Tuesday 22 November 2011

Chai Chikki Fried Rice Pudding

From Terre à Terre: The Vegetarian Cookbook, Amanda Powley with Philip Taylor, Absolute Press, 2009.

I’ve cooked a couple of recipes from this cookbook and thoroughly enjoyed the process, though it was quite a long one. The fusion of flavours worked extremely well in the items I made giving meals that were different and exciting to eat. So, at last I decided to try to make an item of dessert from the book. Hence Chai Chikki Fried Rice Pudding.

There were several elements to the puddings: the puddings themselves, a tamarind toffee and a chai custard.

The toffee was no problem. All I had to do was mix the ingredients: tamarind paste, two sugars (palm and caster) and water, and bring them to the boil then simmer. No problem. Cream was added for a further simmer. Done.

The custard was only slightly more work. Coconut milk and almond milk (I’m afraid I just mixed some ground almonds with plain milk for the almond milk) were infused with chai tea bags to flavour. The mix was then thickened with the addition of cornflour. Sugar was added and it was basically ready.

There were two sections for the puddings. Firstly apricots had to be infused with the flavour of cardamom. This was pretty easy to do with cardamom pods tied in muslin and placed with dried apricots and orange juice into a pan and cooked on a low heat.

The puds were made with rice and coconut milk. Basically it was very similar to making risotto. Sugar is stirred in at the end and they were left to cool.

Once cool the rice mixture was placed in small moulds with chopped apricots added in the centre (as a surprise) as they were built up. They were then placed in the fridge.

At the meal time they were shallow fried before putting them in the oven to heat right through. I could not get my puddings to look anything like the ones in the photograph when I fried them. They held together buy did not crisp up well on the outside.

The photograph in the book showed the puddings with a nasturtium bloom on each one so I nicked a couple of blooms which were hanging over a fence down the street and added them to mine.

Though the puddings did not come up to my expectations (built up from other recipes followed in the book) they were a pleasant dessert. I particularly like the tamarind toffee.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔ 

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