Thursday, December 16, 2010

Meetha, Doubled, Tripled


It was an evening when my heart ruled over my head. There was a buffet waiting in the restaurant but I stubbornly decided to go out of the hotel, find a store and buy myself a snack. It was too early for dinner, but I could do with a snack.

The hotel in which I was staying shared space with several blocks of apartments, and there was a store somewhere amidst all those apartments. I took the long walk over to the other side, located the store and bought myself two packets of chips and a bar of dark chocolate with almonds.

I didn't wait to get back to my room. I opened one pack of chips and tried them - not a fan of assembly-line chips, I rarely buy them, but this was not bad, I thought, reflecting on the taste and detecting a hint of clove! It was only a 35 gm pack, so most of it was gone by the time I reached my room. I am fond of hotel rooms - I love the fact that they are 'housekept', unlike my own house, and I try to leave them in as pristine a state as I find them. I tried to enjoy the room, sitting in the chairs, reading at the table, watching the TV, and sinking into the big bed underneath a cool blanket (it should be a warm blanket but the air-conditioning keeps it cool, even after you turn off the AC).

Two meals of conference food were bad, and though I tried to wriggle out of one, given that it was laid out in the open for humans, mosquitoes and other flies to flock to it, my gracious hosts didn't let me go back to my hotel hungry, shooing off the caterers who advanced every minute to pack up. So I had to eat something there and after trying a few bits here and there, managed to down some rice and dal and escaped to the sanctuary of my hotel room. The irritation of not having had a fulfilling meal went to my head and I reached for the chocolate, dreaming of the breakfast buffet ...

Second day of conference and I had planned to go out to lunch with my friend, but a text message from the powers that be put paid to that plan - I had to call Friend and tell her to have her lunch, I'd call her when I was leaving ... the silver lining to the disappointment was that I got to eat a little bit of the double-ka-meetha that was being served.

Rich, moist and spongy. It must have haunted me, because back home the next day, I went shopping for a loaf of bread and proceeded to make it as per a recipe in Pratibha Karan's 'Hyderabadi Cuisine'. I made one change - instead of the rose water she mentions in the recipe, I used orange flower water because I have a full bottle of it and haven't used it yet since I acquired it two years ago. I didn't use the almonds, just a packet of cashews. And oh, I also didn't stick to her direction to use 2/3rds of a cup of ghee. I used less.

Or probably more. Because I didn't measure it, used it in tablespoons.

So here's what you do. Take 10 slices of bread, cut off the crusts. (What do you do with them? Dump them if you're not environmentally-friendly, dry them and crumb them if you are, or glaze them and lattice the pudding with them later. Glaze them how? I don't know, I just assume it can be done.)

Fry the de-crusted slices in tablespoons of ghee till they are golden brown both sides.

Meanwhile, to 500 ml of boiled milk, add 200 ml of cream and reduce to half, stirring now and then, in simmer mode right through.

Make sugar syrup with 1 cup of sugar and half a cup of water.

Put the fried bread in a greased baking dish. Pour the milk-cream reduction over the bread, and the sugar syrup as well. Sprinkle with saffron and cashew nuts.


Bake in a pre-heated oven - no temperature was specified so I put it somewhere between 130 and 180 C, fancying that I remembered some baking instruction that heavy cake batters needed lower temperatures. Whether I remembered right or not, it was a good thing to do because the milk reduction took its time to reduce further and everything got brown and toasty, cashew nuts included, without getting burnt.


Eat it up, share it, throw it out - fast - it's extremely heavy and can clog arteries and everything else that can be clogged. It's that delicious!

20 comments:

  1. It does sound delicious artery clogging or not. How is this different from bread pudding I am must find out.

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  2. I love double ka meetha and this is a new way of preparing it. Never tried to bake it. So, will deifinitely give it a try :)

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  3. Couldn't tell it was delicious judging by the pics!

    Ester

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  4. Double Ka Meetha one of my fav desserts of Hyderabad.

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  5. Delicious and sinful dessert. Hard to resist :)

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  6. I want to be in Hotles like you :-) it is ages ago i was in one.
    You know i have heard so muchabout this dessert, but i have never had this.

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  7. I have a weakness for double ka meetha but the clogging attribute is what keeps me from making it often....
    I want some now.

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  8. Love this whether it clogs the arteries or not:-)

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  9. Every time Double ka Meetha is mentioned, I just want a bit of it. However, not one with a sweet tooth, I balk at the idea of putting it together at home - who would eat it after 1 bite?? Now if some one offered me a bite of this sweet - would I refuse;)

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  10. When it is heavily fatty who could think of throwing out or even leftover? I only tasted once and found tasty :)

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  11. Is this the same as shahi tukra? My mum would use up elderly bread in this dish--your version sounds a lot fancier :)

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  12. Indo, one guess would be the absence of bread and raisins. Also, the bread isn't fried in a pudding, I think. But there could be eggless puddings too. In any case, I think they're mostly different names for one category of dish.
    Priya, Ester, Anon, Sanjeeta, thanks!
    Happy, for you, this should be a breeze!
    Laavanya, just do it!
    Veena, you said it.
    Apu, that's a big problem, I know what you mean.
    Cham, J, :)
    Niranjana, I don't think there are very many differences. I've seen shahi tukra decorated with powdered pista and almond, and it's not baked. I've always had it served chilled. Frankly, I don't know double ka meetha was baked either, I think it would be equally tasty just assembled and steamed/chilled. This baked version doesn't taste good cold.

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  13. Oh God... you're making me miss Hyderabad and actually miss Double ka Meetha!

    Looks great.

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  14. Sra,
    why the name "double ka meetha"..just being curious!!..I would love it as I have weakness for sweet stuff..hugs and smiles

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  15. I have had shahi tukra -- not baked and I love it. Though my Mom would make a less fancy and less artery clogging way.

    This one sounds similar and would definitely be delicious

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  16. why does everything good have to clog the arteries... poor fainthearted arteries! i love this triple meeta... and used to have another version of this called shahi tukda ... in my younger days :(

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  17. Jaya: The bread we eat was usually called double bread :) in the earlier days :)

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  18. Raaga, LOL! Thanks!
    Jaya, see Raaga's answer above - it used to be called double roti because it was a yeast affair and it had to rise to twice its size, I think that's why!
    Bong Mom, yeah, I think I liked shahi tukra, though, chilled and softer.
    Rajani, yes, why indeed? Sigh!

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  19. Just popping in to say nice site.

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