Homemade Rose Syrup

 

Homemade Rose Syrup

As a child, my grandmother made this syrup with fresh roses from her garden, when roses actually smelled of roses. She simmered the freshly washed petals with the sugar syrup. The roses  infused the syrup with their soft scent and tinted the syrup a bright ruby red.

A favorite treat she made in the summer was homemade popsicles. She crushed the ice and molded it into balls on a stick and poured the sticky ruby red liquid all over it. It was such fun, sitting in her garden amongst her flower pots, indulging on what was once growing on the shrub next to us.

Well with summer around the corner, it’s time to bust out the ideal recipe for a cool refreshing drink.  My take on the perfect drink is a homemade rose syrup that’s been infused with cardamom pods, complimented with a hint of licorice flavor, from the fennel seeds and a bit of a zing from the ginger. I seldom use organic red roses to add to the syrup as they cost ‘an arm and a leg’ but if you have access to them, a handful of red petals should do.  In my recipe I’ve used a good quality rose essence to infuse this syrup instead.

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Dhaar with Vegetables – (Lentil and Vegetable Curry)

My Mums Recipe

As a child and well into the years after I got married, I absorbed as much as I could from my maternal grandmother regarding her cooking and recipes.  I  would gaze at her for hours, mesmerized by the effortless way she made ingredients come together.  She would make barfee – a sweet Indian confection similar to fudge, with a balanced sweetness complimented by the creaminess of the ghee – that held it together.  It was never overly sweet.  Her rotis were the best I’ve had and, as a matter of fact, many folk lucky enough to be in her realm would vouch for that too.  A hot ghee smeared roti, perfectly toasted on top to reveal a crispy layer against the pillowy softness of the bottom layer, begged to be eaten with her homemade mango jam.

 

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Dhaar with String Beans and Potatoes

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African Banana Puri – Banana Dumpling

My Grandmother’s Recipe

If you’re craving something not too sweet and delicious with your coffee or tea (chaa), this is the recipe for you.  I won’t beat around the bush, but I struggled a little thinking of the best way to describe this to you.  The puri is not, by all means, meant to be soft and fluffy like a beignet or doughnut.  It is rather solid, moist and crunchy all at once.  I ate these puris countless of times during my childhood.  If I had to put a finger on it, I would say the banana puri  to me is the equivalent of a doughnut to some, that is if we were talking about childhood nostalgic foods.

If you’re lucky enough, when you’re frying the puri’s they puff up into these balloon like disks, creating a hollow center.  I love peeling away this layer and eating it first before polishing off the rest of the banana puri.

Making the dough is a lot of fun and easy.  Although I do love mushing up the bananas, grabbing handfuls of the earthy dough to make the puris is always a treat, they feel grainy, moist and sticky.  Reminding me of making mud pies in the rain…

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Chocolate Ginger Cake

Adapted from Baking, From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Fortheloveofghee.com

Fortheloveofghee.comWith a hot cup of chaa in my hand, I stared out my window into the winter wonderland before me.  The snowflakes gently floated from above in a steady haze of cool white.  Slowly, ever so slowly they whisped side to side eventually settling atop a mound of snow.  We had our first real snowfall a couple of weeks ago and it has been gradually accumulating ever since.  I could have sat there forever, watching this delight but alas I knew the kids would be home soon and I really should’ve been baking something for their afternoon snack. Continue reading

Moongh Daar – Mung Dhal Curry (Split Green Lentils Curry)

My Recipe

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Moongh Dhar Curry is absolutely delicious eaten as a main course, especially on a blustery cold winter day.  Therefore, recently I have been making it pretty often .  This lentil curry can be eaten with rice or with warm rotis accompanied by a green chilli pickle called Raito.  This will probably the fastest curry you will ever make, perfect for a weeknight!  As long as you’ve made your rotis for the week you are set, I promise.  Out of roti’s for the week?   No problem, spread whole wheat toast (or toast of your choice) with ghee or butter, preferably ghee, then pile on the Moongh Daar and devour!  It’s purely addictive.  Try it out and taste it for yourself, you will not be disappointed 🙂

I guess I should explain a little about the bean itself.  First of all theres are countless ways of spelling so I chose to spell it ‘moongh’, although it’s mostly spelt ‘mung’.  It is a little dried green bean if used whole.  In this recipe I have used split mung beans with the skins removed.  If you prefer, by all means use them whole.  You may have to add a little more water during the cooking process.

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