When Christianna had taken me into the Recipe Swap group (read more about the group here), one of the things she said in our initial correspondence was that she was excited to get an Indian perspective for the swap recipes. While all my swaps have not been with an Indian twist, I thought with the Indian festival season here, I would give this time’s recipe swap an Indian twist.
When I saw the swap recipe (for a carrot pie), my initial plan was to make this carrot souffle I saw in a magazine I had just bought. But then I am not much of a fan of pureed carrots. It reminds me of baby food, and even though the recipe sounded interesting, I wasn’t sure I would truly enjoy it.
So I thought of making something Indian. Now, I am not a big fan of Indian sweets. I like them but most of them I find too sweet. If I want something sweet I generally prefer a baked good over the traditional sweets. Though I don’t mind a piece of gulab jamun, or hot atte ka halwa now and then. And sometimes gajar ka halwa too makes the privileged list.
Gajar ka halwa (or Indian carrot pudding) is a dessert of creamy, thickened milk with softened carrots contrasting with the added crunch of nuts. Milk and grated carrots are cooked until they become a dryish homogeneous mass, and then cooked with a little clarified butter (or ghee) and sugar and subtly flavored with cardamom powder and sometimes saffron strands to make absolute deliciousness.
We have had a coleslaw recipe swap earlier as well. That time I had given an indo-chinese take on the recipe. This time too I am doing an Indo-chinese take on the recipe.
I don’t know why, but there is something about cabbage that always makes me think of chinese food. Maybe because of its use in chow mein noodles. Or in manchurian. Or in spring rolls.
Growing up I loved spring rolls. My mom would hardly make them at home, but we would get them at the Air Force Mess parties and I would always feast on them. The filling always comprised of cooked chow mein noodles mixed with finely chopped veggies like carrots, cabbage and bell peppers that were sauteed in soy sauce, vinegar and ginger garlic paste. The wrappers always made from scratch.
After taking a break for the month of May, Recipe Swap is back for the month of June.
When Christianna had sent out the mail with the swap recipe of a mint pie, I knew instantly what I wanted to make. My friend has this super simple dessert recipe. She takes store bought shortbread crust and puts it in a pie dish and fills it with black cherry yogurt and freezes it till set. And that’s it. Another friend tried this recipe and got rave reviews. So I really wanted to try it. And I guess it fit well with the swap theme.
Since June is supposed to be the “watch what I eat” month- I decided I will make the shortbread crust at home rather than use a store bought one, having full control on what goes in the food I eat. I found a whole wheat shortbread crust recipe here.
But things did not go as planned.
For one I did not find black cherry yogurt in the store, which was not a big deal. I just decided to use some other flavor of yogurt.