Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Pistachio and Chocolate Kachori

Back along I was sent some of the ingredients to make a couple of the recipes from Indian-Inspired Desserts by Roopa Rawal of Devnaa. I’ve already posted the chocolate and hazelnut ladoo which turned out brilliantly, but although I made these pistachio and chocolate kachori a while ago, I’ve got a little behind with my posting. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never eaten kachori before, but the recipe for pistachio and chocolate cheese balls, flavoured with cardamom and fried inside pastry cases sounded delicious. However, I was a little apprehensive about making them as it was a fairly elaborate process and things could go wrong at any stage and there were quite a few stages: 

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Chocolate and Hazelnut Ladoo

Chocolates | 3rd September 2013 | By

 Indian sweets have long held a fascination for me, they are so very different to our own. I got my first taste of them when I was a student living in London where a couple of Indian sweet shops were located just around the corner from the faculty building. Later on, living in the Midlands, I was surrounded by balti houses and Indian supermarkets so I was able to indulge from time to time. Now I live back home in Cornwall, I no longer have that option. Luckily Devnaa, an online purveyor of Indian inspired confectionery, has come to the rescue. Indian-Inspired Desserts, their book written by co-founder Roopa Rawal enables me to make my own.

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Blackberry, Coconut & Rose Barfi – Best of British, London

To me, food in London means two things and takes me straight back to my student days. Firstly, high end treats for special occasions like birthdays and graduation. I remember the excitement of tea at the Ritz &amp tea at the Grosvenor, not something a girl from a remote Cornish village had ever experienced before. Secondly and much more frequently, I made use of the abundance of good cheap Indian eats in and around the back of Euston Station – this may account for my occasional lateness to lectures. It was here I was introduced to Indian sweets and was smitten by their exotic flavours. So when Fiona of London Unattached set this month’s Best of British challenge as “what does London food mean to you”, Indian sweets were the first thing that sprang to mind.

I was dying to have a go at making some Indian sweets after receiving Indian-Inspired Desserts by Roopa Rawal (watch this space for a forthcoming exciting giveaway). So leafing through the book, it was just a matter of picking which one. Because I still have some rose syrup left, the coconut and rose barfi caught my eye. That was the one I wanted to start with, but with the addition of some fruit to offset the sweetness a little and to give some natural colour. Hmmm, what’s in season? Well it’s been a while since I last got scratched arms and purple stained fingers, but blackberries it had to be. I managed to pick a tub full from the hedgerows and made my way back home with glee.

This is how I made my first ever barfi:

  • Pureed 300g blackberries with a stick blender & rubbed through a sieve to extract the juice into a medium heavy based saucepan.
  • Added a 387g tin of condensed milk and warmed it up on a low heat, stirring all the while.
  • Added 4 tbsp rose syrup.
  • Increased the heat a little and added 200g of milk powder. Whisked until all lumps had disappeared.
  • Added 40g desiccated coconut and continued to stir.
  • Cooked for about an hour, stirring every few minutes until the mixture looked fairly dry and as though it might be thick enough to set.
  • Spooned into a 2 lb loaf tin lined with baking paper and smoothed down with the back of a spoon.
  • Crossed fingers and hoped it would set.
  • Bingo, after a few hours it had well and truly set.
  • Melted 30g dark chocolate (G&B Cook’s 72%) in a bowl over hot water.
  • Turned out onto a board.
  • Drizzled teaspoonfuls of the melted chocolate over the barfi.
  • Cut into 32 squares

I was thrilled at the result; my barfi tasted like a true Indian sweet, despite the fact that blackberries may never have been used before. The texture was perfect too. The blackberry flavour was very much present and the rose though subtle, did not go unnoticed. The chocolate drizzle added another flavour dimension and helped counteract the sweetness. Having said that, they weren’t as sweet as I had imagined they would be. They featured at a dinner party I recently held for friends and were well received.

Best of British is a monthly challenge showcasing the best of what British food has to offer in various counties or regions around the UK. The challenge is sponsored by The Face of New World Appliances and currently has a £50 Amazon voucher prize to give to a winning entry each month. Here are the previous regional entries: Cornwall, Scotland, Yorkshire.

As I used freshly picked blackberries, I’m also entering this into Simple & In Season, a monthly blogging event created by Ren of Fabulicious Food and this month hosted by Katie Bryson of Feeding Boys and a Firefighter.

I’m also submitting this to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays – a challenge embracing the whole concept of making everything from scratch.