Carrot Pudding, also called 'Gajar Halwa' is a very popular Indian dessert, made during religious Festivals and holiday, and served at wedding parties.  It is quite simple to make, and incredibly tasty.  You never would have imagined that a carrot could taste this good!  Your kids will be licking their bowls!

Serves 4-6
2 lbs. fresh carrots
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
2 tsp. ground cardamom
4 tbsp. fresh butter
5 tbsp. powdered milk
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds or cashewnuts or pistachios
Peel and grate the carrots to prepare the mixture. In heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, ground cardamom and carrots. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat and continue stirring. Cook the carrot mixture on medium heat for approximately 30 to 45 minutes until milk is completely absorbed.
Remove from heat, and add sweetened condensed milk and butter. Stir vigorously until well blended. Return to low heat to continue cooking. Return mixture to low heat and continue cooking until carrots become very soft and dry In small bowl, combine powdered milk with a few spoons of water to make a paste.
Add milk mixture to carrot mixture in small spoonfuls. Combine slowly, then stir in raisins, and nuts.
Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 8 to 10 hours, preferably overnight before serving. 

Authors Note:
This dish can be served hot or cold. Try eating both, and then decide on your preference. It tastes wonderful served hot with a scoop of vanilla Ice cream!

Vegan Vegetable Omelette or Pancake - also known as Thali Peeth

This is my first post in over a year. The truth is -  Life got so busy, I just had no time!! As W.H. Davies aptly quotes in 'Leisure'... "What is life - if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare....?!"  More and more I got to thinking about that poem - and more and more I started longing for the luxury of just being able to hibernate ( it was winter after all) at home doing nothing and finally....I have two whole weeks before I start up with my new job!  This opportunity arose quite suddenly - as some opportunities are known to do.... and now I have ....TIME!  
So I am grabbing it! Lord knows how long it may be before I am able to post my next recipe :0)

Thalipeeth is a savory mildly spiced nutritious multi-grain pancake popular in Western India. It is made in Maharashtra and is a simple staple food of the region. The dough is made from a special flour consisting of chickpea flour, millet flour, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, whole wheat flour and rice flour. Onion, green chillies, cilantro, brown sugar, other vegetables are added to make this pancake more nutritious, and a whole meal. When you spread the pancake out, it looks just like an omelette, so we call it Vegetarian Omelette at home. It is also naturally vegan.  
It is usually served with white home made butter (a type of whey) and is very popular amongst local 
Maharashtrians.  It may also be served with thick ghee - a kind of delicious clarified butter, local chutneys, 
and sometimes even with thick Greek-like yogurt. The recipe is so quick and easy to whip up, it is really useful to serve as a quick snack to unexpected guests ( try making mini ones) or as an after school snack for kids.
I like to add vegetables like grated carrots,cauliflower, broccoli, celery, spinach or cabbage - anything I can find in my fridge or freezer to increase nutritional content and make the meal more substantial in case of lunch or dinner. 
In the recipe below - I have used the basic ingredients for this pancake and used flours readily available here in the USA.

Quick mildly spiced Vegan Omlette - Pancake

1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour (optional)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tbsp fine semolina (cream of wheat)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp minced onion
4-5 green chillies, minced OR 1-2 tsp red chilli powder 

1 small chopped tomato
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
salt to taste
vegetable oil or spray for cooking

Mix all the ingredients (except oil) together to make a thick batter.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan or use cooking spray to coat the pan and gently add a spoonful on to the pan, the size will depend on the size of the pancake you want to make. Spread the batter out evenly to create a round shaped pancake. Cook till browned and crispy and then carefully use a large spatula to turn over to cook the other side. Cook till crispy on both sides. 
I love to serve thalipeeth with green coconut chutney (I have posted an earlier recipe for this on my blog)  and either some plain yogurt or a dollop of butter, but you can serve this wonderful pancake with any dip you like. 
Serve hot.

