Category Archives: Sweet Course

Pomegranate Studded Paneer Balls, The Sugar Free Way

Pomegranate Studded Paneer Balls, The Sugar Free Way

  • Difficulty: easy
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Pomegranate Studded Paneer Balls, The Sugar Free Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Majority of the recipes I post on this blog are savoury. That’s because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and when I do fancy something sweet, I tend to reach for a piece of chocolate or prunes or dried figs.

In other words, my cooking skills don’t really extend to desserts or puddings or the final course.

When I do make something sweet, it is usually for friends as was the case with this recipe. My friend Shamala and her husband Bachu were supposed to be coming over for dinner. Since they are both diabetic, I wanted to serve them a sugar free dessert.

Decided to combine the seasonal pomegranate with some homemade paneer and some dates for a low fat dinner finale.

To sweeten the balls, I added some powdered stevia.

soft, fluffy, fragrant and utterly moreish paneer balls for a delicate palate

Unfortunately, due to adverse weather conditions, Shamala and Bachu could not come. So I’ve ended up with a dessert which, fortunately, is not too calorific for my taste!

Another kooky recipe for keeps.

Caveat: I am not a nutritionist and do not claim that this recipe is diabetic friendly.

Ingredients

1 Litre milk

Juice of 2 limes or lemons

1/2 Cup fresh pomegranate seeds

4-5 Soft seedless dates

1 Teaspoon cardamom powder

4-5 Strands of saffron

1 Teaspoon powdered stevia

Method

  1. First, make the paneer. For this, pour the milk in a clean saucepan and bring it to boil.
  2. Once it reaches boiling point (starts rising), lower the heat and add the juice of lime or lemon. At this stage, the milk will start curdling.
  3. Stir for a minute and take the saucepan off the heat.
  4. Let it rest for a couple of minutes. You will see the cheese separate itself from the whey.
  5. Drain in a fine sieve colander or muslin.
  6. You will end up with soft paneer cheese.
  7. Let the paneer cool down a bit.
  8. In the meantime, finely chop the dates.
  9. Once the paneer is slightly cooler (still warm to touch), squeeze out any excess moisture.
  10. Put the paneer in a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients: pomegranate seeds, chopped dates, cardamom powder, saffron strands and powdered stevia.
  11. Mix well with your hand.
  12. Form balls with both hands and place them in a container with a lid.
  13. Once all the balls have been shaped, refrigerate for about 2 to 3 hours before serving.

Note:

  1. You can adjust the quantity of stevia according to personal taste. But these balls are best not cloyingly sweet.
  2. You can add some chopped walnuts or pistachios if you like.
  3. Use semi-skimmed or regular milk to make the paneer, not fully skimmed.
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A bit of a Boozy Trifle, The Kooky Way

Trifle Pudding

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Trifle Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was spending the day with a friend and her family (who are all, incidentally, foodies) and wanted to take along something with a “wow” factor.

I was playing around with various ideas in my head when it suddenly struck me to make trifle.

Must confess that making something so indulgent gave me vicarious pleasure as it is not something I would do for myself.

I planned how I would make the pudding in my mind and deliberately avoiding looking up recipes on the internet as I wanted to make it with what I had or could get hold of rather than stress over what I could not (if that makes sense!).

Trifle pudding is dead simple. Layers of sponge cake, fruit and jelly, custard and cream and you have the most sinful, rich, crowd friendly and popular dessert.

the photo above does no justice to how tremendously tasty this utterly easy trifle pudding turned out to be

I soaked the sponge cake in some port wine and orange juice. Alcohol is optional; as I was making for an adult crowd I decided to include it.

I also added a layer of crushed digestive biscuits for some crunchy texture; again, this is optional.

The following is more of a “how to”, or rather, how I made the trifle. You can adapt the recipe to your personal preference and convenience in terms of the ingredients you use:

type of fruits (fresh or canned)

custard (instant or prepared or homemade)

cream (double, whipped, from a can)

sponge cake (plain, vanilla, flavoured, ready or homemade)

Ingredients

600 Grams sponge cake

160 Grams jelly powder/crystals

400 Grams mixed fruits/canned fruit cocktail

750 Ml custard (pouring consistency)

400 ML fresh whipped or thick cream

4-6 Tablespoons port wine

1-2 Tablespoons orange juice

15-20 Digestive biscuits

15-20 Almonds

Method

  1. Boil the almonds in a cup  of water for 5 minutes.
  2. Let them cool down completely, drain out the water, skin and finely slice them. Set aside.
  3. Next, you need to prepare the fruits. I used a can of mixed fruit cocktail which I drained. If you are using fresh fruits, use a combination of soft, ripe ones and chop them finely. A mix of apple, banana, papaya, pear, peach, pineapple and any type of berry would work well.
  4. Now, prepare the jelly layer. For this, make the jelly according to instructions on the packet. I used raspberry and strawberry flavours.
  5. Add the chopped fruits to the liquid jelly and refrigerate for a couple of hours till it is done (wobbly yet firm).
  6. Once the jelly is set, you are ready to layer the trifle.
  7. Take the sponge cake and cut it into pieces. Place the pieces in a deep pudding bowl or casserole.
  8. Pour a mixture of port wine and orange juice over the sponge pieces. If you are not using alcohol for soaking, you will have to increase the quantity of juice accordingly.
  9. Next, break up the fruit jelly and make a layer of it over the sponge.
  10. Coarsely crush the digestive biscuits and scatter them over the jelly layer.
  11. Pour the prepared custard over the digestive biscuit layer.
  12. For the final layer, pour/spread/nozzle the cream so that it covers the surface completely.
  13. Lastly, scatter the sliced almonds across the top.
  14. Cover and refrigerate the pudding for 4 to 5 hours before serving.

