten with a knife. Heat oil in a flat pan. Dip each cutlet in the beaten egg, roll in bread crumbs, then shallow fry on both sides till brown. Drain and serve with Tomato sauce / ketchup.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

MINCE CURRY WITH GREEN PEAS






















MINCE CURRY WITH GREEN PEAS
A quick and simple dish to cook when one has a packet of mince handy in the fridge but not too keen on making a Ball Curry. This simple and tasty dish could be eaten with Rice or Chapattis.  Any meat mince such as beef, mutton, lamb or even chicken mince could be used in this dish. Chopped cabbage, chopped carrot, cauliflower, fenugreek / methi / venthium greens etc can be substituted for the green peas.
Serves 6    Preparation time 30 minutes
Ingredients:
½ kg mince or ground meat either beef, mutton or lamb
2 onions chopped
1 green chillie chopped 
1 large tomato chopped
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons chillie powder
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
2 tablespoons oil
½ cup green peas
Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions, chopped garlic and green chilies. Add the mince and fry for some time.  Now add the chillie powder, cumin powder, chopped tomato, turmeric powder and salt and keep on frying till the mince is firm. Add the green peas and sufficient water for gravy and cook on low heat till the gravy is thick and mince is cooked.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. (A little ground coconut can be added if thicker gravy is required).

Note. Chopped cabbage, chopped carrot, cauliflower, fenugreek / methi / venthium greens etc can be substituted for the green peas.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

GOOD FRIDAY RICE AND COCONUT CONGEE / GRUEL (Rice Congee/ Porridge)












When we were children growing up in KGF, this Rice, Lentil and Coconut  Gruel or Congee was part of our lunch menu on Good Friday as it was a day of fast and abstinence. I'm sharing this recipe for all those who would like to continue with the tradition of having this simple dish on Good Friday.
GOOD FRIDAY RICE AND COCONUT GRUEL (Rice Congee)
Serves 6  preparation time 1 hour

1 cup Raw Rice
3  tablespoons Moong Dhal / Yellow Lentils 
¼ cup Sugar or Jaggery
½ cup grated coconut or 1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons broken cashew nuts and raisins
A pinch of salt

Wash the rice and soak it for half an hour in a little water. Dry roast the Moong Dhal lightly in a pan and take down.  Boil 3 cups of water and the salt in a suitable pan and when boiling add the rice and the roasted Moong Dhal. Cook on low heat till the rice and dhal are soft. Add the coconut, sugar/ jaggery and raisins and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. The Congee should be of the consistency of thick soup. Serve plain or with Cocoanut chutney.  (omit the sugar or jaggery if desired)

This Congee is usually eaten on Good Friday

Friday, February 20, 2015

VEGETABLE CUTLETS / PATTIES



















VEGETABLE CUTLETS / PATTIES - An easy and simple dish to prepare. it could be served as a snack with some tomato ketchup or as a side dish with Pepper Water or Dhal and Rice or even with bread or Toast. Truly versatile. You could add whatever vegetables you like and it would still taste delicious. 

Ingredients
 1 cup of chopped boiled vegetables such as peas, carrots, French beans etc
3 potatoes boiled and mashed                 
2 onions chopped finely
2 green chillies chopped                          
1 teaspoon chopped mint
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger           
½  teaspoon pepper powder
Salt to taste                                              
3 tablespoons oil
1 egg beaten                                          
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs


Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions and ginger till golden brown. Add the chopped green chillies and sauté for a few minutes. Now add the cooked vegetables, salt, and mint and mix well. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, then set aside to cool for some time. Now mix in the mashed potato and mint. Make even sized balls with the mixture and form into round cutlets. Heat oil in a flat pan. Dip each cutlet / patty in beaten egg, roll in powdered breadcrumbs and shallow fry till golden brown on both sides. Serve hot with tomato sauce or chutney.

Friday, February 06, 2015

DAK BUNGALOW / TRAVELER'S REST HOUSE CHICKEN CURRY


















DAK BUNGALOW / TRAVELER'S REST HOUSE CHICKEN CURRY
For those who do not know what a ‘Dak Bungalow’ is, it was simply a ‘Traveler’s Rest House in the Indian subcontinent, during the days of the British Raj, originally on a Dak Route. Dak was a system of mail delivery or passenger movement, transported by relays of bearers or horses stationed at intervals along a particular route and these Rest Houses were established or built at various places along the route. These Traveler’s Bungalows or Dak Bungalows later became the Inspection Bungalows for British Officers.
The recipe for preparing this dish varied with each cook at the Dak Bungalows depending on the availability of ingredients in a particular place as most Dak Bungalows or Inspections were on Trunk Roads and not in the vicinity of Grocery shops. The Red Chicken Curry of those Colonial times is still prepared by the cooks in the present day Inspection / Travellers’ Bungalows as the ‘Laal Murgi Curry’!

