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Back to old Cochin flavours

Sunitha Divakaran, a master chef at `The Brunton Boatyard' shares with us some of the recipes, in which the unique Fort Cochin flavours from the past come alive.


Chutney Mary's pudding

TRADITION NEVER gets outmoded. In life and in food. We tend to go back to Granny's recipes every time there's a family get together. Things new attract us all right but the old lingers, and with time they become precious. We may have Chinese, Thai and Lebanese food, but the taste of time-tested dishes is never jaded.

Old Fort Kochi was a crucible of several cultures. The Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, British and the Jews made it their home for brief periods in history. Most of them came as traders, lured by the wonders of the Malabar Coast and her spices. As they settled here, they added to their culinary traditions local ingredients, thus giving birth to an entirely distinct flavour.

Hence we have a simple Anglo Indian dessert- Chutney Mary's pudding, an old Dutch recipe, `Pannekoek' and a Malabari Muslim Banana Dessert.

Chutney Mary's Pudding

Ingredients
Eggs-2
Sugar -1/2-cup
Vanilla essence- 1tsp
Milk-2cups
Cooked rice-1cup
Raisins-1/4-cup
Nutmeg powder- 1/4 tsp.
A pinch of salt

Method

In a bowl beat the first three ingredients well with a pinch of salt.

Add the milk, rice, raisins and nutmeg powder.

Pour into a buttered pudding mould and bake it at 150c for 50 minutes in a water bath.


Pannekoek or Dutch pancake

Remove it from the oven and serve it warm or chilled.

(A pressure cooker can be used instead of an oven. Cover the mould well with butter paper and foil and cook for 25 minutes.)

`Pannekoek' or Dutch Pancakes with a filling.

Pancakes are called `Pannekoek' in Dutch, which is a slightly heavier version of the French pancake.

Ingredients

Eggs-4
Milk-1/2 cup
Water-1/2cup
Ghee-2 tspn
Vanilla extract-1tspn
Sugar- 2tbspn
Refined flour-1 cup

A pinch of salt

Method

Beat all the ingredients except the flour.

Slowly fold in the flour a little at a time till you get a thin batter. Allow resting the batter for 15-20minutes.Heat a skillet or a non-stick pan. Pour in a ladle of the batter and swirl it around in the pan so that you get a thin coating on the pan. Cook for 15seconds; remove it to a warm plate.

Continue the process with the whole batter. These pancakes can be served with a stuffing of either grated coconut with sugar, bananas or stewed seasonal fruits.

Pazham Nirachathu (Malabar Muslim)

Ingredients

Ripe bananas-4
Grated coconut-1cup
Grated jaggery -1/2 cup
Cardamom powder-1tspn
Ghee - 4 tbsp

Method


Malabar Muslim banana dessert.

Steam the bananas. Mix the next three ingredients and place in a pan and cook till the coconut is coated with the jaggery syrup. Peel and slit the steamed bananas lengthwise and stuff it with the candied coconut. Heat ghee in a pan and shallow fry the banana to golden brown and serve it warm. A scoop of vanilla ice cream can be added to make it more delicious.

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