Dessert comes calling

Dessert comes calling

Down foodpath

Dessert comes calling

My association with the kitchen started at a very young age. Even if I wasn’t a part of the cooking process with my mother, I used to snoop around the kitchen to find something to eat.

During vacations, I would spend a lot of time in the kitchen corridor with my books.
Little did I know that watching my mother and grandmother at work would help me become a better cook later on. When I look back on those days, I realise that I had been learning the tricks of the trade subconsciously.

It was only after my marriage that I started trying my hand at cooking. I am from Odisha so when I was working with Infosys in Hyderabad, I would often crave for homemade food.

I also wanted to start cooking my own food just to avoid putting on weight. I started searching for recipes online and also often asked my mother for help.

Soon, I realised that there were very few inputs available on my regional food. That’s when I decided to start my blog ‘Oriyarasoi’ to share the recipes that I knew. As Odia cuisine still remains largely undiscovered, I wanted to contribute by sharing some traditional and authentic recipes.

My husband is a big foodie. He would often come to me with requests for certain foods. When I make something for him, it also gives me the opportunity to experiment more with flavours.

I love watching chef Vikas Khanna’s shows on television and draw inspiration from that. He takes one dish and turns it into something else. I try to deconstruct certain dishes like him as well.

Over the years, I have explored a variety of cuisines. Presently, I am working on a lot of vegan recipes. The idea is to create simple dishes that one can easily make at home. I don’t complicate my dishes too much. For me, both the vegan recipes and the Odia ones are based on the concept of frugality. It means to cook with minimal ingredients and bring out maximum flavours.

One of my happiest moments was when I got qualified for the ‘Sugarfree Dessert Challenge Finale’ hosted by masterchef Sanjeev Kapoor last year. I finished third and it was such an encouragement for me.

The recipe that I’m sharing today is a traditional Odia preparation called ‘Chuda Ghasa Parfait’. It’s a dish that is made during ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’. Though many wouldn’t like to eat it when they see it, it tastes heavenly once consumed. I’ve prepared a different version of it with beaten rice, sugar, ‘ghee’ and freshly grated coconut. There are also chopped fruits, cucumber and ‘boondi’ in it to enhance the flavour. As it is a deconstructed version, it is served in separate layers just like a parfait.”

Sweta Biswal
(As told to Anila Kurian)


Chuda Ghasa Parfait

Recipe

Ingredients

Beaten rice, 1 1/2 cup
Sugar, 3 to 4 tbsp
Ghee, 1 tsp
Freshly grated coconut,
2 tsp
Chopped berries, 3 tbsp
Chopped oranges, 2 tbsp
Hung curd or Greek
yogurt, 1/2 cup
 Chopped pistachios, 1 tsp
Sweetened ‘boondi’, 1/4 cup or ‘motichoor laddoos’, 1 to 2
Green cardamoms, 1 to 2
A pinch of saffron

Method

Add the beaten rice, two tbsp sugar and the green
cardamoms in a mixer. Give a buzz to get a coarse mix.
Add the ‘ghee’ and freshly grated coconut to the mixer jar and give another buzz. This is the regular ‘chuda ghasa’ which looks like breadcrumbs.
Mix the hung curd with two tbsp sugar, a pinch of saffron and pistachios in another bowl.
Crumble the ‘motichoor laddoos’ in a separate bowl.
Take two small glasses. Spread a thick layer of the ‘chuda ghasa’ on the bottom. Top it with the oranges and chopped berries.
Top it with the hung curd.
Finally add a layer of ‘boondi’ or crumbled ‘moti choor laddoos’ and garnish it with toasted pistachios.
Chill it in the fridge for one to two hours before serving.

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