Seekh Kebabs

OMG!!  Its not even Summer yet and the heat is incredible here in the DC Area. It reminds me of hot Indian Summers complete with the humidity et al.... wonder what Summer will be like at this rate?  It's been a while since I posted a recipe here... mainly because we have been entertaining so much lately. We sure are making the most of this lovely weather! We are out on the deck almost every day.
Last week we made Chicken Seekh Kabobs and they were so incredibly good that I just had to post the recipe here this week.  Tell me - don't they look delicious?  They sure tasted wonderful! 

The Seekh kabab, was introduced to India by the Mughals, and was originally prepared from ground beef on skewers and cooked on a charcoal fire. But later influences and innovations led to the use of Ground lamb, which was preferred for its soft texture. (These days even ground chicken is used as I have done below) Besides, Hindus do not eat Beef. The immense popularity of this kabab led to further refinements and improvements.  The British Rule made sure that the Kebob was exported to England and now it has gained popularity world wide.


1 kilogram Minced Beef, Chicken or Lamb (Keema)
1 medium Onion ground to a paste)
1 more medium Onion (chopped)
4 Green Chillies  
1 tsp. Red Chilli Powder  
1 bunch of Fresh Cilantro Leaves (chopped)
8 Cardamom Pods  
1 tsp. Black Pepper  (freshly ground)
1 tsp. Curry Powder or Garam Masala Powder
4 tbsp. Chick Pea Flour or whole wheat flour
1 Egg
2 tbsp. Milk Powder
Salt (to taste)
Cooking Oil or butter


In a bowl combine ground meat with all ingredients except for the oil and mix well. Knead well for about  minutes. Make sure the ingredients are well mixed. Set aside in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Knead once again. Take a small portion of the mixture in your hands and assemble on a barbecue skewer ( the meat should stick well onto the skewer and be approx 1 - 1/2 inch in diameter. Make sure you pack the meat tightly. It may take a little practise at first.   Lay on a barbeque rack and baste with oil/butter.  Roast for approx 10 minutes, turning sides, until the kebabs are cooked to an internal heat of 165 degrees.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the kebabs before serving. Serve Kebabs immediately with Green Cilantro Chutney or Ketchup.

Authors Notes: 
These kebabs are delicious in a wrap or pita, served as a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, green chutney or mayonnaise. 



I have touched the subject of curry before - in my earlier post on chicken curry.  Here is another type of curry with seafood.  Curries differ greatly in their taste and content, not only between countries but also within countries. For example, the curries of India are different than those of Malaysia and Indonesia .In India the curry cuisine in the north is not the same as that in southern India . In addition there is the matter of the Chef - No two cooks make identical recipes. Every good cook has his or her own special style and adds that individual touch to a meal. 

In simple terms - a curry is a spicy recipe but the way the types of spices and herbs are used differs considerably from cook to cook, family to family, culture to culture and country to country. Not all curries are hot and spicy. In fact there are far more more mild curry recipes than hot ones and these are designed to give a cleverly balanced blend of the various spices and herbs used, some of which have delicate and highly sophisticated tastes. 

Increase the amount of Chilli powder and/or chilles - and you can increase the amount of heat!  Add yoghurt, Coconut milk, lemon juice or tomatoes - and you can reduce the amount of heat.  The recipe below uses lemon juice (or tamarind paste if you can find it in a local indian store)  to temper the heat.  The spices add a delicate flavor to the shrimp that will have you licking your lips and asking for more!


1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp canola oil
4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder
3-4 green/red chiles (sliced)- or to taste
4-6 Curry Leaves
1-2 tsp tamarind paste or 1 finely chopped tomato
1 tbsp fresh mint (or 1 tsp mint sauce)
1 tbsp brown sugar
25 medium sized fresh or frozen shrimp (prawns)
1 large bunch of fresh coriander - to garnish

Heat the oil in a wok or pan and fry the onions till soft and golden.  Add the Garlic, chilli powder, turmeric and curry powder;   Add the chillis, tamarind, mint, sugar and salt to taste. Add the peeled and cleaned shrimp and fry for a minute or two. Add some water and simmer for about 5 mins - Do not overcook!
Garnish with lemon and coriander leaves .Serve hot over cooked rice/ pasta or with rotis/bread.

