Celebration times

Creme caramel -
Creme caramel -

TOMORROW we celebrate Mother’s Day and next week we celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr. Recent lockdowns have snuffed out many plans of dining out or ordering in for both celebrations.

The past year has forced many into their kitchens and although there may be cries of frustration for some, I am sure there are many who will emerge from this setback, triumphant! Words of advice for those out there that feel a bit intimidated by the culinary arts, follow recipes before you adapt and change them and practise makes perfect.

My memory of Eid morning was helping my mom cook dhalpuri roti before we went to mosque. The day before she had the sawine parched, and the halwah made, sitting covered on the kitchen counter until Eid day. Those two confections were and still are my favourites.

Mother’s Day is a day for remembering and celebrating our beautiful mothers and women in our lives that have guided us, supported us and taught us many lessons along the way. This Mother’s Day why not cook her a meal or bake her a cake to celebrate her, actions always speak louder than words! Eid Mubarak and Happy Mother’s Day.


Sawine -

Delicious sawine starts with deep golden-parched vermicelli.

2 tbs unsalted butter

4 ozs vermicelli sawine

2 cups water

1 cinnamon stick

1½ cups 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


Halwah - Wendy Rahamut

Key to great-tasting halwah is taking the time to brown the butter.

1 lb unsalted butter

1 lb all-purpose flour

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

½ cup raisins

⅓ 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

Dhalpuri roti

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp brown sugar

½ tsp saffron/turmeric powder

½ lb yellow split peas

2 cloves garlic

3 tsp ground, roasted geera/cumin

½ cup melted butter or ghee

Approx 2 cups water for kneading dough

Place split peas into a pot covered with water, add saffron and garlic and bring to a boil, lower heat and boil for about 15 to 20 minutes until peas are tender and cooked but not mushy.

Drain in a colander and cool. Grind peas to a fine consistency using a food processor or food mill.

Season peas with salt and geera.

Combine flour with baking powder, salt, and sugar add enough cool water to make a soft pliable dough.

Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 8 pieces, form into smooth balls and cover.

Pat each piece of dough into a 3-inch circle, cupping the dough in your hands, fill the cavity with the dhal, about 1½ tablespoons.

Bring the sides of the dough together at the top and pinch together so that the filled dough becomes a smooth ball. Repeat.

Heat a baking stone.

Roll the roti loyas or filled roti dough into an 8-inch circle about ⅛-¼ inch thick.

Place on heated baking stone. Cook until bubbles appear,

Flip roti and brush with melted butter, turn again and brush with butter, roti should balloon, at this point it is cooked, remove and repeat.

Makes 8 roti.

Crème caramel

1 cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks

2 eggs

1¾ cups full cream milk

⅓ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt one-cup sugar to a caramel colour, do not burn; your caramel is ready when you begin to smell the caramel.

Pour caramel into the bottom of 6, one-half cup ramekin dishes

In a bowl beat eggs and egg yolks with sugar and milk, add vanilla.

Strain mixture into a jug, pour into caramel lined ramekins.

Place dishes into a shallow baking pan, fill about ⅓ full with water.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 45 to 50 minutes until slightly puffed at the edges and slightly firm in the centre.

Remove and cool. Refrigerate for about 4 hours before serving.

Invert before serving.

Serves 6

Black forest cherry torte cake

Black forest cake -

Chocolate Genoise

¾ cup sifted cake flour

⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

⅛ tsp baking soda

5 eggs, large

2 egg yolks

¾ cup plus 2 tbs sugar

2 tsp vanilla

¼ cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease and flour 3, 8-inch layer cake pans

Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda, do this 4 times.

Place the eggs into your mixer bowl with the sugar.

Do not beat; place this over a pan of simmering water. Stir until mixture becomes golden, is runny and the sugar is melted. 3 to 5 mins.

Remove and beat on medium high for 4 to 5 minutes, mixture should be light in colour, thick, and leave a canal when you drag your fingers through it.

Reduce speed to medium, add vanilla, beat for 2 mins maximum.

Have ready the melted butter in a measuring jug. Now sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture and fold it in 2 to 3 tbs at a time. About 10 to 12 turns. Add it quickly in 5 to 6 additions.

Before the last addition, pour on the melted butter, add the last of the flour and fold it in quickly, 12 to 15 turns.

Turn into pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

For the cake assembly


1 cup water

¼ cup sugar

2 tbs dark rum or liquor kirsch, (optional).

Combine water with sugar, boil until melted, stir in rum or liquor. Keep warm.


1 tin cherry pie filling about 500gms Morello cherries

3 cups whipping cream

½ cup icing sugar sifted

chocolate shavings for garnish and cherries.


Beat cream until stiff and add icing sugar.

Place cake onto plate.

Brush with syrup. Pipe cream around the edge, place ½ of the cherry mixture into the centre, and gently spread.

Place another layer on top, brush with syrup now spread with whipped cream and balance of cherries.

Place third layer on top with right side up. Frost with remaining whipped cream

Decorate with cherries and chocolate shavings.

Refrigerate until ready to serve, about 1 hour. The longer the better,

Serves 8 to 10


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