Posts for milk

Sweeten the Tongue

Blog, Food - GoroadTrip - November 26, 2015

India has an amazing variety of sweets and all Indians love their meal with something to sweeten the tongue and the side effects of spicy food. Every state, town and village and even the villages have their own special court. Many are Pan Indians, while others are regional specialties. The quality of the candies depends on regional ingredients such as water, milk, flour, rice, sugar, gur or molasses, ghee and oil. While Kolkota can be famous for its milk-based sweets, Delhi and Punjab rest their laurels on the sheer quality of ghee and wheat. The south has many sweets made of rice and more than sugar, it is the natural gur that plays a predominant role.

Many places in South India are associated with a certain sweetness. Tirunelveli Halwa is known worldwide for its viscous elasticity and dripping ghee. The word Halwa comes from the Arabic word Hilwa, which means sweet. Halva are usually sweet, rich and full of nuts and nuts. This sweet can shut up! If you put a piece on it, you first fight with its pulling and stretching force and then you really have to chew it! Among the famous creators of Tirunelveli Halwa is the “Halwa Iruttu Kadai” .. literally the halva of the dark shop. This store opened in 1900 and sells the Halwa for a few hours after dark. People are waiting in the queues to buy this sweet and often the stocks of the store are over when you reach the counter. The recipe is a well-kept secret!

Another test that can literally break or break the reputation of a cook and the teeth of his family / guest is Mysore Pak. Made with just three ingredients: Besan or Gram flour, sugar and an infinite amount of pure ghee, you need great expertise to make this modest appearance look sweet. If it does not come out of the wok and fire at the right time, Mysore Pak can become the Rock of Gibraltar! A good confectionery manufacturer from Coimbatore-Krishna Sweets has reinvented and popularized this candy as “Mysorepa” – in fact it is none other than the Besan Ka bartender from northern India with a consistency softer and melting.

The Darward-Peda has risen because of the mass production of this lump of milky pleasure by the Dairy Cooperative of Karnataka. Sweetened milk is reduced to a brown consistency and rolled into balls and squeezed with the thumb. The shelf life of this treatment is longer than that of most dairy products.

Payasam – Sanskrit for milk – is a traditional sweet milk pudding and can vary depending on the terrain. It can be rice, milk and sugar or Chana / Moong Dal, Gur and coconut milk. For any occasion or family event, the banana leaf or plate is first served with a spoonful of Payasam. The Ambalapuzha payasam of the Lord Krishna Temple in Kerala is an incredible dish of sweetness and worship. Vermicelli and Whipped Rice are modern variants added to Payasam or Kheer. The cooks began adding fresh fruit to the milk preparation.

Poli comes from Thanjavur. Polished Pooran is a thin crepe filled with dal and sugar and pureed Gur and flavored with cardamom and nutmeg powder. This dish was introduced to the south by the Maratha invaders and became an integral part of South Indian cuisine. In the border areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, near Kerala, there are pancakes filled with Ubbuttu or Coconut and Jiggery. Po-Pois-Poal-fried in a reduced milk-rich sauce is a variation of this polish.

The flat rice and jiggery paste flattened and fried into balls, the adirasam is also a dish shared with the marathas. It takes an important place in religious celebrations. The Somasi or Gujjia or Karjikkai Fried Crescent is filled with the sticky mix of dal, sugar, nuts and raisins – is another sweet Indian pan that is famous all the southern states.

Chettinad has a traditional and rich cuisine. Their paniyaarams have many avatars and small dumplings dipped in a sweet sauce, coconut milk and paal paniyaram milk is a pudding to dying. Padirpheni is a local paste of angel hair that is crisp until a mixture of almond milk is poured on it. Phathirpheni is especially popular in Karnataka. He is also called Chirotior Surul Poori. Pathiri is the version of Kerala.

Kozhukkattai in Tamil Nadu is immediately associated with Lord Ganesha. It is a momo or a sweet dumpling of rice flour and stuffed with a walnut

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Filter Coffee

Blog, Food - GoroadTrip - April 9, 2015

The beverage is also referred to as Mysore or Mylapore filter coffee or Madras kaapi. The authentic, true blue kaapi is ‘Kumbakonam degree coffee’..everything else is ‘okay’ or tolerable!

