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Lab-e-shireen

I am re-posting this recipe for this Eid, and also to participate in the Eid Eats 2014 hosted by dear fellow bloggers Flour & Spice and Chocolate & Chillies.

final eid eats

This is my most favourite dessert! I wish there was a healthy version of it that I could eat everyday. But since there isn’t till now, I make it only on Eid, and I can never get enough of it! The name comes from persian which literally means “The Sweet Lips” and it sure makes your lips sweet! I can eat loads of it and not feel guilty because I keep my mind on the fruits and nuts in it, not on the sugars =D

Some people use canned fruit cocktail for a quick version of this recipe, but in my opinion it’s still not quick because it needs chilling time, and I love the flavours, aroma and texture of fresh fruits. I also don’t believe in short-cutting of recipes to save time and sacrifice flavours and health, I’d rather spend some more time in the kitchen and make a healthier, tastier dish than save time. So here is my most treasured dessert and recipe, shared with you all!

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Image0915

Yum yum! I want to dig into it right now, don’t you?

Ingredients:
Oil/ Ghee: 3 tablespoons
Coloured seviyan (vermicelli): 1 cup {Note: Vermicelli is not the kind used for decorations on cake etc, it’s the kind which is similar to spaghetti but very fine. You can use regular vermicelli if you can’t find colored. Looks like this:
colored: rainbow vermiccli
regular: 
Milk: 4 cups
Sugar: 5 tablespoons (or to taste)
Vanilla Custard powder: 4 tablespoons (dissolve in a little cold milk)
Cream: 200 ml
Condensed milk: 1 tin (397 grams)
Bananas (finely sliced): 1 cup
Grapes (halved): 1 cup
Apples ( finely chopped): 1 cup
{or pineapple, strawberry, mango etc. any soft fruit you like, total fruit should be approx 3 cups. I like to use as much fruits as I can}
Pistachio and almonds, silvered (or any nuts): 1/4 cup (or as desired)
Jelly: 1 packet (If you want to use more than one color then adjust quantity accordingly)
Rosewater: 1-2 tablespoon

Method:
Fry vermicelli in oil, for a few seconds, don’t let it turn golden. Add milk and boil until vermicelli turns soft then add sugar and custard powder (dissolved in cold milk) and whisk till it becomes thick. Remove from heat and keep stirring occasionally until it is cooled to room temperature, whisk in cream and condensed milk. Add in the prepared fruits and nuts (save some for garnish of desired) and refrigerate until chilled.
Prepare jelly according to directions on package and chill until set. Cut in small cubes and refrigerate until serving time.
When chilled well, stir in rosewater and mix in a few jelly pieces. Garnish with nuts, jelly shapes, extra fruits and serve immediately.

P.S.If it feels too sweet, add a little chilled milk to lessen the sweetness, taking care not to thin it down.

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No bake, no cheese-cheesecake!

Isn’t that amazing? A cheesecake with no cheese, and no need to bake and worry yourself with cracked, soggy, jiggly, broken cheesecakes!

Not to say this can replace a real cheesecake, but sometimes we can do better with a cheat. This recipe is a hit in summers! It’s no fail, turns out perfectly each time, is very-very versatile, requires no baking in the scorching heat, is super quick to make and put together and well, everyone loves it! To date, I have not had anyone who turns down this dessert. I’ve done quite a few variations of this recipe and I’ll share all the pictures. If it EVER does not set (happened with me only once that too because I messed up the recipe trying to experiment), then it can be frozen and made into an ice-cream pie, or whatever you’d like to call it =D

Orange Cheese Cake ↑This was made with jelly prepared with only water and grated orange zest mixed in the jelly.

Image1728 ↑Here, I added zest to the base mixture too, and doubled the crust recipe to get a thicker crust and some on sides too. Jelly made with juice and water.

Orange Cheesecake for Amna

↑Jelly made with juice and water, garnished with whipped cream and orange zest.

The variations to this recipe are endless, you may use different fruit flavours, different cookies for the crust, different toppings instead of jelly, and so on. I’ll post some of the variations I have done, and leave the rest to your imagination. Do let me know what variations of the recipe you make! =)

Strawberry Cheese Cake

↑Strawberry: Used strawberry puree instead of orange squash, and strawberry jelly.

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↑Strawberry with fruit topping: Sliced strawberries placed on the base before setting it, home-made strawberry sauce drizzled on top. Added a drop of pink food coloring to the base to give it a brighter color.

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↑Strawberry Chocolate: Halved strawberries placed in the edge of the pan before pouring in the base mix, and chocolate ganache swirled on top. {I wish I’d made a Oreo crust for this one}.