If you find that you do not have either lemon juice or tamarind to make this dish - try substituting 1 chopped tomatoe add after browning the onions.

Chicken Kebabs

The Kebab or Kabab is a wide variety of meat dishes originating in southwest and south Asia, and now found worldwide. In English, kebab with generally refers more specifically to shish kebab served wrapped in bread with a salad and a dressing. But in southwest and south Asia, kebab includes grilled, roasted, and stewed dishes of large or small cuts of meat, or even ground meat; it may be served on plates, in sandwiches, or in bowls. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on local tastes and taboos, it may now be beef goat, chicken, pork, seafood, or vegetarian foods like tofu or paneer ( a type of Indian cottage cheese) Like other ethnic foods brought by immigrants and travellers, the kebab has become part of everyday cuisine in multicultural countries around the globe.
The origin of kebab may lie in the short supply of cooking fuel in the Middle East, which made the cooking of large foods difficult, while urban economies made it easy to obtain small cuts of meat at a butcher's shop.The phrase is essentially Persian in origin and Arabic tradition has it that the dish was invented by medieval soldiers who used their swords to grill meat over open-field fires.
The version I am showing here, is the Kathi or Chicken Tikka Kebab.  Cooked in a tandoor ( a large clay oven) Kathi kebab is one of the most famous tandoori dishes, besides Tandoori Chicken ( which I will illustrate in another recipe) which has made tandoori cuisine famous worldwide. Made with beef, chicken or lamb meat, it is mostly prepared with a mix of spices, and cooked in a tandoor with skewers. The radiant heat from the tandoor slowly cooks the meat and due to the lack of direct heat from the fire, the juices remain inside while adding flavour, keeping the meat's moisture intact. It is usually served with rice, or a variety of Indian breads, along with onions and mint/cilantro sauce. Since I do not own a tandoor, I cooked mine on a gas grill with wonderful results. I have also tried the charcoal grill, which adds wonderful flavor, but is time consuming.  In a pinch, you can bake them in an oven too. 


Serves 2-4
1 lb. boneless chicken cut into 1.5 inch cubes
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 cup curd
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp. curry powder or garam masala
Salt to taste
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
6 black pepper - ground
5 green cardamom,coarsely ground
Juice of 2 limes

Mix ginger and garlic paste, 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp lime juice and all of the spices in yogurt and marinate the meat for at least 2 hours to overnight.
Baste the the meat with some oil and arrange the pieces on skewers.
Roast, grill on a charcoal or gas grill until cooked through, or bake for 15-25 minutes, turning from time to time.
Now squeeze some lime juice and serve hot with sliced onion ( raw or grilled) green cilantro chutney and buttered basmati rice.

If you are using wooden skewers, make sure that you soak them for at least an hour before grilling to prevent them from catching fire. Try rolling in wraps, using pita bread or tortillas - add some lettuce, tomato slices and mayo ( or any sauce of your choice) and you can have a wonderful lunch with the leftovers!

Spinach Soup ( Daal)

This Spinach Daal is a Classic Indian recipe, a staple in most Indian house holds for centuries. I have added spinach - also called Palak in India, to this daal, but this soup tastes great even without the spinach. ." Daal" means "boiled lentils". This recipe combines lentils and spring spinach to make a simple, delicious dish that may be served with rice or bread. If you can't get hold of fresh spinach, frozen can be used as well.
The recipe includes garlic, ginger, and turmeric which have been shown to contain cancer-fighting substances. Lentils are full of protien, and so this easy-to-make, delicious dish is a super health-booster, too. What a great combination: healthy, full of protein and fabulous flavors, and it also happens to be vegan!
Serves 4-6

