Posts Tagged ‘Sweet’

Chai Spice Medjool Date mitai using Arvinda's Chai Masala

Chai Spice Medjool Date mitai using Arvinda’s Chai Masala

Over the weekend we celebrated Diwali, India’s festival of lights. The celebrations are vibrant, joyous and lit with illuminated tiny lamps called diyas. It is a custom to cook many varieties of snacks and sweets and share them with loved ones.

Although this is the only time of year we eat specific Indian sweets (this is definitely a time of year for treats!) I wanted to make something different as well as “healthy”, if you can call a sweet treat that! Maybe the word I’m looking for is healthier than the typical syrupy and overly sugary Indian mithai (sweets) we often indulge in.



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Sesame Seed Sweet with Turmeric ~ Til Ladoo

Sesame Seed Sweet with Turmeric ~ Til Ladoo

January 14th, 2013 marks an auspicious day in India called Makar Sankranti, a harvest festival celebrated in northern India to mark the beginning of the growing season and the joyous kite flying festival celebrated in the central India. If you saw the film (or read the book) The Kite Runner, you will remember the children trying to “cut off” each other’s kites, which is also practiced in India on this day.


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Greek yogurt makes this one of the easiest Indian desserts to prepare. I love it!

Greek yogurt has made life so easy! It’s my perfect little secret for making Creamy Chai Spiced Shrikhandmy one and only favourite Indian dessert which I make only once every year…on my birthday!


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Indian Spiced Classic French Macarons: Chai Spiced Coconut Cream Cheese Macaron (front) and Garam Masala Chocolate Macaron (back).

Last year during the holiday season everyone was talking French Macarons. After watching the film Kings of Pastry, I was overwhelmingly inspired to take on the challenge to serve my guests at a holiday dinner party Classic French Macarons—but Indian-style!

If you saw Kings of Pastry you too would be aroused by their mouth-watering utterly majestic and artful hand-crafted sweets and be inspired to take on a feat of your own in the kitchen. These genius pastry chefs pour their hearts and souls into the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition putting their lives and loves on hold to win the title of Best Craftsman in France.

That film was enough inspiration to keep me up till midnight slaving over a hot oven in my first attempt at making my Indian-spiced macarons. A complete failure that was!


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Chai Spiced Peanut Coconut Burfi ~ Jolly Vindaloo and My Tasty Curry inspired me to post this!

This week I made an amazing sweet that has all the flavour, authentic taste typical of Indian sweets but without the fat (ghee)!

Some of you may be familiar with my recipe for Arvinda’s Orange Almond Chai Spiced Running Balls from a previous post — my favourite ‘long-run’ running treat. Although these are delicious I sought to make something similar, but more authentic to resemble the taste of a traditional Indian sweet–Burfi.


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Hot & Sweet Lemon-Orange Murrabo, an Indian-style jam

This past weekend we taught our Exquisite Indian Vegetarian cooking class (one of the most popular classes of the season, I might add) including snippets of Indian restaurant favourites…but all veg! The menu was Saag Paneer (paneer with spinach); Okra, Potato & Onion Curry; Vegetable Korma served with Flaky Paranthas.

Sampling bits and pieces of the menu in the class, I was reminded of a memorable meal I had in Mumbai about three years back, with the most unforgettable homemade Murrabo. Murrabo (Murraba) is essentially an Indian-style jam that is both sweet and hot.

Being greeted with a full Indian vegetarian dinner served in a thali (stainless steel plate with small bowls for each item) our hostess, Meena Aunty pulled out her homemade lemon zest Murrabo. An impeccable balance of sweet, sour and hot, this condiment acted as “the equalizer”, neutralizing the spicier flavours on the plate into a sweet harmony. 

Murrabo, a balance of hot, sweet and sour tastes.

Most Indian meals are accompanied with chutneys and raita (a cooling yogurt with cucumber). In Gujarat, central western India however, the cuisine tends to be vegetarian and is known for its sweetness. Murrabo is one of those sweeter condiments you’ll find in Gujarati cuisine to balance out the many flavours found in an Indian vegetarian meal.

I’ve been meaning to make this recipe ever since I savoured Meena Aunty’s lemony version. Today I finally did!
Hot and Sweet Lemon & Orange Murrabo

5 oranges, zested
1 orange rind, finely cubed
2 lemons, zested
1 cup water
¾ cup raw cane sugar
juice of half a lemon
1-2 each, Arvinda’s Whole Spices (cardamom pods, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Arvinda’s Madras Masala
½ tsp. sea salt

Additionally, Arvinda's Madras Masala, lemon rind and orange rind was also added.

Method: In a small pot, bring water to boil. Add sugar, lemon juice and whole spices. Stir until liquid is reduced and becomes a syrup. (You are looking for a “one thread” consistency also known as chasni).

Fold in orange and lemon zest and orange rind. Mix in chili powder, Arvinda’s Madras Masala and sea salt. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until orange rind softens and cooks.

Cool down mixture. Store in a sterile jar and store in refrigerator.

Murrabo makes the perfect hostess gift!

For gifts from the kitchen, the time to start is now!

I love giving and getting edible gifts (who doesn’t?!) over the holidays. With all the madness building in the malls, I say stay home, avoid the crowds and make some gifts from the kitchen. This Murrabo would make an ideal hostess gift.

Over the holidays, do you ever make and give edible gifts? If so, what is your specialty or favourite “gifts from the kitchen”? Candied spiced nuts, bourbon vanilla flavoured sugar, rum balls are some of my favourites. Would love to hear about yours!

 A teaspoon of: Junior Boys. Listening to: The Equalizer.

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