Back to old Cochin flavours
Sunitha Divakaran, a master chef at `The Brunton Boatyard' shares with us some of the recipes, in which the unique Fort Cochin flavours from the past come alive.
Chutney Mary's pudding
TRADITION NEVER gets outmoded. In life and in food. We tend to go back to Granny's recipes every time there's a family get together. Things new attract us all right but the old lingers, and with time they become precious. We may have Chinese, Thai and Lebanese food, but the taste of time-tested dishes is never jaded.
Old Fort Kochi was a crucible of several cultures. The Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, British and the Jews made it their home for brief periods in history. Most of them came as traders, lured by the wonders of the Malabar Coast and her spices. As they settled here, they added to their culinary traditions local ingredients, thus giving birth to an entirely distinct flavour.
Hence we have a simple Anglo Indian dessert- Chutney Mary's pudding, an old Dutch recipe, `Pannekoek' and a Malabari Muslim Banana Dessert.
Chutney Mary's Pudding
Vanilla essence- 1tsp
Nutmeg powder- 1/4 tsp.
A pinch of salt
In a bowl beat the first three ingredients well with a pinch of salt.
Add the milk, rice, raisins and nutmeg powder.
Pour into a buttered pudding mould and bake it at 150c for 50 minutes in a water bath.
Pannekoek or Dutch pancake
Remove it from the oven and serve it warm or chilled.
(A pressure cooker can be used instead of an oven. Cover the mould well with butter paper and foil and cook for 25 minutes.)
`Pannekoek' or Dutch Pancakes with a filling.
Pancakes are called `Pannekoek' in Dutch, which is a slightly heavier version of the French pancake.
Refined flour-1 cup
A pinch of salt
Beat all the ingredients except the flour.
Slowly fold in the flour a little at a time till you get a thin batter. Allow resting the batter for 15-20minutes.Heat a skillet or a non-stick pan. Pour in a ladle of the batter and swirl it around in the pan so that you get a thin coating on the pan. Cook for 15seconds; remove it to a warm plate.
Continue the process with the whole batter. These pancakes can be served with a stuffing of either grated coconut with sugar, bananas or stewed seasonal fruits.
Pazham Nirachathu (Malabar Muslim)
Grated jaggery -1/2 cup
Ghee - 4 tbsp
Malabar Muslim banana dessert.
Steam the bananas. Mix the next three ingredients and place in a pan and cook till the coconut is coated with the jaggery syrup. Peel and slit the steamed bananas lengthwise and stuff it with the candied coconut. Heat ghee in a pan and shallow fry the banana to golden brown and serve it warm. A scoop of vanilla ice cream can be added to make it more delicious.
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