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↑Mango: Replaced squash with mango puree plus added mango chunks to the base, added gelatine to some mango puree for the topping and topped with mango chunks and mango rose. {P.S. Coat mangoes with clear glaze or they can turn black}

DSC_0142 DSC_0146

Once again a total hit Mango Cheesecake, I had to ask my Uncle to wait before getting the last slice to take a picture of my cute little mango rose. Recipe same as the previous one I ony added a few tablespoons of Mango Tang Drink powder for a more intense Mango Flavour, which was a good addition.

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↑Lemon: Just replaced squash with a few tablespoons of lemon juice, taste as you go. For topping I made some kind of lemon curd (can’t really remember what I made at that time) and swirled in before setting the base. Don’t you just want to grab that spoon?

Ingredients:
Marie biscuits/ graham crackers (crushed): 1,1/2 cups
Butter (softened): 175 grams
Orange squash: 1 cup (or boil 1 cup orange juice with 1/4 cup sugar till one cup remains OR use mango puree/strawberry puree or any other soft fruit puree)
Gelatine: 3 tsp/ 1 sachet
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
Thick cream: 1 packet
Milk powder: 1/2 cup
Water (icy cold): 1/2 cup
Orange** jelly: 1 packet
Orange** juice: 1/2 cup (or quarter the quantity of water mentioned on jelly package)
Whipped cream: for garnish *optional

**use the same flavor as the fruit puree used in the base.

Method:

Mix butter and biscuits (you may use a food processor for this). Press into a glass dish or a springform pan.Place in the freezer, meanwhile beat the icy cold water with the milk powder until thick and creamy. Add in the cream and beat really well. In a separate bowl mix lemon juice, squash (or puree) and gelatine, gently heat while whisking to dissolve gelatine or microwave for 1-2 mins (don’t let it boil). Quickly pour into the cream mixture while beating on high speed, the mixture will instantly thicken up. Pour over the prepared biscuit crust and place in the freezer again. {P.S. Don’t place in freezer for more than 15 minutes, refrigerate if longer than that}
Prepare jelly using quarter the water mentioned on the package and quarter quantity of fruit juice. You may use half the quantity water and skip juice. Let it cool slightly but don’t let it set and don’t pour boiling over the cream either. Also make sure the cream has set before pouring the jelly. Chill well and decorate with cream or fruits before serving.

4

Lab-e-shireen

This is my most favourite dessert! I wish there was a healthy version of it that I could eat everyday. But since there isn’t till now, I make it only on Eid, and I can never get enough of it! The name comes from persian which literally means “The Sweet Lips” and it sure makes your lips sweet! I can eat loads of it and not feel guilty because I keep my mind on the fruits and nuts in it, not on the sugars =D

Some people use canned fruit cocktail for a quick version of this recipe, but in my opinion it’s still not quick because it needs chilling time, and I love the flavours, aroma and texture of fresh fruits. I also don’t believe in short-cutting of recipes to save time and sacrifice flavours and health, I’d rather spend some more time in the kitchen and make a healthier, tastier dish than save time. So here is my most treasured dessert and recipe, shared with you all!

16663_208893714814_2685067_n Image0269

Image0914

Image0915

DSC_0022

Yum yum! I want to dig into it right now, don’t you?

Ingredients:
Oil/ Ghee: 3 tablespoons
Coloured seviyan (vermicelli): 1 cup {Note: Vermicelli is not the kind used for decorations on cake etc, it’s the kind which is similar to spaghetti but very fine. You can use regular vermicelli if you can’t find colored. Looks like this:
colored: rainbow vermiccli
regular: 
Milk: 4 cups
Sugar: 5 tablespoons (or to taste)
Vanilla Custard powder: 4 tablespoons (dissolve in a little cold milk)
Cream: 200 ml
Condensed milk: 1 tin (397 grams)
Bananas (finely sliced): 1 cup
Grapes (halved): 1 cup
Apples ( finely chopped): 1 cup
{or pineapple, strawberry, mango etc. any soft fruit you like, total fruit should be approx 3 cups. I like to use as much fruits as I can}
Pistachio and almonds, silvered (or any nuts): 1/4 cup (or as desired)
Jelly: 1 packet (If you want to use more than one color then adjust quantity accordingly)
Rosewater: 1-2 tablespoon

Method:
Fry vermicelli in oil, for a few seconds, don’t let it turn golden. Add milk and boil until vermicelli turns soft then add sugar and custard powder (dissolved in cold milk) and whisk till it becomes thick. Remove from heat and keep stirring occasionally until it is cooled to room temperature, whisk in cream and condensed milk. Add in the prepared fruits and nuts (save some for garnish of desired) and refrigerate until chilled.
Prepare jelly according to directions on package and chill until set. Cut in small cubes and refrigerate until serving time.
When chilled well, stir in rosewater and mix in a few jelly pieces. Garnish with nuts, jelly shapes, extra fruits and serve immediately.