Note:

  1. There is no added sugar in this pudding except in the custard. Please make sure that the custard you use is sweet enough; you don’t want it overtly sweet but just right.

Diabetic Friendly Melony Dessert

Diabetic Friendly Melony Dessert

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Diabetic Friendly Melony Dessert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I had a couple friend – Shamala and Bachu – over for dinner a few days back.

Since both are diabetic, I had to keep their dietary needs in mind when planning the menu. Also since it was last minute, I kept it simple.

For dessert, I wanted to make something without sugar. Looked up diabetes friendly fruits on the internet and settled on the fragrant and naturally sweet musk melon.

The recipe is a mix of yoghurt, ripe melon with its natural juice, a wee bit of honey, saffron and pistachio.

creamy, fragrant with natural sweetness

Luckily, it was a hit with Shamala and Bachu.

Personally, I think it is delicious and would be liked by everyone, not just those with high sugar. So another one for keeps.

Ingredients

1 Small, very ripe, musk melon

200 Grams plain, mild yoghurt

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoons raw, unsalted, shelled, pistachio

A pinch of saffron

1 Tablespoon milk

Method

  1. First, prep the melon. Wash and cut in half.
  2. Peel each half and remove any seeds.
  3. Now take one half and chop it. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Next, take the other half and chop it very finely. Put it in a bowl along with all the juices.
  5. Add the honey to the second bowl of melon and its juices. Break down the melon with the back of a spoon and mix it with the honey and the juices as you go along. Set aside.
  6. Dry roast the pistachio and, once cool, split them in half.
  7. Warm the milk and dissolve saffron in it.
  8. Whisk the milk-saffron mixture in the yoghurt.
  9. Add half the chopped pistachio to the yoghurt.
  10. Add the chopped melon with juices and honey to the saffron yoghurt. Mix well.
  11. Take a bowl and place a layer of the diced melon (from the first half) at the base.
  12. Pour some of the melony yoghurt over the melon.
  13. Place the remaining diced melon over the yoghurt.
  14. Again layer with melony yoghurt so that the diced melon is completely covered.
  15. Sprinkle the remaining pistachio on top and chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Note:

  1. You can either layer this dessert in individual bowls or in one large serving bowl.
  2. Use the ripest melon you can get so that it is is sweet and juicy.

Carrot & Semolina Pudding

Carrot and Semolina Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking a dessert hardly ever enters my mind. If you were to come around to my house for dinner, your meal would probably be rounded off with some shop bought sweet. I can actually write on the back of a teeny envelope the number of times I have made a confection.

This is partly because I am not a sweet person (!) and partly because I don’t have enough experience in making sweet somethings and so lack the confidence. If faced with a recipe disaster for a savoury item, I would know how to rescue it but with a dessert, I would be clueless.

so why am I writing about this pudding, you ask

Three factors brought about the invention of this pudding: (1) My friend Meher is very fond of all things sweet. (2) She had invited me to spend the day with her yesterday and I had a couple of containers of hers from my previous visit which I wanted to return but I didn’t want to give back empty. (3) Carrots are in season.

Meher, her husband and son are more like family so I knew that they wouldn’t mind being testers for my experiment.

Was it a success? Totally, I am pleased to write. They all absolutely loved this pudding :-). Meher’s son, who is a fussy eater, polished it off and her husband has asked me to make it again. This has given me the confidence to make more desserts in the future (for others, of course!).

And for those who regularly follow this blog, yes yesterday was my soup day and yes Meher had very kindly made chicken soup for me :-).

So, let’s get cracking with this without-any-cream-creamy pudding.

Ingredients

250 Grams carrots, finely grated

1/2 Cup semolina

300 Ml milk

1/2 Cup sugar

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee

2 Tablespoons raisins

2 Tablespoons unsalted pistachio, halved

Seeds from 6-8 green cardamoms

A pinch of cinnamon powder

A pinch of saffron

Method

  1. Heat the butter or ghee in a skillet.
  2. Once it starts foaming a bit, add the raisins and pistachios.
  3. Lower the heat and stir around for a couple of minutes till the raisins turn lusciously plump and the pistachios start browning a bit.
  4. Next, add the semolina and once again stir for a few minutes till the semolina feels nicely toasted.
  5. Add the carrots, sugar and milk and combine well.
  6. Add the cinnamon powder, cardamom seeds and saffron, give it a good stir, cover and let this cook for about 20-25 minutes.
  7. Check in between to make sure that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  8. You will know that the pudding is cooked when it starts solidifying.
  9. Take off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.

Note:

  1. I used a mixture of Demerara and white sugar. You can use just white if you prefer.
  2. Factoring in the natural sweetness of carrots, I used half a cup of sugar. You can use more if you like your pudding to be sweeter.
  3. This pudding can be served hot or cold.
  4. To serve it cold, lightly grease a container before transferring the pudding to it (from step 9). Unmould before serving.