Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Food ala textures

I decided today, as i finished my portion of khir (Indian rice pudding) at Swaggath today that it wouldn't matter if I lost my taste buds when I am old and infirm. It wouldn't matter much because I adore many foods because of the texture. The khir that was part of today's lunch menu had tiny tapioca balls and little noodles. Though that may sound rather unappealing to many westerners, there's something to be said about having varied textures in your foods. Here's a list of some of my favorite foods that i enjoy for their curious textures as well as their taste:

  • Farfalle (bow-tie pasta)

  • Fresh figs

  • Caviar or roe (especially tobiko or flying fish roe)

  • Tapioca

  • Shredded filo dough (with rose syrup and pistachios)

  • Udon (big fat japanese noodles)

  • Hargow (dim sum shrimp dumplings)


The list goes on.

But for now, I've included my version of khir below.

* 1 gallon whole or 2% milk
* 1 cup uncooked basmati or other long-grained white rice
* 2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped unsalted blanched almonds
* 8-10 cardomom pods whole
* 1 tsp (5 ml) rose water
* 1/4 cup (60 ml) pistachios, chopped fine

Bring the milk to a boil over high heat in a 5 to 6 quart (5-6 L) saucepan, stirring constantly to prevent a skin from forming on top. Reduce the heat to moderate and continue to boil for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook an additional 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice has almost disintegrated. Add the sugar and finely chopped almonds and stir for 30 minutes over low heat until the pudding is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon heavily. Remove from the heat, add the cardamom and optional rose water, and pour into a 7 by 12 inch (20x30 cm) baking dish, spreading it with a spatula so the top is smooth. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and refrigerate for at least four hours, until it is thoroughly chilled and somewhat firm to the touch.

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