The last time there was a post that had the word “food” in its title was last year on Uruka and that was because I’d wanted to post a recipe in it: that of my Dad’s super special chicken curry (to be made just once a year, and that too on a certain day in January). And this time too, I want to post a recipe for a perfect first day of the year.
Only I am no culinary genius. Foodie: guilty. Finicky: guiltier still. But sophisticated cook, never. Inspite of reading like a million recipes in all the cooking blogs I have added to my reader, I don’t ever try them out. I don’t follow the golden rule of measurements, nor use exact ingredients. But I love the whole act of creating something for the sole purpose of satiating someone’s gastronomic needs. More often than not, that “someone” is myself.
Although it had been a while since I had made an entry into the kitchen, this time, when this other part of my soul I call Ainu, demanded that I make comfort food for her, I took it upon me to make the best out of it. So while my 31st was spent shopping for ingredients (did I mention I enjoy that process as much as I enjoy cooking itself?), my 1st was spent cooking stuff for my sister right from the moment I woke up.
On the menu? Not-so-special chicken with fresh coriander with pulao, coffee pudding with a chocolate topping, and the best part: potato chips with a cheese dip and fresh salsa, and episode after episode of Castle.
Perfect? You bet.
I will not talk about the chicken curry and the pulao. You can’t browse the internet for recipes without hitting (literally!) on one of the million recipes floating around. But the coffee pudding was so easy-peasy I couldn’t help sharing it with you. And just so you know, this is authentic Sam’s delight, which means, I don’t remember getting this recipe from any other source.
Well. All you do is take three slices of bread, and slice off their brown edges. Cut each slice into four pieces and toss them into a bowl.
Then you go ahead make your regular mug of coffee (note the “mug” instead of cup). I used a Viennese blend of crushed beans that I then filtered into a whole mug of milk, but you can use the standard Nescafe (if you are a Bru devotee, don’t talk to me). Add in sugar as per your taste, like you would, to sweeten your coffee. I added two heaped teaspoons, because I figured the chocolate would add to the sweetness anyway. Pour the coffee into the bowl with the bread pieces, and let the bread soak in the coffee. Traditionally the bread should stand in the milk for a few hours so there are no crumbs left, but try telling that to a greedy tummy yelling for instant pudding.
Beat three eggs with a beater into a nice mellow yellow heap of bubbles, and pour it into the bowl along with the bread and the milk. Also pour in a small teaspoonful of vanilla essence into the mix. Don’t worry if it looks runny. The lighter the mix is, the more melt-in-the-mouth your pudding will end up.
Take an oven proof glass bowl with a fitted lid, and smear its sides and base with some good ol’ butter. That’s where our pudding will go in.
This next bit is my favorite part. Take a big slab of chocolate. I used my favorite plain Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. Now don’t ask me the quantity, but I used the one that cost me 60 bucks. Cautionary note: Don’t put in chocolate that you intend to melt, into the fridge the previous night. It took me and Ainu everything short of breaking it with a hammer to get it to behave and break itself into small pieces decent enough to fit into the bowl I was melting it in. Place a saucepan of water on the stove and when it starts getting warm, place the smaller steel bowl with the chocolate, into the water. Don’t try this if you don’t have a pair of tongs or are blessed with steel hands that are immune to steam. Cautionary note again: Don’t be naive like me and try add in milk to make the melting chocolate thinner. The chocolate will soak up the milk and turn crumbly if you do so.
Ideally, you pour in the melted chocolate into the butter-smeared glass vessel. As for me, I had to scoop my “melted” chocolate with a spoon and then press it to the base and then run the base of a spoon over it to make sure it is smooth. Pour the bread-coffee-egg mix over the chocolate base. Put it into the microwave with the lid on. This is to make sure your pudding is all soft and soggy, the way I like it at least. Microwave for 5 mins on HIGH. Wait in anticipation for all of five minutes.
Voila! Once the pudding is done, flip it onto a dish, so the chocolate is on top. Dig a fork into it, put it in your mouth and forget the fact that it is scalding hot. Hallelujah. If you’re not closing your eyes and grinning like an idiot, call me one. Idiot that is. Because that’s exactly what I did.
For what happened next, read my next post 🙂