Saturday, August 2, 2008

Flower Power Jihva Roundup

Wow, this Jihva has been so thrilling for me. I was intrigued with wonder with each and every entry. It was way beyond anything that I imagined. I got an entry for all the flowers I wanted to see the recipes of and much more. I want to sincerely thank all that sent in their beautiful entries, and to Indira for giving me the opportunity to host Jihva.

In alphabetical order of flowers, here are your flower power recipes:

Arugula :

From Jugalbandi: Arugula, Fennel and Orange Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette


Avaram Flower

From Choicest Healthy Recipes: Avaram Flower Extract
Banana Blossoms
My Food Blog: Spicy Banana BlossomsSeduce Your Tastebuds: Vaadhapoo Poriyal
Seduce your senses: Vaazhapoo VadaiCooking 4 All Seasons: Vazhapoo Vadai ~ Banana Blossoms Nuggets!
Hibiscus
From Illatharasi: Hibiscus MilkFrom Ammalu's Kitchen: Bissap , made with edible hibiscus flowers
From Choicest Healthy Recipes: Power Syrup
Mallemaala: Rosa De Jamaica SaladFrom Curry Bazaar: Karkade (Hibiscus Cordial)

Jasmine
Mallemaala: Quinoa Jasmine UpmaMallemaala: Jasmine Tea
Kachnaar ki Kali (buds of St. Thomas's Tree)

Guest Post (Sadhna, Meera and Sunita): Kachnaar ki kali ki sabzi
Lavendar
From Tasty Palettes: Lavender chocolate pots de crème
From Jugalbandi: Lavender-infused Sugar and Honey
Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen: Victorian Era Lavendar CookiesYummy Food: Lavendar Ice CreamIndian Food Rocks: Lavender Mint tea

Lilies
Soul Food: Lovely Lilies (Marzipan)
Neem Flower
Sukanya's Musings: Neem Flower ChutneyFrom Random Thoughts and Vegetarian Recipes: neemflower-rasam Paajaka Recipes: Neem flower riceFew Minute Wonders: Neem Flower Chutney

Orange Blossoms:

From Cooking From A to Z: Mango Yohgurt Icecream
Pumpkin Flowers
From Enjoy Indian Food: Pumpkin Flowers Subzi
Roses

Soul Food: Marzipan Roses
Soul Food: Rosy Ricotta Rasmalai
Asan Khana: Gulabi Sandesh
Cooking Station: Mix Veg and Fruit Juice with Rose Tea

Saffron
Ahaar: Badam Halwa

Squash Blossoms
Evovling Tastes: Squash blossom and Basil Pakoras

Lovely Lilies

Some lovely Marzipan Lilies, while the Jihva roundup is being compiled....

Rosy Ricotta Rasmalai

So much for hosting a fancy schmancy event as Flower Power Jihva, and I fail to find any edible flower petals where I live. I would have loved to find hibiscus petals or rose petals, but instead found lots of specialised food stores nearby that didnt stock them. I couldve ordered some online, but instead found a bottle of 'Arq-e-gulab' at the local Indian greengrocer that I thought would suffice for the event. Arq-e-gulab sounds fancy but really is rose extract that is prepared by distilling high quality fresh Rose petals.. When I smelt it first I wanted to combine it with something milky.
On our speciality store hunt, we were recommended by a friend to check out Connecticut's famous 'Stew Leonards'. I fell in love with the store the minute I stepped into it, its like the largest farmers' and dairy market I've ever seen. And they claim it themselves as 'Ripley's believe it or not.. World's Largest Dairy store'. Amongst the yummiest chocolate milk, fresh mozarella cheese, and orange flavoured yoghurt, I found a nice big tub of fresh ricotta. Now probably an Indian or an Italian would know the special taste of fresh ricotta. And then I chanced upon this lovely recipe; perfect I thought. Baked rasmalai, how cool is that? To me it tasted like an offspring of rasgulla and kalakand; which nevertheless was lipsmacking yummy.

This goes as my entry to Flower Power Jihva!

Ingredients for rasmalai:

15 oz Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
¼ cup Sugar
2 tsp Arq-e-gulab (rose water)

For the syrup

1 cup Sugar
One pint (473ml) part skim Half and Half Milk
One pint 2% fat milk
A pinch of saffron
¼ tsp crushed cardamom seeds
2 tsp Arq-e-gulab (rose water)

To make the syrup or Ras

Boil the half and half , milk, sugar, saffron, crushed cardamom and rose water by bringing to a boil and simmering over low heat for 30 - 40 minutes.

To make the pieces

Mix ¼ cup of sugar and rose water with the Ricotta cheese by using a spatula or hand mixer. Spread on a oven safe dish, use a muffin pan if you want a round shape or into a big pan from which you can cut out squares(like I did). Spread evenly in the pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45- 50 minutes or until it sets or until it turns light brown on the edges. Check by inserting a toothpick or knife to see if it comes out clean. If so, then its ready to come out of the oven.

Remove from oven, cool at room temperature. Cut out shapes (square or diamond) and place them in a flat serving bowl. Pour over the milky sauce over the squares and let them sit immersed for about an hour. Decorate with saffron and serve.

This goes as my entry to Flower Power Jihva!