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Wednesday 26 September 2018
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A sweet Eid

WE celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr next week. Each religious holiday brings with it culinary traditions. And, having being brought up in a Muslim household, the two sweet constants for me were halwah and sawine.

The deliciousness of the sawine came from dark golden parched vermicelli noodles bathed in sweet-spiced, (cinnamon and cardamom) milk and topped with chopped almonds. The important note here is the careful parching of the noodles to a deep golden colour.

I loved eating the halwah prepared in our home, I could never get enough of it, for this my mother was a master.

It was dark golden in colour, this was derived from cooking the flour with the butter to a golden roux stage thereby emphasising toasted nutty notes. This flavour, when combined with a warm sugar syrup, raisins and cherries, ramped up with exotic cardamom and cinnamon, resulted in light, buttery, melt in your morsels of halwah. Toasted, chopped almonds contributed another layer of flavour and texture.

Whatever your meal plan is for this upcoming Eid, try some home-made treats, after all, it’s just once per year but the memories last a lifetime.


2 tbs unsalted butter

4 ozs vermicelli sawine

2 cups water

1 cinnamon stick

1½cups evaporated milk

½ cup condensed milk

1 cup regular milk

½ cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp crushed cardamom pods

raisins and toasted almonds to garnish

Melt butter in a large frying pan, break the vermicelli and add to pan, turn frequently until the vermicelli is quite brown, remove. Bring water to a boil add sugar and cinnamon stick, add vermicelli and cook until tender about 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile in a heavy saucepan place all the milk, add the spices and bring to a boil. Combine sawine with milk and serve garnished with almonds and raisins.

Serves 6 to 8

Goolab Jamoon

4 cups flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 cup butter

½ cup evaporated milk

1 14 oz can condensed milk

Oil for frying

Place flour and spices into a bowl, add butter and rub into flour, add both milks and knead to a smooth and stiff dough. Pinch off about two inch pieces of dough and roll to a ball, taper the ends until you have and oblong shape, then roll the ends further almost to a point. Heat oil in a deep pot or wok and carefully deep fry until dark golden brown, use a medium heat here or your dough will burn. Drain and coat with sugar syrup turning to coat until sugar crystallises.

Barfi - East Indian fudge

2 cups granulated sugar

¾ cup water

1 tbs grated ginger

1 lb full cream powdered milk

1 cup thick or heavy cream

Hundreds and thousands

Grease a 9 X 9 inch glass dish. Combine sugar, water and ginger in small saucepan. Boil for about 10 minutes, just until sugar spins a thread. Combine powdered milk with cream, mix thoroughly. Pass this mixture through a sieve. Pour sugar syrup into milk mixture, mix well. Press mixture into dish using the back of a spoon. Decorate with hundreds and thousands. When cool, cut into squares.

Makes 2 dozen



1 lb unsalted butter

1 lb all purpose flour

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

½ cup raisins

1/3 cup each cherries and almonds, chopped

1 tbs cinnamon

½ tbs cardamom seeds

Melt butter in a large sauté pan, meanwhile, sift flour. Boil sugar in water for about 10 minutes until melted, keep on simmer. When butter is melted stir in flour and cook on medium heat until butter is a rich brown colour. Now add the syrup and stir, turn off heat and stir mixture until it becomes fluffy and soft in texture. Add spices and fruits and nuts, add a pinch of salt. Remove to a dish to cool.

Serves 10

Wendy’s Cooking classes:

Trini-style Cooking, June 23

Teen and Kids Cooking Camps in July

Call 357-0927 to register




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