In the rest of the world, ‘filter coffee’ is the drip brew coffee that comes out of a machine when you press a button. The filters are thin sheets of paper placed in a cone and the coffee is brewed. In South India when you say “Filter coffee or kaapi” that can only mean Kumbakonam coffee from the agri town of the same name in Tamil Nadu, India.

Kumbakonam degree filter coffee is not just any run of the mill beverage. It is a ritual, an is a tug of emotion, a reminder of Home and Mum…all brewed and served in a dabbara tumbler. The brass or stainless steel container adds to the mystique of Filter kaapi, the phonetic rendering of “coffee”.

The one distinctive feature of this cup of ambrosia that smells of heaven is the pure cow’ s milk without any adulterants and no addedchicory.

Why ‘degree’ it a campus recruit or a weather indicator, you may ask? The term is explained in four ways:

1. Chicory is a common additive that is used to thicken the basic decoction of the coffee. It was colloquially pronounced as ‘tikeri’ that eventually morphed into ‘degree’. OR

2. Milk was certified as pure after it was measured with a thermometer that would show if water had been added to adulterate the milk. So, coffee prepared with pure/degree milk became known as degree coffee.

3. The first decoction, the unadulterated thick essence of the coffee, is called the first degree decoction. Thus, the best cup of coffee was named ‘degree coffee’.

4. Pundits say that it is actually ‘Decree’ not ‘Degree’ Coffee! A 19th century tale is told of a British Collector of Thanjavur District who liked the coffee served by a local cook in Kumbakonam. He is supposed to have ‘decreed’ that only this quality of coffee should be served to him on all his travels!

The coffee pundit who buys the seeds, usually the man from Mylapore would ask for a mix of arabica and robusta coffee beans in a particular ratio of 60:40 or 70:30 (less chicory). The coffee is grown in all the states of South India. You can visit plantations on the hills of Karnataka (Kodagu, Chikkamagalur and Hassan), Tamil Nadu (Nilgiris District, Yercaud and Kodaikanal), Kerala (Malabar region) and Andhra Pradesh (Araku Valley).

The beans used to be roasted in a cast iron wok or a cylinder made of iron placed over coals. Today it is roasted in temperature controlled ovens or rotisseries. The coffee pundit will freshly grind the seeds into a coarse but fine powder for each make of the decoction. In coffee powder shops, the beans are ground fresh with or without roasted chicory. The final coffee powder is packed into a special filter.

South Indian coffee is brewed with in a special metal filter,. It is made up of two cylindrical cups. The upper one has fine holes drilled into it to let the decoction seep through. It nests into the lower containerthat will hold the brewed coffee. The upper cup is fitted with a press made up of a colander like disc with a central stem handle and a lid to keep the aromas in.

The upper cup is filled with freshly ground coffee. The grounds are then tamped down with the stemmed disc. Boiling water is poured and quickly the filter is covered. The decoction drips into the lower vessel and then 1–2 tablespoons of it areadded to freshly scalded milk. The coffee is frothed by pulling it between the tumbler and the broad mouthed flat dabbara and served at sipping temperature. People use their sari ends or dhothi and over-the-shoulder towels to hold the tumbler as they imbibe their filter coffee.

India Coffee Houses run by the Coffee Board of India since the mid-1940’s were the propagator of coffee. These coffee houses also became the meeting places for literary types, artists, thinkers and political aspirants.

Coffee is an essential part of the culture and lifestyle of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. It gained popularity during the British rule. Coffee was originally introduced by Baba Budan to South India in the 17th century. In the 16th century, a Sufi saint from Karnataka,Baba Budan, was on a pilgrimage to Mecca where he was introduced to the wonders of coffee. He managed to smuggle out seven coffee beans by hiding them in his garments out of the Yemeni port of Mocha. Back home, he planted the beans on the slopes of the Chandragiri Hills in Kadur district, Mysore State. This hill range I now named after him as the Baba Budan Hills. You can pay your coffee obeisance to his tomb that is a short trip away from Chikmagalur.

The best filter coffee in South India does not cost a great deal if you are having the authentic one…forget the Starbucks and the 5 Star cup and saucer serve. Have a hot dabbaratumber of filter kaapi!!

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