P.S.If it feels too sweet, add a little chilled milk to lessen the sweetness, taking care not to thin it down.

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Sparkling Fruit Cups

I can’t believe I missed posting this super-easy super-delicious and super-quick recipe!

Just cut up some fresh fruits very finely, I did 2 bananas, 2 mangoes, one apple and approx 1/4 cup grapes. Then use any jelly flavor and prepare it as usual, just use a little less water. Let it cool a bit, but don’t let it set. Line a cupcake tray with plastic wrap (so that they come out easily) then fill them with the mixed fruits to the top. Using a spoon pour the jelly over the fruits until the cups are filled and fruits are covered, make sure the fruits are flattened otherwise your cups will be wobbly. Then just chill until set, and take them out when serving. These can also be made in ramekins or small glass bowls as individual servings.

I used the Tropical Sunset (Orange Pineapple) flavored jelly and the flavors blended really well. It was very refreshing and light. Next time I would like to try this with fresh fruit juice and gelatin instead of a packaged jelly which would make it 100% healthy dessert!

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1

Mango Cream Brownie Bites

This recipe is a modified version of Coffee Cream Brownie Bites by Chocolate Covered Katie.

Since Eid is an occasion of sweets and desserts, I thought why should the diabetic and others trying to quit on sugar (which almost makes about the half of my family members) miss out on the sweets! So I made these, and Date balls for sugar-free dessert on Eid.

mango cream brownie bites

Initially I began the recipe without modifications, but my cashew nuts for the coffee cream turned out rancid. At the last minute I had no time to get more, so I pureed some mangoes and replaced with a mango cream instead. Alas! An experience that did not go very well. The brownie cups were made exactly as the original recipe, and were delicious. The mango puree did not go well with them as it was too sweet, and in comparison made the brownies taste bitter. And yet some of the guests liked it! I would like to give the brownie bites another go with a better complementing filling. Or maybe just on their own, cut out into pieces instead of cups.

Oh, and since I was not at my own place, I did not have muffin cups to make the brownie bites. I just molded them with my hands!

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Honey/Rosy Peaches

I have a huge sweet tooth! I just love sweets, all the sugars, butters, creams, and cakes! So I admit some recipes I post won’t really be healthy, but I’m trying to make a switch. This is one healthy fruit dessert that I enjoyed, so did everyone else except my little sister. Its refreshing and not over-sweet, although sweetness can be adjusted to personal preference.

P.S. Sorry for the poor quality images, but that’s all I could take.

Rosy-Peaches

Ingredients
1 litre (4 cups) water
160 grams (1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons) honey
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon rosewater
4 large or 6 small to medium peaches

Method
Place the water, honey, vanilla, cinnamon stick, and rosewater into a large saucepan. You want a saucepan that will fit the peaches neatly on the bottom so they are not piled up. They will poach more evenly and keep their shape much better this way. Using a sharp knife, slice into the groove to the stone, all the way around the peach. Place the peaches into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and cover. Let simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the peaches are just cooked through. This will vary depending on the size of the peaches and how ripe they are. Just ripe peaches are ideal for this. You can test a peach with a thin skewer. If it penetrates easily into the flesh, and the texture of the flesh gives easily, they’re done.
Using a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the peaches to a deep dish, in a single layer, and set aside.
Raise the heat and let the syrup come to a rolling boil. Reduce the syrup to about 200 millilitres (or just under one cup). Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t reduce down too much or burn. When reduced, pour the syrup over the peaches and let cool completely.
You can now cover and store the peaches in a refrigerator for a couple of days, if required.
To serve, place a peach on each plate. Top each one with a dollop of thick yoghurt, a sprinkling of chopped pistachios (or toasted, flaked almonds), and a tablespoon or two of the syrup.

Recipe modified from: http://chocolatechillimango.com/2012/01/04/rosy-peaches/#.UiA6CxuByJg

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Fruit Salad

I wanted to have something different for breakfast today. Just didn’t feel like an oatmeal day today. So I made fruit salad with the fruits I had on hand. It was SO refreshing and filling, and deliciously healthy of course! I used what fruits I had so there’s no recipe strictly speaking. You can just try out your own variations and throw in whatever fruits you have available. I did two bananas, quarter of a melon, an orange, and three dates, sprinkled about half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and it was good to go!

I think a few strawberries and some spinach would add all the yummy colors and flavors that it’s currently lacking!

Fruit_Salad