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semolina halwa with peach puree = easy indian dessert

semolina halwa with peach puree = easy indian dessert

Semolina Halwa with Peach Puree

Indian desserts remain for me a somewhat tricky and challenging thing – I find them extremely sweet and I struggle to actually fall in love with the flavours. So I decided to experiment with a very well know Indian dessert – Semolina Halwa. This is an easy dessert to make. In this instance though I decided to use a lot less sugar and added sultanas and raisins and served this together with a peach puree. What is also great about this recipe is that you do not need to use an oven for this dessert – just a warm plate. Live a bit beyond the ordinary and give this one a sample….

 

semolina halwa with peach puree = easy indian dessert
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup semolina
  • 3T Ghee
  • 25g Sultanas (small handful)
  • 25g Raisins (small handful)
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Cardamom seeds (shelled)
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ - 1 Cup cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Puree
  • 100g Drained tinned peaches
  • 1t Sugar
  • For serving
  • 30 g Pistachio nuts crushed
  • 30g Almonds flakes
Instructions
  1. Melt the ghee over medium heat and add the semolina, sultanas, raisins, cinnamon stick and cardamom seeds.
  2. Let it cook to a point where the fruit is nicely swollen and the semolina turns somewhat of a pinkish colour.
  3. Add the water and let it simmer until the semolina is cooked. Remember to stir.
  4. Add the sugar and allow it to cook for a minute or two.
  5. Add the cream and salt and cook over low heat for a few minutes.
  6. Blend the peach and sugar together for the puree.
  7. To serve - Make two quenelles per person.
  8. Put some of the peach puree on the side of the quenelles and sprinkle with almond and pistachio nuts.
  9. Serve luke warm or cold.

 

 

spiced ricotta pancakes + figs + naartjie honey

spiced ricotta pancakes + figs + naartjie honey

“Peel a fig for a friend and a peach for your enemy” – English proverb

ricotta pancakes with figs

I love figs. Such an ancient fruit, yet still with us today … I also agree with the believe that figs are a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness. So when my eyes caught a few fresh figs on the shelf in the supermarket the other day, I had to have them and do something with them. They were dark purple, plump and looked so ripe and juicy. I had ricotta at home and I decided to make ricotta pancakes with figs. Using Nigella’s Ricotta Hotcakes as a basis I changed her recipe by adding a few spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves as well as naartjie zest – which just gave it that ‘pick-me-up’ spicy-citrus flavouring.

Figs

I am also curious to dig a little deeper, and scratch below the surface when it comes to things that interest me, so I read up about figs and came across these interesting facts.

Fig Trivia – 10 Fig Facts

1. The Blossoms
Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches – the ‘fruit’ that we eat is the blossom and is pollinated by a special type of wasp. Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.

2. Calcium and Fiber
Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber. Eating a half cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking a half a glass of milk. The food value increases with drying – one dried fig has almost as much calcium as an egg – listen up moms!

3. The Calorie Value
There is approximately 50 calories in one large fig.

4. The Garden of Eden
Many believe it was figs that were actually the fruit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, not apples.

5. Fig Puree
Fig puree can be used to replace fat in baked goods.

6. The scientific name – Ficus carica
The common fig is a deciduous tree that grows to heights of up to 6 meters in the genus Ficus, from the family Moraceae, known as common fig tree. It is a temperate species native to the Middle East.

7. The Family
Figs may not look like it, but did you know that figs are a member of the mulberry family?

8. The Language
English – Fig
Spanish – Higo
Afrikaans – Vy
French – Figue
German – Feige
Italian – Fico

9. The History
Figs are originally from small Asia and are one of the first fruits cultivated ever. The Greeks made mention of them and around 60 BC and Plato promoted the fig as being an important nutrition for athletes. A story is known of the Greek government that had forbidden all exports of figs once in order to assure themselves of a good outcome at The Olympic Games. The ancients Greeks knew about 29 fig sorts. Today there are more than 600 different fig types.

10. Idiom
English Idiom: “I don’t care a fig”
Meaning: Complete lack of concern about an event.
Origination: Probably originates from the abundance of this fruit.

Source: valleyfig.com, foodandtravel.com.au, caloriecount.about.com, wikipedia.org, crfg.org,

Fig

spiced ricotta pancakes + figs + naartjie honey
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • For crumpets
  • 250g Ricotta cheese
  • ½ Cup milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g Plain flour
  • 1t Baking powder
  • 2t Naartjie Zest (you can replace with orange)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Butter for frying
  • Naartjie honey
  • 1 Cup honey (I used orange blossom honey)
  • Juice of one orange or naartjie (you can replace with orange)
  • 1t Naartie peel
  • 1 Clove
  • To serve
  • 5 Fresh figs - quartered
  • 5t Crème Fraiche
Instructions
  1. For pancakes – Mix the ricotta, milk and eggs together and then add all the dry ingredients - mix everything together. Don’t overwork the mixture. Heat a bit butter in a non stick pan – then “spoon ” a dollops of batter into the pan and cook each pancake for about a minute each side till golden brown.
  2. For honey - simmer all ingredients for 5 minutes and allow to cool down a bit.
  3. To serve - Drizzle with syrup + add the figs + the Crème Fraiche.

 

chocolate mousse + crispy onion sprinkle = surprising + delicious dessert

chocolate mousse + crispy onion sprinkle = surprising + delicious dessert

chocolate mousse + crispy onion sprinkle=surprising + delicious dessert

I know many of you think I must be off my rocker … but this is a MUST TRY. Lately, I have been reading a lot about modern food combinations with unusual flavours. Let me mention a few …

1. dark chocolate + parmesan cheese
2. chocolate mousse + crispy onion sprinkle
3. oysters + coconut + lychee + rose
4. lobster + passion fruit
5. belgian endives + chocolate + vanilla ice cream.

The one that really aroused my curiosity was the chocolate mousse and crispy onion sprinkle. I just had to try it so I dashed off to my Woollies store down the road and bought a tub of chocolate mousse and a bag of crispy onion sprinkle, you know the type that they sell as a soup topping. So that evening I took a scoop of chocolate mousse and a healthy serving of onion sprinkle and I served this unusual matching to some very startled guests …! Well, well, well, if you want to impress your friends with an amazing out of the box dessert that you don’t even have to make yourself …try this. The tastes just gel together and produce a surprising and unusual delicious combination. Put this on your list the next time you are out of ideas for dessert!

nom nom nom …