1 cup white urid or urad daal (Ivory letils) - or any other lentil of your choice, picked over and rinsed
6 cups water, plus more if needed
1/2 pound spinach, washed and finely chopped (preferably fresh, but frozen can work)
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 medium green chilli peppers, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1fresh or dry red chilli 
2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced (optional)
a pinch of asafetida ;
more salt to taste
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

In a large pot over medium - high heat combine the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then add ginger, turmeric, 3/4 of the green chiles, and all of the tomatoes, if using. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the lentils are extremely soft. You may need to add a bit more water during the cooking process to keep the lentils soupy. Use an immersion blender to make a smooth consistency. Add spinach, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in the salt.
In a separate pan, heat the butter or oil, mustard and cumin and fry until the cumin seeds start to pop. Now add garlic, and remaining green chilis, red chili (and asafetida if you're using it) and fry for another 1 minute, till golden. Taste and add more asafetida if you like. Add this butter mixture to the lentils and allow to cook for another five minutes. Taste, and season with more salt if needed. I also enjoyed a touch of lemon juice added at this point. Serve topped with the cilantro.
Eat as a soup, or serve with rice or roti.

This Delicious daal is extremely healthy and nutritious. Try substituting the spinach with a big bunch of dill, or 1/2 lb kale, or mustard leaves - for a variation.  Substitute the garlic with a quarter chopped onion or use both.

Spiced Chai - The Veritable 'cuppa tea'

Chai is simply the generic word for tea in Hindi and many other languages around the world, and was adopted into British slang as "cha" or "char".  Although coffee is a more popular beverage in South India, Chai is ubiquitous throughout South Asia, where street vendors called "chai wallahs" can be found on almost every street.
The traditional chai-brewing process boils or simmers the tea leaves over sustained heat, instead of steeping them in preheated water as it cools down. 
The simplest traditional method of preparing 'spiced chai' or 'masala chai' is to actively simmer or boil a mixture of milk and water with loose leaf tea, sweeteners, and whole spices. Indian markets all over the world sell various brands of "chai masala," for this purpose, though many households blend their own. The solid tea and spice residues are strained off from the chai before serving.
The method may vary according to taste or local custom: for example, some households may combine all of the ingredients together at the start, bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately strain and serve; others may leave the mixture simmering for a longer amount of time, or begin by bringing the tea leaves to a boil and only add the spices toward the end (or vice-versa). There is no fixed recipe for masala chai and many families have their own versions of the tea. The tea leaves steep in the hot water long enough to extract intense flavor. Because of the large range of possible variations, masala chai can be considered a class of tea rather than a specific kind. However, all masala chai has the following four basic components: Tea, Milk, Sweetener and spices
Here is my favorite recipe for Masala Chai.  Try it out and tell me what you think!

Serves 2

2 tsp black tea leaves or dust.
2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1 inch fresh ginger, crushed or 1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cardomom powder
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp fennel powder
Sugar or sweetener to taste

In a saucepan, add water and all the spices and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, add the tea leaves and simmer for a few minutes.  Add milk, and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils,turn off the heat, and cover the saucepan for 2 minutes.  Pour the tea through a strainer, into 2 cups.  If the tea looks too strong, add a little milk, until it is a creamy red/brown color.  Add sweetener, stir and enjoy!

Authors note:
I like to use fresh ginger and freshly ground spices in my tea, for best flavor, however ready ground spices can be used. Ready Chai masala is conveniently available in Indian Stores. For a simpler variation, try using just the ginger ( omit all the other spices).  Hot Ginger tea is soooo good to drink during these cold winter months and is great for a cough and cold.

Potatoes with Fenugreek

Also called Aaloo Methi, This poular Indian dish is is so tasty that you will find it difficult to stop eating once you start! I guarantee that it will be a hit dish to serve at a dinner party.  You would think that this dish would be really bitter, but it is not bitter at all. The spices offset the flavor beautifully.Fenugreek is used both as a herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed). It is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop. It is frequently used in Indian cooking. This dish can be made dry or served slightly mashed. Both versions are shown.  Serve this dish with hot naans or rotis - and experience the flavor!  
Serves 4
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen fenugreek leaves (cleaned, washed and finely chopped)
2-3 Potatoes medium peeled and cut into cubes, or mashed for a softer texture.
1 onion,chopped
1 medium tomato,chopped
1-2 flakes of garlic,crushed
1 inch ginger, crushed.
Salt To Taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds 
2 green chillis
2 whole dry red chillis cut into pieces(optional)
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil

Shown above is the dry version - using chopped boiled potatoes.

