Coffee, Uncategorized

Iced Cold Coffee

Monday mornings are a horror, but Mondays in general are always boring, Don’t you think? So I devised this super strong way to shake me up this Monday. I love a good, strong cup of coffee. And being raised by a lovely, bold & strong woman with Brahmin roots, my mother, introduced me to filter-coffee pretty early in my life. Ever since, we haven’t NOT had atleast a cup of filter-coffee a day. We as a family own atleast 3 filters of different sizes, all meant to make the decoction required for filter coffee.

Coffee filter

What is a coffee-filter you might ask! 

Coffee filter is a 3-piece metal device to make decoction, used to make coffee, from ground coffee beans. It has two tumblers, one of which comes with a perforated bottom and the other with a normal bottom. The tumbler with the perforated bottom is to be stacked on the other tumbler, and the sieve-umbrella is to sit in the perforated tumbler. The ground coffee powder goes into the perforated tumbler, and the sieve-umbrella is positioned on the coffee powder slightly pushing it in position. The tumbler is then filled with boiling water. Now the decoction gets collected into the tumbler below. Coffee-filters come with lids that you may put on and store away the decoction for future use.

(In case you can’t find a coffee-filter in a store near you click here.)

I’ve had friends come over just for a cup of hot n steamy, not to mention creamy, cup of filter coffee that I may almost always serve. But sometimes a hot coffee is not something you crave for. So I looked up at how I can turn this sweet and energizing shot of caffeine into a chilled and refreshing mocktail. And here is what I came up with.

Ingredients


Coffee powder(ground) 2-3tsps

Water                           1/2 cup

Condensed milk            3/4 tbsp

Milk                              2-3 tsp

How to make the decoction

Put 2-3 teaspoonfuls of ground coffee powder into the seived mug and press down the unbrella over it. Then pour about half a cup to a full cup of boiling water onto the umbrella structure. Wait till the decoction is collected in the lower mug. Now to make the coffee.

Iced-cold Coffee

The sweetness of the iced-cold coffee all depends on you. So I’ll refrain from telling you how much condensed milk you need to use. But all you need to do is get your tall glass and place a good number of ice cubes in it. Then you need to pour a good 3-4 teaspoons of decoction and a spoon or two of condensed milk; and you are good to go!

Enjoy your chilled Iced coffee with a solid good book to read on a comfy sofa.

Dessert

Rasagullas

I’ve been wanting to kick-start this blog for some time now. But then when I found it hard to get things going for me, I thought as Cadbury famously says, “Kuch Meetha ho jaye!” With minimal encouragement from my mom, who is almost as obsessive & possessive about her kitchen as a nursing grizzly bear mother finally gives me her nod to use her kitchen. So I go through these random recipes online (read YouTube). I stumble upon this Rasgulla recipe by Tarla Dalal. I haven’t followed the recipe to the T and have made my own variations according to my convenience. So, this is how it ended. The sweetmeat was supple, sweet & juicy. Since I’m very pleased and moreover my mother, who does not give away her approval that easily, found my Rasgullas  “as good as those Haldiram ones that come in a bottle,” I’m going to share the recipe with you.

Sweet juicy Rasgullas

Ingredients

1. Milk

 a) Low fat milk- half litre

 b) Full fat milk – half litre

2. Sugar           – 1 & a half cup

3. Lemon juice  – 1.5-2 tbsp

4. Water           – 5 cups

5.Rosewater     – optional

6. Elaichi           – optional

Since the sugar syrup (chashni) hardly has anything to do with preparing the rasagullas you will have to make it separately which can incorporate the rosewater and/or elaichi powder for added flavour.

Preparation time: 20-30 mins

Cooking time:       8-10 mins

Method

Curdling milk

We start by boiling both the low fat milk with the full fat milk together in a wide-mouthed pan. Using a wide-mouthed pan makes it easier to handle the milk. Once the milk is brought to boil we switch-off the gas and stir it for over a minute to let-off the steam. This is important because once the milk starts curdling we want the chenna (Indian cottage cheese) to be smooth & soft.

Curdled milk hung to make chenna

So after stirring it for over a minute we add 1.5-2 tbsps of lemon juice while still stirring the milk to start the curdling process. Since curdling of the milk largely depends on the quality of the milk, if the milk does not readily curdle even after a minute of introducing the lemon juice you may want to start the gas once again in low flame for under a minute to hasten the curdling. Once the milk starts curdling and the milk solids start separating giving way to the light green coloured whey water you may go on stirring the mixture. Once the curdling is done you make keep it aside for 3-5 mins & then strain the concoction into a clean muslin cloth (I used a large, clean handkerchief).

Chenna being knead to a smooth batter

Now what we would have is the chenna, ie. the dough for our Rasagullas. Then we would proceed to squeeze out the whey water from the chenna. (But before you throw away the resulting whey water you may want to look at how it can be put to good use. Instead of lemon juice Whey water can be used the next time you want to curdle milk. Click here for more uses of Whey water.) After we have squeezed away the Whey water we may now rinse the chenna in clean & cold water, twice. When we wash it for the second time we open the muslin cloth pouch, immersing it in the cold water and kneading it in the water. Then we tie the muslin cloth again which the chenna in it & squeeze the excess water to hang it someplace so that the extra water is drained.

After a good 10-15mins we may remove the chenna, knead it for 4-5mins, pressing it with our palm and looking for any chenna pellets & crushing if we find any, to making a smooth batter. Once the batter is ready we make tiny round balls out of the batter. I made 16 tiny balls out of chenna I made from 1lt of milk.

Rasagulla balls in sugar water (uncooked)
Rasagulla balls cooked

In the meanwhile we can now take 5 cups of water and add a cup of sugar and let it boil on high flame. Once the sugary water (PS. this is not the sugar syrup) has come to boil, drop your Rasagulla balls into the concoction. Put on a lid, while allowing steam to escape, on the pan and cook for 8 mins.

Your Rasagullas are ready. Do not disturb them for another minute.

While you wait for the rasagullas to settle you might want to make the sugar syrup. Take 2 cups of milk with a cup of sugar and heat it. When the sugar is dissolved check for consistency and add the rosewater & elaichi, if you choose to.

Now your rasagullas must be ready to dive into the sugar syrup. If you want more sugar syrup feel free to add more sugar to the sugary water we used to cook our rasagullas. And there you have it. Soft, sweet & supple Rasagullas!

Soft, sweet & supple Rasagullas!

The Rasagullas came out pretty well, much to my amazement. And mind you, I am not a professional or even someone who cooks that often. But the rasagullas sure have encouraged me to cook more often. So look out for this space for more of my culinary adventures & more. Do try it out and let me know how it turned out for you. See you soon. Cheerio!