Lavender Lemon Bars

Am I the only one who dreams about how a certain recipe tastes? I guess not.  I recently came across an email from Taste of Home on Lavender Lemon Bars.  Even without reading the entire recipe, I fell in love with it.   I was dreaming about how it would taste and could almost taste it on my tongue. Now, don’t be so surprised, for I never had a lemon bar before, forget it with lavender. I was sure that the sweet taste of lavender would perfectly complement the tartness of the lemon and it sounded like heaven.  

I tried it out this weekend (having ordered for the lavender buds on Amazon.com) and it did not disappoint me or my family.

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Lavender Lemon Bars Recipe

Ingredients
For the Crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
  • 2 teaspoons lemon peel-grated

Topping:

  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Substitute for 4 eggs (see the note below)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Note:  I do not use eggs and as a substitute, I have added 1 tsp of Baking Powder and 1/4 tsp baking soda to 1 cup of yogurt, let it sit for 3 min till it froths up.   For those of you who use egg, actual recipe calls for 4 eggs.

ImageDirections

  • In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar. Add the flour, lavender and lemon peel; beat until crumbly.
  • Fill a13-in. x 9-in. baking pan and pat till even.
  • Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a another bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, the yogurt mix/eggs and lemon juice; beat until frothy.
  • Pour over the warm crust. Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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Good Food, Great Stories- Being Hyderabadi- II

This post is a continuation of the previous one, please refer to the earlier post for more information on “Being Hyderabadi” and the yummy biryani recipe.

Double ka Meetha is a bread pudding dessert where you fried bread slices soaked in hot milk with spices and saffron. It is popular dessert in Hyderabadi cuisine, served at weddings and festivities. The name, I too thought it was quirky, when I first heard it.  But the milk bread is called “Double Roti” in the local language because it swells up to almost double its original size after baking 🙂

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During our exchanges on a bread pudding recipe, Ken from The Garum Factory said that I need to take out my running shoes when I am thinking of my recipe and his recipe, a great one, check it our here. And he is quite right too.

But that’s okay, we surely have the privilege and luxury of indulging ourselves, once in a while.  And then, out come the running shoes people!

Now to the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ghee/ butter
  • 6-7 slices of bread
  • 6-8 cardamoms
  • 1 Tbsp pistachio
  • 1tbsps cashewnuts
  • Milk- 2 cups
  • ¼ cup sugar (increase or decrease as per your taste)
  • Saffron strands

Directions

  • Remove the crusts from the bread slices
  • Tear into pieces and fry them in ghee until golden brown.
  • Blot the fried pieces onto a paper towel.
  • Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, boil milk.
  • Lower the heat. Add cardamom, saffron and sugar.
  • Add the fried bread pieces to the milk and simmer until the bread pieces turn soft.
  • Mix lightly.
  • Serve out into bowls and sprinkle the  crushed nuts.

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Spice Roasted Fruit and Sweet Rice

Inspiration for this post?  Lot of leftover fruits that begged for a clear up and a lot of whim like most of my other recipes.   I recently read about a spiced tropical fruit recipe in a book somewhere and tried a similar version with the left over half fruits that I had.   In fact it is a back to back posting of fruit related recipes.  A day earlier I had made a fruit salad and then comes this Spice Roasted Fruit with Sweet Rice.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup short grained rice (any rice will work)
  • 1 cup milk
  • few strands of saffron
  • Crushed Cardamom pods
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 1 nutmeg, grated
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Apple, cored and cubed
  • 1 cup Pineapple cubes
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Few pistachios, chopped

Recipe:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Place the fruit in an ovenproof dish.
  • In a saucepan, place the butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom pods and sugar and heat gently stirring until melted.
  • Pour the mixture over the fruit.
  • Roast in the oven till the fruit is browned (20 min in my case).
  • For sweet rice: heat milk with saffron and cardamom till it simmers.  Turn down the heat. In another pot, melt butter and lightly saute the rice for about a minute or two.  You can see a translucent sheen on the rice grains.  At this stage, add lemon rind.  Slowly add milk to the pot, a ladle at a time, till all the rice is cooked. (alternatively, you can add all the ingredients and cook till rice is done).
  • Divide the roasted fruit into serving dishes and spoon over the rice.  Top off with some more fruit and garnish with  pistachio.

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Note: If you do not want to use rice, you can completely let go off the step using the rice and serve the fruit with some cream instead.   The flavor comes from the fruit not the rice.

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Tapioca pudding with fruits

Growing up, tapioca pudding was a common dessert at home.  I was and still am partial to regular rice pudding but once in a while I like experimenting with tapioca pearls when I make a pudding.

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So last week,  when I had some tapioca pearls left out from a different recipe, I tried out the following recipe, which turned out to be pretty good considering the very minimal “thought” and effort that went into the recipe.   I say “thought” because I put in everything that came to my mind and hand.  I really did not think out the recipe while I was making it.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tapioca pearls
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped apple, peaches and banana
  • Pinch of Saffron strands soaked in warm milk
  • Candied rose petals/rose water (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee/Butter
  • 1 Tsp Cardamom powder
  • 1 Tbsp slivered almonds and pistachios

Recipe

  • Soak the tapioca in a cup of water for 2 hours, drain and lay a paper towel over the tapioca to absorb excess water.
  • Heat ghee or butter in a pan and fry the tapioca till they turn translucent. Turn of heat and set aside.
  • In a heavy  bottomed pan, bring milk to boil.  Add saffron, cardamom powder and the fried tapioca.
  • Cook till it the tapioca turns plump.   When you press a single pearl between your fingers, it should not appear starchy.
  • Add sugar, turns off the heat and let cool.
  • In a serving bowl, arrange the chopped fruits and nuts.  Transfer the cooked pudding, mix well.
  • Stir in candied rose petals or a Tbsp of rose water.
  • Garnish with slivered nuts and serve.

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Note:

  • Frying the pearls in totally optional.  You can skip the entire step and add soaked tapioca to the milk.
  • Since you are using a lot of fruit to complement the dessert, add sugar with caution.  I started with 1 Tbsp of sugar but ended up adding 3/4 Tbsp.

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Tapioca Pudding