Heat the oil, add onion, crushed garlic, crushed ginger and fry until brown. Add cumin seeds,green chillis and dry red chillis.
When cumin seeds sputter and chillis turn slightly brown add turmeric, chilli powder and chopped tomato. Sauté for a few minutes
Now add potatoes and salt, and mix well. Cover and cook till potatoes are half done on a medium flame- add a little water if necessary.
Add fenugreek leaves and cook on a medium flame till done and till water is fully absorbed.
Serve the aloo methi hot with chapatis or naans.
Author's Note:
It is easier to use frozen fenugreek leaves- available in any Indian Store. They are already cleaned and chopped. Adjust the chillis to make this dish as hot/mild as you like. If you don't have any fresh or dry chillis, try using chilli powder or paprika instead.  This dish can be made with out the onion as well, however I find that the crunch of the onion adds to the flavor and texture of this dish.

Tandoori Chicken - Clay Oven Roasted Chicken

Chicken Tandoori is a roasted Indian chicken delicacy. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices and seasoned with tandoori masala powder. It is moderately hot/spicy, but the heat is toned down to a mild taste if necessary. Cayenne pepper, red chili powder or usually Kashmiri red chilli powder is used to give it a fiery red hue. A higher amount of Turmeric produces an orange color. In some modern versions, both red and yellow food colourings are used. It is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in a clay oven (tandoor), but since we all (read I) don't always have access to one - it can also be prepared on a traditional Charcoal or gas grill.

Tandoori Chicken is said to have originated with a man named Kundan Lal Gujral, who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Northern India, before the partition of British India.  While trying out new recipes to keep his patrons interested, Gujral tried cooking chicken in tandoors (clay ovens) used by locals until then to cook naans (bread). The tandoors are bell-shaped ovens, set into the earth and fired with wood or charcoal reaching temperatures of about 900 degrees. Gujral was able to cook the tender chickens in these ovens making them succulent inside and crispy outside.
After the partition in 1947 Gujral found himself one among many Hindu refugees fleeing the rioting in the North, soon to become Pakistan,  by moving to India. He moved his restaurant to Delhi- which became the Capital of India.
The fame of Tandoori Chicken led to many derivatives like Chicken Tikka (small cubes of chicken marinated, and then roasted on a skewer) and eventually the Indian dish popularized in Britain - Chicken Tikka Masala, commonly found in menus in Indian restaurants all over the world
When I was in India, I never felt the need to make Tandoori Chicken at home, since it was so easily available all over the country.  Now, here in the US, I found myself yearning for the taste of Authentic Tandoori Chicken.  So began my search  - and here is what I came up with after many trials and different recipes - to be closest in taste.  Of course the wonderful taste of the clay oven with its glowing coals, can not be reproduced by the grill, but it comes darn near when using a good charcoal grill.  In a pinch, I have used the gas grill for parties with great results too!


1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into serving pieces, skinned and trimmed of all visible fat 
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or malt vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and grated or crushed ginger root
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
Vegetable  or Olive oil, for brushing
Fresh chopped cilantro to garnish
Slices of  red onion, tomato and lemon, for garnish

