Shuchi Mittal shows us a variation of a sweet Indian dessert.
By Shuchi Mittal
Today, I am told, is sticky bun day. And no, it’s not a joke.
So while I was trying to concoct a beer shooter for my upcoming business launch party (Yes! 29 Calories is soon launching a food consulting business in NYC – but more on that later), I thought why not make a bread based ‘sticky’ dessert instead and serve it in tall shot glass. Just to honor the day you know.
So I set out to make miniature Shahi Toasts (in my love for everything miniature). Another delectable Indian dessert made of fried bread, cooked thickened milk and sugar. I got to thinking that the Indian population would probably be in deep despair if their supply of milk (or cows rather) was cut short. Most Indian desserts I know use milk in one form or another. Definitely not a country for the lactose intolerant!
Anyway, I decided to bake the bread instead of frying, left out any oil/butter, and garnished with coconut, pine nut and cranberry mixture (instead of the usual pistachios) for a slight crunch. The result was this. Do give it a try and let me know what you thought!
In the excitement I forgot to cook dinner. Well, we have dessert. I suppose we’ll survive.
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cardamom, crushed
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 small wheat bun or 1 brown bread, cut into 0.5 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon coconut flakes
- I teaspoon pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 400 F and toast the pieces of bread till crisp and brown, approximately 20-25 minutes. Also put the ingredients for garnish in a baking dish and bake for 5-10 minutes till the coconut turns brown. Keep both aside to cool.
- In parallel, put the ingredients for the milk base in a pan and bring to boil. Stir occasionally and cook till the milk begins to thicken and becomes half the initial volume. Approximately 25-30 minutes.
- Heat the water and sugar in another pan and cook till the syrup gets a viscous consistency, enough to soak the pieces of bread.
- Fill ½ a shot glass with the milk base.
- Dip the pieces of bread in the sugar syrup for 2-3 minutes.
- Put 3-4 pieces on a bamboo skewer, pour some of the remaining milk base on the bread and insert into the shot glass such that half the pieces of bread are dipped in the milk base.
- Sprinkle with a bit of garnish and chill for 1-2 hours before serving.
Shuchi cooks with the heart of a poet. Banker turned chef, she runs the 29. Private Kitchen in NYC focusing on social tasting events, dining experiences and small-scale private events. Using simple & wholesome ingredients, she likes to re-invent homemade Indian flavors into modern tapas & small plates. Her dream? To cook, feed, write, and eventually open her own communal dining cafe - with a published recipe book on the stands.