Serves 6      Preparation and cooking Time 45 minutes
Ingredients:
 1 Kg chicken cut into medium size pieces
1 teaspoon spice powder or garam masala powder
3 teaspoons chopped garlic                     
2 teaspoon chillie powder
3 onions sliced
2 tomatoes chopped finely
Salt to taste
3 green chillies
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon pepper powder
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ cup curds / yogurt (optional)


Wash the chicken and add all the ingredients mentioned above to it and marinate for about 1 hour in a suitable pan. Place the pan on medium heat and cook closed for about 5 to 6 minutes. Lower the heat, add enough water and then simmer on low heat till the chicken is cooked and the gravy thickens. 
Serve with Steamed rice or chapattis. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

BRIDGET WHITE - ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE - THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS 24TH JAN 2015


                            

                              Back With the British Bite

Food is not unlike fashion and the old often comes back into vogue. Right now, you could say Anglo-Indian cuisine is the culinary equivalent of shift dresses, winged eyes and platform heels. The food born at the confluence of the British and Indian cooking traditions was once confined to the Anglo-Indian community, now dwindling in numbers in this country, as many leave for foreign shores. Lately, though, fare from Kolkata’s Bow Barracks, British Raj clubs and railway colonies elsewhere is enjoying the sort of popularity that causes gastro pubs, standalone restaurants and even five-star outlets to put it on their menus.

They borrowed the title of the unique food festival from the well-known glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases which came into use during the British rule. “We kept some of the dishes authentic, while tweaking others to turn them into bar foods,” says Chef Varun. So the popular panthras—mince-stuffed crepe rolls that are crumb-fried—stay true to the original, while the Chingree Samosa is an innovation of prawn Balchao enclosed in flaky pastry and served with mango chutney. To drink, what could be more appropriate than a gimlet or a pink gin of the kind the memsaabs may have sipped a century or more ago.
With more restaurants coming forward to showcase Anglo-Indian cuisine, Bridget White, author of seven cookbooks, including Anglo-Indian Cuisine: A Legacy of Flavours from the Past and Anglo-Indian Delicacies, is much in demand for her expertise. “While it may, on the surface, seem to be merely about adding an Indian touch to a British dish, or the other way around, Anglo-Indian food is subtle and nuanced,” says Bridget. “The combination of spices for each dish is different and must always be freshly prepared if you want to stay true to the original. Masalas are used to enhance the key ingredients, not to distract from them,” she says. Authenticity is also destroyed when too many regional flavours influence the dishes, she says, adding that these are challenges for the chefs attempting to recreate Anglo-Indian fare.
One of the recent Anglo-Indian food festivals she helped with was at the Taj West End in Bangalore, which celebrated 125 years with a series of events celebrating its British Raj origins. The hotel’s executive chef, Sandip Narang, put together a menu that included such favourites as Mulligatawny, Liver and Onions, Potato Captain and Railway Mutton Cutlet. “We also created special menus to be paired with top-of-the-drawer single malts,” says Chef Narang, who revived little-known dishes and gave others a signature twist.
Chef and restaurateur Subhankar Dhar of the award-winning Esplanade in Bangalore, while working with Bengali classics, is also a specialist in the unique cuisine of Kolkata, which has strong Anglo-Indian influences.  “Anyone growing up in Kolkata as I did, knows and loves the dishes of the Anglo-Indian community there. I remember, in particular, the amusingly titled Bubble and Squeak, Steamroller Chicken – which was flattened and crumb-fried – Bengal Lancers’ Prawn Curry and Potluck Casserole, all of which we ate in the homes of our Anglo-Indian friends,” he says. As the cuisine is still considered niche, a full-scale restaurant may not be commercially viable. “However, food festivals and special menus are a great way to celebrate these dishes,” adds Subhankar.

Friday, January 16, 2015

TAMARIND MEAT CURRY OR TANGY MEAT CURRY



TAMARIND ( PULI) MEAT CURRY OR TANGY MEAT CURRY
A delicious, finger licking meat dish that is popular in many Anglo-Indian homes  - Meat cooked in tamarind sauce. Goes well with Bread, Rice, Hoppers, Rice Pancakes, etc. 
Serves 6     Preparation Time 45 minutes
 Ingredients 
½ kg mutton or beef cut into medium size pieces     
2 big onions sliced                            
½  teaspoon coriander powder         
4 red chilies broken into bits              
2 teaspoons chillie powder
1teaspoon ginger garlic paste           
Salt to taste         
2 tablespoons oil   
1 Bay Leaf                               
½ cup thick tamarind juice


Wash the meat and mix it with the ginger garlic paste, salt, coriander powder and the chillie powder. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions, Bay leaf and Red chillies till golden brown.  Add the meat and mix well.  Fry for a few minutes. Add sufficient water and cook on medium heat till the meat is done. Add the thick tamarind juice and mix well. Keep frying till the gravy is thick and dark brown
Serve with Rice or Bread or even hoppers 
If cooking in a Pressure cooker, switich off after 5 or 6 whistles. When the pressure dies down, mix in the thick tamarind juice and simmer till the gravy is sufficiently thick. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES - DECCAN HERALD METRO LIFE 23RD DEC 2014

















http://www.deccanherald.com/content/449186/bring-batter.html

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES - DECCAN HERALD METROLIFE - 23rd Dec 2014 - KALKALS AND CHRISTMAS CAKE

DECCAN HERALD – METROLIFE - DOWN FOODPATH
23rd December 2014
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/449186/bring-batter.html


Bring on the batter   Bridget Kumar,Dec 23, 2014, DHNS:
 I have always associated Christmas with the smells, sounds and sights of the season. It brings back the memories of my hometown — Kolar Gold Fields. 

