But the real reason it finds a mention in this post is because the safe environment coupled with the friendly folks allowed the pub culture to thrive and flourish. Yep, this is one city that could put our metros to shame. Given the wonderful environment, we (aka the girl gang) were not scared of partying late and enjoying a drink or two. And this is where I tried the 'Vodka screwdriver' for the first time. Quite a simple drink, but one that had me hooked. Infact, it is the best way to savor vodka as which gives a characteristic slight burning as it makes its way down the throat and produces warm afterglow once it hits the stomach.
I have memories galore of the Mangalore days, including those of relishing 'Kori Rotti' and Rawa fish fry at the local eateries. At places like this ordering the food was the toughest part as we did not have the benefit of a local guide. But despite the language barrier, the smiles on our faces expressed the sheer pleasure we felt when we tasted the local cuisine. No mention of Mangalore is complete without a brief on Pabba's ice-creams. 'Gadbad' and 'Dilkush', two of the most popular ice-creams were considered epic by my teammates and friends. But my foodie imagination was captured by the yummy 'Banana split'. The memories of those magical days in turn have become a source of inspiration behind this boozy delight 'Tangerine Fantasy'.
The planning and prepping for this post coincided with the Odia/Bengali New Year. With this time of the year being marked with the exchange of sweets, the 'Komola Bhog', an orange flavored rasgulla which is a popular desserts consumed on this day, captured my imagination. I picked it up to go with my Vodka drink and added some orange/lemon jelly with candied fruits to make it stand out. That's my way of having a traditional 'Dessert with a Twist'. Yep, you guessed it right ! It is the theme for this fortnight's 'Foodventures', a gastronomic venture by renowned Chef Vikas Khanna, and food and travel writer Vir Sanghvi who are all set to take food in a new high ( pun intended ).
Here is the recipe -
Preparation Time - 1 hour
For the 'Rasgulla'
- 1/2 liter full cream milk
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp maida
- 1 tsp semolina
- 5-6 strands saffron
For the syrup -
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cups water
- rind of one orange
For the jelly -
- 1 tsp powdered agaragar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 4 tsp sugar ( or to taste )
- candied orange peels ( chopped into small bits )
For the final assembly -
- 500 ml Vodka
Preparation - Bring the milk to a boil. Add the the diluted lemon juice, stir and switch off the flame. Within 2-3 mins, the solids will separate. Strain immediately and wash under running water.
Gather into a cheese cloth and hang it for 1 hour or so. Squeeze out any remaining water but do not make it chalk dry.
Knead using your palm for 2-3 mins. Then add the semolina, maida and saffron. Knead till the fingers start turning greasy and the chenna retains its shape when squeezed into a ball.
Divide the chenna into 7-8 parts. Roll each one into a smooth and crack free ball.
Around the same time, bring the sugar , orange rind and water to a boil. Add the chenna balls to the syrup and cover with a lid. Cook on medium high.for 30 mins. Switch off the flame and very gently remove the rasgullas and add it to hot water. Let it soak for 5 mins and then transfer it back to the original sugar syrup. Allow to cool down completely.
For making the jelly, add the agar agar to the water and allow it to dissolve completely. Once done, divide into two equal parts. Add the orange juice and a bit of sugar to one portion. Stir to dissolve.
To the other portion, add the lemon juice and remaining sugar.
Pour the a layer of the orange flavored syrup into the serving glasses, sprinkle some candied orange and pop into the freezer chamber for setting it quickly. ( Keep the lemon flavored syrup from solidifying by immersing the bowl into hot water. )
Once the first layer is done, remove the glasses from the freezer. Pour the lemon jelly layer along with some more candied fruit. One can stick to candied orange peel or opt for another fruit. Pop it into the fridge to set it.
Once the layers are done, pour some chilled vodka into the glasses. Put in the rasgulla and finally top it with more vodka / orange flavored sugar syrup as per taste.
Vikas's Persimmon Chili Cobbler
and Vir's Mochi Ice cream
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