Prick the flesh of the chicken all over with a fork. Then, using a sharp knife, cut slashes in the flesh to allow the marinade to penetrate. Place the chicken in a large, plastic or glass shallow dish - or zip-lock bag.
In a glass bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice or vinegar, garlic, ginger, cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and salt. Stir until well-mixed, then pour the mixture over the chicken and rub it into the flesh, turning the chicken several times. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.
The chicken may be grilled on charcoal or gas or roasted in an oven. If using a charcoal grill, prepare a fire for direct-heat cooking. Position the grill rack 5 inches from the fire. Allow the coals to burn until white ash covers them and the heat is moderate.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, pressing lightly to extract excess marinade, and brush with oil. Place the chicken pieces on a well-oiled grill rack and; grill, covered, with the vents open, turning 3 or 4 times, 45 minutes or until the juices run clear when a piece is pierced near the bone with a knife. 
If roasting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan, brush with oil, and cook, turning once, 25 to 30 minutes until the juices run clear when a piece is pierced near the bone with a knife.
Serve with slices of grilled red onion, green pepper, tomato,chopped cilantro, lemon juice and cilantro chutney.

You can easily grill Tandoori chicken on a gas grill.  You will find that gas cooks them more evenly and quicker.  Left over tandoori chicken makes a wonderful  Chicken Salad. Simply cut into cubes/strips and add low fat mayo, celery, salt, pepper and parsley flakes.(Or add your own choice of salad mix).


Falooda or Faluda can be called the equivalent of the term 'Sundae' and is a popular everage in South Asia made primarily by mixing rose syrup with vermicelli and tapioca seeds along with either milk or water. Falooda is an adaptation of the Middle Eastern dessert 'Faloodeh' and was brought to the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal Empire rule. Basil seeds, tutti frutti, sugar, and ice cream may be added. The rose syrup may be substituted with another flavored base to produce kesar (saffron), mango, chocolate, and fig Falooda.

Falooda is a summer drink throughout India, Pakistan, SriLanka, Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh and Middle Eastern countries and is readily available in hotels and on Beach stalls. A variant is falooda kulfi, where falooda and kulfi- a special kind of Ice cream - are served together with a syrup. Falooda is very similar to the Thai drink Nam Manglak, which is made from basil seeds mixed with sugar, water, and rose water. It is also easily available in Indian Restaurants world wide.

Growing up I remember it as a dessert treat, and I cannot recall a single person who does not like at least one version of it.

Serves 2
Whole Milk or Low Fat Milk - 2 cups
Basil Seeds – 1/2 - 1 tsp
Vanilla Ice Cream – 1/2 cup
Vermicelli – handful
Rose or Saffron Syrup – 5 tbsp (Saffron Syrup recipe below)
Sugar – 1 1/2 tbsp or to taste
Cardamom Powder - 1 pinch
Pistachios – 1 tsp (coarsely ground), to garnish
Strawberry Jello - Readymade, or Homemade
Vanilla Ice Cream or Indian Kulfi- 2 1/2 scoops, for serving

Soak the basil seeds in water for 30 mins - 2 hours. Boil 2 cups of water and add vermicelli - boil for 3 minutes. Heat the milk and bring to a slow boil. Add cardamom powder, sugar and rose syrup to the milk and mix well. Strain the vermicelli and add it to the milk. Cool to room temperature, and place in the refrigerator for a few hours. Strain the basil seeds and add to the chilled milk mixture. Now add 1/2 scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream or Malai Kulfi and dissolve it in the milk.
In a couple of tall glasses, add 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream or Kulfi and then pour the chilled milk mixture over it. Insert a long spoon and garnish with the coarsely ground pistachios and serve immediately.

Authors Note:
Rose Syrup is easily available in many Indian Stores(try the Ruh Afzah brand), but Saffron syrup is easily made at home, and is really tasty. Vermicelli and Basil Seeds are readily available in any Store. Kulfi can be made at home, and I will cover this in another Recipe, but it is also easily available in Indian Stores. Kulfi comes in a variety of flavors - Malai or Cream, Rose, Tutti Fruiti, Kesar(Safron) or Pistachio - just take your pick.

Saffron Syrup - Steep a pinch of saffron in some hot water, then simmer it in a pot with equal parts saffron water and sugar until it thickens into a simple syrup. Strain and discard the saffron, then chill the syrup. This will keep for a very long time in the fridge.


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