>> Saturday, September 25, 2010
Looks like I didn't make it to the next round of Project Food Blog. Originally, I thought I did because I was listed first on the winners announced page. Then when I tried submitting, it told me I didn't make it. Did anybody else have this confusion? Or am I just dumb? Why would Foodbuzz list me on the winners announced page if I didn't make it?
Well I ended up making an entry anyway, which is ok because I burnt them. Round two was to tackle a classic ethnic dish you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar making. Immediately I was thinking Indian or Asian of some sort. My friend suggested samosas. Then she thought of gulab jamun. The challenge never specified dinner or dessert, and gulab jamun is a classic Indian dessert. When I read I had to use khova, I knew this made me a little uneasy. With no Indian stores anywhere close, I opted to make my own.
Khova is milk cooked down to a paste-like consistency, which takes between 1-2 hours, depending on how much milk you are reducing. This made me nervous because either my milk was going to burn really bad or I wouldn't get the correct consistency. Who wants to waste all that milk and time for nothing? The recipe I used (found at Cooking 4 All Seasons) called for 1.5 liters, which is about 6 cups of milk. Yikes. Since it's just me, I cut the recipe in half and used 3 cups, which is 3/4 quart. My khova took about 75 minutes to make, and I was getting excited towards the end because it actually looked like khova. I found a nice pictorial reference at Flavours and Tastes.
Look at how tiny! 3 cups of milk = 1/4 cup khova
Then you mix your fresh khova with some flour and baking soda and divide into small balls. While you are waiting for the oil to heat up, make your syrup. Boil together sugar and water. Then add cardamon and rose water (ick). I thought I had ground cardamon but realized it was actually coriander. Fortunately, I had green cardamon pods from Marx Food a lonngggg time ago, so I brought out my mortal and pestle and crushed them.
Since I only made four balls, I fried them all at once. They were in about two minutes when I realized they were burnt. Crap. I mixed them with the syrup anyway. Maybe I could eat the inside. Turns out I put too much cardamon in the syrup, so it was a little overpowering. I only took a picture of the inside because I'm too embarrassed to show them burnt. I guess there's always next time, right?
The gulab jamun recipe I used was from Aayi's Recipes. Please check out her blog for pictures of yummy, not burnt gulab jamun.