Last post I mentioned my little dinner party with some great friends. Here is the dessert I made that evening. I have mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of Indian desserts. I like a handful and this bread pudding happens to be one of them.
India is known for their milk and nut sweets. Milk that is cooked down thick and then mixed with ground nuts and sugar. There is a huge variety of these sweets called mithai. I don’t really like them; maybe an almond or pistachio burfi, ladoos (sweetened gram flour balls), jalebis ( flour pastry, fried and doused in syrup, a bit like a funnel cake) and gulab jamuns (milk and flour balls, deep fried and soaked in syrup) but that’s about all. I am not even a big fan of kheer, Indian rice pudding. You are probably thinking, “Well, she likes quite a bit!” but if you knew how vast the selection is, you’d realise that I like less than 1%!
So, what do I like as far as Indian desserts go? I do like potato kheer or kaddu (opo squash) kheer and I love halwa made from opo squash, I have a recipe here. I also really like dal halwa (lentil), especially when it is stuffed inside pastry. I will have to make an effort and reproduce these for you all to see. Some you will recognise if you frequent Indian restaurants but some are hard to find outside of an Indian home.
Growing up in England, I fell in love with British puddings and European pastries. I absolutely adore baking and working with butter pastry and yeast doughs. That’s why I mainly end up writing about those kitchen experiments. However, there are times I crave the Indian desserts my mum would make and that prompts me to make them for my family.
Here is one of my family’s favourite Indian desserts, double ka meetha (double roti is bread and meetha means sweet dish/dessert).
Double Ka Meetha ~ Indian Bread Pudding
9 slices sourdough bread
1/2 cup/118mL oil
1/2 stick/56g butter
2 cups/473mL milk
2 cups/473mL heavy cream
21/2 cups/591mL water
13/4 cups/400g sugar
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
sliced almonds or/and pistachios for garnishing
Combine the milk and cream in heavy sauce pan and simmer over low heat till reduced to about 2 cups, about 20 minutes and keep aside.
Combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup begins to thicken. It should barely coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Add the saffron threads and keep aside.
Cut the crusts off the bread, if desired. I like the crusts because they get crunchy and chewy and never cut them off. It's your decision. Cut the slices diagonally in half.
Heat the oil and butter in a fry pan.
Fry the bread triangles until golden brown and crisp.
After all the bread is fried, it is time to assemble the bread pudding.
Preheat the oven to 350℉/180℃.
Grease a large baking dish, large enough to hold the bread in two layers.
Dip each piece of bread in the hot syrup and lay in the pan.
Repeat until one layer is down in the pan.
Pour half of the reduced milk over the bread layer.
Dip the rest of the bread into the syrup and make a second layer.
Pour over the rest of the milk and half of the remaining syrup.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until the milk is soaked through and the pudding is fairly dry.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
Before serving, garnish with the sliced almonds and pistachios.
This is best slightly warm or even cold.
Traditionally, this dessert is always made with some dried, condensed milk called khoya. Since, it's not easy for everyone to find, I have omitted the khoya. The heavy cream will compensate and it still is very rich even without the dried milk.
So, we were so busy scarfing down this, that I didn’t take proper pictures! My pictures don’t do it justice so you’ll have to make some for yourself and try it! This is another dish that isn’t readily available at restaurants even though it is another Hyderabadi specialty.
Wishing everyone a great weekend!!
UPDATE: I am going to enter this bread pudding in the Tea Time Treats challenge for the month of February. Kate over at What Kate Baked is hosting it this month. This month’s theme is Perfect Puddings and I think my Indian bread pudding is delicious enough to be included. Check out the co- host of this challenge, Karen over at Lavender and Lovage who has a round up of last months citrus recipes.