Sweet talking

Sweet talking

I never thought cooking would be something I would enjoy doing. Growing up, I often watched my mother and sister prepare lip-smacking dishes and I would devour it like it’s the best thing out there. Of course, I did help them in preparing the dish but what I enjoyed the most was eating it.

It was after I got married that I took to cooking seriously. Though it was a task for me initially, I soon grew fond it and started learning more about the different styles. I researched for new recipes, read up about the different concepts of cooking and also joined various healthy baking groups on social media.

I started off by making simple everyday dishes. A few attempts later, I’m proud to say that I’ve become an expert at making ‘Kerala fish curry’ and ‘biryani’.

Fusion cuisine is my forte though. I love trying out different flavours and making something delicious for my family. My creations like ‘Vermicelli tartlets’ and ‘Italian twist cookies’ are very popular with my kids.

My seven-year-old daughter and my husband are my biggest critics. They are usually the ones who tell me if my experiments have come out well or not. They are also one of the reasons I enjoy creating new fare.

I also have a newborn baby, so as soon as I settle her down, I head over to the kitchen to make something new and interesting. I want my kids to enjoy everything available; I try to make the healthier versions of popular dishes at home. I search for substitutes for the ingredients and make it as delicious as the ones available in the market.

‘Deepavali’ isn’t something I grew up celebrating but we’ve been trying to do something new for this occasion every year because of our daughters. This
year, we are looking forward to making some ‘pumpkin halwa’ and lighting up the house with ‘diyas’.

The recipe shared today is also a fun way to celebrate this festive season.

‘Sweet Bird’s Nest’ is a bite-sized crunchy Arabic style sweet that is delicious and healthy because of the use of honey. With the use of vermicelli strands, you can make the nest and take your dessert craving to a whole new level.

Femina Shiraz (As told to Anila Kurian)

Ingredients

Very thin vermicelli, 100 g
Honey, 3/4 cup
Salted butter, 20 gm
Chopped almonds, 1/2 cup
Chopped pistachios, 1/2 cup
Lemon juice, 1/2 tsp
Water, 3 cups

Method

Boil water in a big pan.
Once the water boils, carefully place the vermicelli strands without breaking into the pan. Use Pakistani Vermicelli that is super fine.
Cook for two minutes. Do not stir.
Once done, carefully strain excess water.
Grease cupcake moulds or mini cupcake moulds with little butter.
Place the cooked vermicelli strands in each of the moulds forming a circular pattern. Adjust with fingers and press the base and sides to create a shallow space in the centre.
Add a small cube of butter to the centre of each nest.
Preheat the oven to 180-degree centigrade.
Bake the vermicelli cups for 15 minutes.
Then preheat the oven to 200-degree centigrade.
And bake the vermicelli nests for another 10 minutes.
Allow them to cool down completely.
Meanwhile prepare the nut filling.
For this, take the chopped nuts (almonds and pistachios) in a bowl.
Add half of the honey taken and mix well.
Fill the baked vermicelli baskets with honey coated nuts.
Next prepare a honey syrup by adding 1/2 tsp lemon juice to the remaining honey.
Drizzle this honey syrup all over the vermicelli nests.
Serve these crunchy bird’s nests that are drenched in sweetness.

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