’Tis the season for sweet bites – The Indian Express

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“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is an old saying that we’ve all heard. But what holds good for me is a “sweet tooth for a sweet dish”. Owing to this sweet tooth of mine, whenever I go for a party or a feast I keep an eye out for all that is on display at the dessert counter. If I had my way, I would start the meal with the dessert and maybe end it too with more such sweet concoctions. If only I could escape the forbidding eyes of my dear wife.

That’s why October to December is my favourite time of the year. Dussehra, Diwali, Bhai Dooj, followed by Christmas and the New Year Day bring with them a host of desserts and sweets which last for days and days for us to savour. I eagerly wait for these days of festivities when I can freely feast on these goodies without having to worry about any witnesses who may be summoned by my wife later.

This week, let’s try our hand at some old desserts with a twist. Lately, I was in Oman for opening one of my restaurants. During the recruitment process, I asked one of the chefs to make some nice dessert. He made the traditional dessert Omali, which, to my surprise, was their version of our very old bread-and-butter pudding. It is one of the all-time classic puddings. Omali was creamy and a little runny, but had lots of dry fruits. For your reference “Omali “means “O mother” in Arabic as I was told by the chef.

Whenever I have the urge to eat bread-and-butter pudding but there is no time to make it, I simply break bread into pieces in a glass of warm, sweetened milk with cardamom essence and eat it. Do try it sometime. I am sure you’ll love it. One can even substitute bread with crisp rusk pieces.

At one of the Diwali dinners hosted by us, I made bread-and-butter pudding with blueberry which was an instant hit with the guests. To give the dessert a healthy twist, I made it with brown bread and used sugar-free powder.

The other dessert close to my heart is the besan burfi that my mother makes. Since childhood, we have enjoyed this delicacy as my mother would insist it was good for health in winter and kept cough and cold at bay. This particular besan barfi can be stored in an airtight container and you can enjoy it for many days with your tea or milk. You can also heat it in a microwave for a few seconds and relish it as a soft, slightly molten dessert.

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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