The smell of the decorated pine Christmas tree in the sitting room, the enticing aroma of Christmas cakes being baked and the ‘kalkals’ and rose cookies being fried, the sight of all the Christmas decorations, buntings and the soothing sounds of Christmas carols — I have great memories of everything and all these are a part of the wonder of Christmas.

My mother would start the preparation of the traditional sweets and treats that are a part and parcel of Christmas a fortnight in advance. Kalkals, rose cookies, fruit cakes, coconut sweets, the Christmas pudding, bole cake, dodol, bebinca, marzipan, peanut fudge, cashewnut fudge and rice crispies were some of the goodies that were prepared in abundance by her. The delicious aroma of these goodies would drift through the house and neighbourhood.
 

I am sharing the recipes of two of my favourite Christmas delights — kalkals and Christmas cake.
 

 As kids, we would wait for the Christmas holidays to begin so that we could all help my mother in the preparation of sweets. We would all sit around the dining table and each of us would take a lump of dough and spread it on a fork to make as many kalkals as possible with it. These kalkals were like small shells and we would also cut out various other shapes like hearts, clubs and diamonds with the help of cutters.
 

 It was fun competing with each other to see who made the most. As soon as we completed a good number my mother would start frying them till all were fried and a huge heap was kept in basins and trays on the table. Once cold, she would make the frosting by pouring hot sugar syrup on the kalkals. We had a lot of fun helping her and sometimes even our non-Christian friends would join the fun. Of course, a good portion of the fried kalkals would go into our mouths in the process!

The Christmas spirit would set in early thanks to the Christmas cake. The earlier it is prepared with your choice of liquor, the more delicious it turns out to be. Most Anglo-Indian families have their own recipe for Christmas cake, which is usually handed down through generations. Candied fruit, plums, currants, raisins and orange peels are dexterously cut and soaked in rum or brandy a few weeks in advance. Nuts are peeled and chopped and the whole family comes together to make the Christmas cakes.
 

In our family, different tasks would be allotted to each person — while one whipped up the eggs, another creamed the butter and sugar. A person with strong arms would do the final mixing and stirring. After the cake batter was poured into the tins, the real fun would begin with everyone fighting to lick the leftover batter in the mixing bowl and on the spoons and spatulas! 

Recipe for Kalkals
  (Serves six)

Ingredients
n Refined flour - 1 kg
n Eggs (beaten well) - 6
n Milk or thick coconut milk - 2 cups
n Salt - 1 teaspoon
 
n Sugar - 300 grams
 
n Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
 
n Oil for frying

Mix the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder together. Add the coconut milk and eggs and knead to a soft dough. Keep aside for an hour. Form kalkals by taking small lumps of the dough and roll on the back of a fork or a wooden kalkal mould, to form a scroll. Alternately, roll out the dough and cut into fancy shapes with kalkal or cookie cutters. Heat oil in a deep pan and fry as many kalkals as possible at a time. Keep aside.

To frost the kalkals, melt one cup of sugar with half cup of water and when the sugar syrup crystallises, pour over the kalkals and mix well. Store in air-tight boxes when cold. 
Christmas cake 
Ingredients
Refined flour or plain flour - 500 grams
 
Dark brown sugar - 300 grams
 
Unsalted butter - 500 grams
 
Mixed dried fruits (black currants, raisins and sultanas chopped finely and soaked in rum or brandy before hand) - 500 grams
 
Chopped orange / lemon peel - 100 grams
 
Lemon or orange zest - 1 tablespoon
Salt - ¼ teaspoon
 
Nutmeg powder
 
- ½  teaspoon
 
Cinnamon powder - ½ teaspoon
 
Eggs (beaten) - 4
 
Milk (optional) - 4 tablespoons
 
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
 
Vanilla essence/extract - 1 teaspoon
 
Black currant jam or orange marmalade - 2 tablespoons
 
Black treacle syrup or date syrup  (optional) - 2 tablespoons
 
Preparation
Heat the oven to 150°C. Remove the chopped fruit from the rum, drain and keep aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and salt together.
 

Dust the orange/lemon peel and the chopped soaked fruit with a little flour. Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the beaten eggs, treacle/date syrup, vanilla essence, orange/lemon zest and mix well.
 

Now add the black currant Jam/marmalade, orange/lemon peel and chopped fruit. Slowly, add the flour and mix gently till all the ingredients are combined well. If the mixture is too thick, add a little milk.
 

Pour into a greased and papered baking tin and bake in a slow oven for about one hour or more. Check if cooked by inserting a tooth pick. If the tooth pick comes out clean, your cake is ready.
 

Remove from the oven when done and set aside to cool. When the cake is completely cool, poke all over with tooth pick and drizzle brandy or rum.  Repeat once in every week or ten days if you are preparing in advance. Wrap in foil paper. This cake will last for months if stored in an air-tight container.