Fusion Indian caramel flan

Caramel, the name itself will get you imagining a beautiful golden river of sugar . Endless are the desserts which have caramel incorporated into them. Its a world wide favourite. Be it the salted caramel icecream or the luscious flans. Not to forget the alpenliebe caramel candy or the carmello cadbury chocolate both my favourites. Call this a flan, or a caramel custard , or a pudding, this dessert is always drool worthy.
Today’s recipe is my version of the caramel flan with a indian twist to it.

I have added cardamon and saffron with rose essence highlighting the pudding.
Recalling childhood days when we did not own an oven. Mummy made this pudding by steaming it . Of course she did not call it a flan, instead named it as bedhe ji pudding( egg pudding). And she always used cardamom as a flavoring . I never tried making this delicious pudding, only because either my mom or my sister always made this on my trips to India. This custard is also very popular in Parsi cuisine, called the lagna nu custard, normally served during weddings. The Parsi variation is more richly made. One of the best caramel custard pudding,I have ever eaten would be at the Dorabjee and sons Restaurant which is situated at dastur meher road , Pune. You can find the best authentic Parsi food here.
In recent years I have tried many receipes to get a good caramel flan, and this method is top rated in my diary.This flan be made by either baking it in an oven using a water bath, or by steaming it directly in a steamer.
Do try this recipe and relish it cold.

3 cups of full fat milk
200 ml condensed milk
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs( at room temperature)
1/2 tsp saffrons strands soaked in a little hot water
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp rose essence

1. Boil milk and condensed milk together with the cardamom powder. Once it boils, shut the flame and keep aside. Cool completely.
2. To make the caramel, put 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a pan and heat on high heat untill sugar melts and starts browning .At this point lower the heat and allow the sugar to turn to a beautiful golden brown liquid. Try not to stir in between. Transfer this caramel to either one big oven proof dish or divide it into 2 dishes. Allow the caramel to cool.
3. Beat 4 eggs lightly and add to the cool milk mixture. Mix well and strain this mixture.
4. Add the saffron liquid and rose essence to the milk and egg mixture.
5. Pour into the caramelized bowls , cover the bowls with aluminium foil .
Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees celcius for 60 mins.
Cool completely before transferring to the fridge..

Overturn the caramel onto a serving platter at the time of serving.

Garnish with sliced almonds and pistas.

* For the water bath baking, I put the flan dishes in a baking tray and poured hot water into the tray , to come upto 1/4 level of the dishes.
Using this method, the flan does not dry up and retains its moisture.

Beetroot Halwa

Awesome rainy weather calls for food which is rich, sweet and hot. Watching the rains pitter pattering from the comfort of our home gives all of us a warm comfortable feeling, of course childhood days of running around in the rains, deliberately jumping into puddles of rain water just for the fun of it are treasured and fun filled memories.

Foods which are energy giving are of course preferred during winters and monsoons, which brings us to the recipe I will be sharing today with you, beetroot halwa. This dish was never cooked at home maybe because mummy normally stuck to sindhi cuisine, of which she was master chef. But beetroot was definitely served in the form of salad, be it the simple garden salad which consisted of boiled beet cut into circles, topped with grated carrot, sliced red onion and dressed with salt, pepper and a squirt of lime juice and garnished with freshly cut corriander leaves, or in a boiled vegetable salad tossed with homemade mayonnaise, to which it imparted a lovely pink colour. Those were the basic salads which were served at home while we were kids, simplicity being the norm in the good old days. The other form of beetroot which I personally love to this day , is the beetroot cutlet served at the Priya restaurant , main street.. Pune. No visit to Pune is complete without me eating this wholesome cutlet, still served exactly the same way it was served in the early seventies, deep fried crispy goodness enclosing a soft sticky beetroot mixture, slightly sweet, topped with shredded lettuce leaves, and sweet tomato sauce and spicy green chutney, the balance of flavours is amazing.This amazing root is full of vitamins and is a super healthy vegetable, advised by doctors to consume on a regular basis,


especially for those who are anemic Back to the recipe of beetroot halwa, I came across this simple recipe while browsing the net , changed it to my liking, made it and loved it. It is unbelievably simple to make. Best had chilled, and in small servings. Do try this delicious recipe .

Beetroot Halwa


250 gms peeled and grated beetroot

1 cup milk

2 tbsps ghee

3 tbsps sugar or to taste

2 tbsps condensed milk

1/4 cup of coarsely chopped nuts( cashew nuts, almonds and some pistas)

extra nuts finely chopped for garnish

1 tsp poppy seeds for garnish

1/2 tsp cardamon powder


1.. Heat one tbsp of ghee in a non stick pan and add grated beetroot.

2.. Saute till moisture starts evaporating and ghee separates from the beet.

3.. Add the milk and cook on a medium flame till it reduces and thickens.

4.. Add sugar at this point and the condensed milk, stir frequently till the liquid reduces totally, and the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan..

5.. In a separate pan, heat one tbsp of ghee and add the coarsely chopped nuts and saute till light golden brown. Add the nuts along with the ghee to the halwa. mix well and add the cardamon powder.

6.. Halwa ready to be served .

7.. Dust with the finely chopped nuts and poppy seeds.

Cocoapple barfi

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, we have grown up hearing this phrase. Apples have formed their own niche in the dessert world. Who can resist a warm apple pie with a rich aroma of cinnamon and topped with a scoop of vanilla icecream? or a buttery crisp apple crumble .. comfort food at its best. Even the worlds best known vinegar is apple cider vinegar. Easily available all over the world in different varieties such as granny smith, gala, red delicious etc. Each country having their own favourite recipes for apples.

Apples also played an important part in sindhi weddings many years ago, all the fruit hampers sent to the grooms home would surely include at least two dozen apples, among other fruit. Red kashmiri apples were considered the best. My mother used to make an awesome apple murbo, or apple preserve made in sindhi style using saffron, cardamom and sugar. The memory of this murbo can still make my mouth water, chunks of apples or mango in a thick sugar syrup infused with strands of saffron and cardamon seeds. Mummy usually gave us murbo to eat with a phiki koki, saltless sindhi koki or flat bread. Murbo was also my amma( grandmom’s) favourite.

Many of us familiar with apple kheer or rabri. But apple in a barfi form was something I had never thought of , until I stumbled across the recipe on internet recently. I tried it and liked it, so today i would like to share this recipe with you, do try it. Its a very simple recipe, easy to make and best eaten chilled.

Cocoapple barfi


3/4 cup of fresh coconut

1 1/2 cup of grated red apple

1/2 cup dancow milk powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp saffron strands soaked in a little hot water

1/4 cup chopped nuts( almonds and pistas)

1/2 tsp cardamom



1 tsp of kewra water or few drops rose essence

2 tbsps ghee


  1. Heat a pan and roast the coconut till the colour changes slightly and there is a nice coconutty fragrance in your kitchen…keep aside in a bowl.
  2. . In the same pan, add 2 tbsps of ghee and add the grated apples to the pan, saute on medium heat until the liquid evaporates from the apples, at this point You can listen to some old bollywood songs..
  3. . Add the milk powder, sugar and coconut to the apple mixture in the pan, and keep stirring till the barfi starts coming together and leaves the sides of the pan.
  4. .Add the soaked saffron strands and cardamom and stir .
  5. Lastly add the nuts and kewra water. and continue stirring until ghee separates.
  6. Pour onto a greased tray and top with finely chopped nuts or varkh..
  7. Cool completely and refrigerate.
  8. This barfi has a soft texture , so is rather delicate, hence it is best served chilled.