This Saturday past, the 11th, was April's Afternoon Tea Party. This month's theme was once again Bollywood, but unfortunately the weather was too sunny to project a film onto the wall, so we just listened to music and chatted.
For this month's get together, I made gulab jamun, which are little deep fried dumplings soaked in cardamom flavoured syrup, and samosas, which are triangular pastry packages filled with either sweet or savoury centres.
Two sisters who go to the events are mad into their Indian culture; their brother described them as 'Otakus for India'. As such they're big into their Indian cooking, and brought some delicious homemade treats, including gulab jamun and carrot burfi (which is a dessert made with grated carrots, cream, sugar, and spices).
I was challenged by the older sister to make some gulab jamun myself, and luckily I had the recipe in a cookbook I'd got from my sister for my birthday. However, they require milk powder, and I didn't know where to get milk powder, so I looked online for a way to make them without milk powder, and I found this video for making cheat dumplings with bread. As per the recipe, I soaked white bread in sweetened milk, rolled the bread into dumplings, deep fried them, and then soaked them overnight in some syrup I had made, flavoured with cinnamon and cardamom.
They weren't as nice as the other woman's, but for a first attempt I think they worked. Hers were more cakey and full of flavour, mine were a bit stodgy and lacking in flavour. Maybe doing it the traditional milk power dough way is better after all.
I also found a recipe in the cookbook for samosas, which I've always liked since I was young. My father used to buy little savoury Indian snacks from the supermarket for family meals and celebrations, and I always liked the samosas because they were crispy on the outside and squishy in the middle.
I only made a third of the suggested quantity in the recipe, and instead of the suggested chocolate ganache filling, I mixes some dried mixed fruit with brown sugar and Indian spices, kinda like mincemeat. I shallow fried them and they turned out absolutely wonderfully: they were lovely and crispy...
The dough for the samosas, as directed in the recipe, was 3 ounces (85 grammes) of flour, 1 fluid ounce (30 millilitres) of sunflower oil, and cold water to bind. The dough was then divided into 12 pieces and rolled out as flat as possible for folding into little triangles around the filling.
All in all, I think this month's event had some delicious treats, that are very different to what I'm used to as an Irish foodie. I think I'll be doing samosas a lot more anymore, maybe some savoury ones.
THIS TIME IN 2014: No blog
THIS TIME IN 2013: Black Forest Gateau: a Retro Classic? (Wheat Free)