Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sheer Khurma

Yesterday was Eid-al-Fitr, the religious festival of breaking fast celebrated by the adherents of Islam (Muslims) that marks the end of Ramadan which is the Islamic holy month of fasting. (Source:Wikipedia)
If we were in Kolkata or had it not been raining incessantly over the weekend (which jeopardized my plans of visiting the store where we get mutton) we would definitely be having biriyani or some other delicacy. I was sulking all morning after looking at dozens of drool-worthy food photographs on facebook , when Sayantani (of ahomemakersdiary)  mentioned that she was craving for Sheer Khurma. That gave me the idea to make some. 
Sheer Khurma is a vermicelli pudding made with dates and milk made and served traditionally on the occasion of Eid-al-Fitr. 

  • Milk - 2 Cups
  • Vermicelli (Seviyan) - 1 Cup (I used wheat vermicelli and broke them into 2 inch long pieces)
  • Dates - 1/4 Cup, chopped
  • Dried fruits - 1/3 Cup (I used almonds and pistachios, you can use cashews too), chopped or slivered
  • Raisins - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar - 2 tbsp (add more if you prefer it sweeter)
  • Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp or a fat pinch
  • Ghee - 1/2 tsp
In a pan, add the ghee and roast the vermicelli till they start turning golden brown. You can dry the vermicelli as well if you do not want to use the ghee. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the milk with the cardamom powder on medium-low heat. Keep stirring frequently for 5-6 minutes till it starts simmering. Lower the heat add the vermicelli pieces  and sugar to it and cook till the milk starts reducing and the vermicelli starts to soften. Now, add the chopped dates, chopped almonds and chopped pistachios. You can add chopped cashews to if you want, I did not since I am allergic to it. Cook for a few more minutes and take it off the heat. Serve warm.

Note: I read the description of Sheer Khurma on Wikipedia and made it without following any  particular recipe. 

Molten Lava Cake: A pre-birthday treat

Yup... it is my birthday tomorrow and since it is already after 12 midnight in Kolkata, wishes have started pouring in. Growing up, my birthdays were always special - I would go to school with my best dress on, distribute candies, be wished by all my friends, get loads of cards and my parents always threw a party and I always cut a cake. But then I got married and moved to US. And we have moved around so much that not always there has been friends around to celebrate the day with. So the excitement that used to last a month-long had started fading. And once my son was born, I became more excited about planning his birthday (which comes after 6 weeks) which kind of overshadowed my own birthday plans. 
But this year, my almost 5 year old has been chirping 'Happy birthday Mamma' and making elaborate plans of baking a cake with his father (which is supposed to be a surprise.... shhh) and planning a trip to the zoo (another surprise) for the last 2 days! So I thought of making something special for this little imp of mine to celebrate his spirited attempt to make my birthday special which fills up my heart with  warm fuzzies even though part of me is dreading the disaster zone my kitchen will turn into after the father-son duo are done baking for me!

Molten Lava Cake

This dessert is for two and was just enough for the three of us. Best part, it takes less than 30 minutes to prep and bake. I found the recipe here!

  • Chocolate Chip - 1/4 Cup (I used 60% dark, you can use semi-sweet as well)
  • Butter - 2 tbsp + some to grease the ramekins
  • Powdered Sugar/Confectioners Sugar - 1/2 Cup + a little of sprinkling
  • Egg - 1 large at room temperature
  • Flour - 3 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  • Instant Coffee granules - a fat pinch (optional)
  • 2 8 oz ramekins, a cookie sheet/baking tray
Molten Lava Cake

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease the ramekins with butter and place them on a cookie sheet/baking tray.
In a microwave proof bowl, melt together the butter and chocolate chips by heating for about a minute in the microwave. Give it a stir after 30 seconds and if it does melt fully in a minute nuke it for another 20-30 seconds. 
Take bowl out of the microwave and whisk in the powdered sugar till nicely incorporated. Next, beat in the egg. Add the flour, instant coffee granules and vanilla extract and mix till there is no lump. 
Pour the batter equally into the greased ramekins and bake for 12 minutes. 
Let it rest for about a minute before inverting it onto a plate. Dust a little powdered sugar, garnish with some berries and serve immediately. I promise, you will lose yourself in the warmth of the ooey gooey molten chocolate. 

Molten Lava Cake

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