So what’s for dessert? This is not something you will hear a true blood Kashmiri ask. And that’s not because we don’t like all things sweet, but because we just don’t have the tradition of serving sweets or desserts after a meal. We eat the chocolates and the Mithai and we also do make a few sweet things like Kheer, Modur pulao ( rice cooked with nuts and sugar) and phirni. We serve the Modur pulao at the beginning of the meal ( beat that) and we make kheer on auspicious occasions as an offering to the deity.
It did not take a lot of effort on my part to appreciate a good dessert. I just needed a subtle push now and then. After all I am a mere human who succumbed to the eternal sinful sweet delights. Now I do ask – ‘What’s for Dessert?’ and draw a scowl from my mom or grand mom!
Featured today is a very Kashmiri sweet delight, shufta. I am not sure if we categorize this as a dessert traditionally. But its quiet a delightful mix.
- 4 oz Paneer
- Ghee for frying [about 2 – tbs]
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 3 Tbs fresh coconut cut into bite size pieces
- 4 dates, cut into thin strips
- 1/4 C cashew nuts
- 1/2 C Water
- 1/2 C Sugar
- 1/4tsp Cardamom Powder
- a few strands saffron
- Cut the paneer in bite size cubes – about 1/2 inch
- Heat ghee in a kadai or pan
- Lightly fry the paneer cubes
- Remove with a slotted spoon and put aside
- Now in the remaining ghee, saute – the almonds, coconut,Cashews, raisins & dates [about a min on medium heat]
- Remove from heat and set aside
- In a separate pan, bring the water to a boil and add the sugar
- Stir in the sugar until dissolved and the water starts to boil again.
- Simmer for about 5 – 6 minutes
- Crush the saffron strands and add them in. Also add the cardamom.
- After 5- 6 minutes add the paneer and the other mixed nuts and dry fruits
- Cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat.
- Switch off heat, cover the pan and let it rest for half an hour.
- The sugar syrup should be thick and the ingredients should be nicely soaked in it.
- Serve this warm. Not room temperature, but not hot either.
- Serve about 2-3 heaped Tbs per person – great things are served in small portions 😉