Holi Nostalgia – The inspiration behind this dessert dish
Holi, the festival of colours is probably the most famous of all Indian festivals. The entire land as well as the people of India turns into a big canvas on which colours are smeared upon. I’m always debating as to which Indian festival is more popular – Holi or Diwali? And which is more fun – the blurbs of colours in Holi or the bursting of crackers during Diwali? If you are in India, there isn’t any debate. You can have a super colourful Holi and a very noisy Diwali without getting into any trouble with the law! But, if you happen to live outside India, then, Holi might be more of a nostalgia for some. I am adding might simply because not all places outside India may have the opportunity to chance upon organised Holi events like in Dubai (or many other cities outside India) where one can have a boisterous Holi. Not to mention the post-Holi Facebook photo exchange of friends all over the world – from Washington to Singapore and every other city in between, as to who was the most colourful of all. As if we were back to our school days and we were bac to being little kids trying to show off whose colour was the strongest and lasted the most, even after many many days after Holi!
I have grown up in Kolkata amidst celebrations of all kinds of festivals irrespective of any religion. This is a topic that I have written and re-written about a lot of times. Though we have re-created the festive moments outside India in whichever city we have stayed in, I miss all the festive fervour. In general the festive spirit of a particular festival doesn’t float everywhere in a foreign land. The playing with colours doesn’t happen in each Muhalla (neighborhood) or each Galli (street and alley). In Dubai there are places where Holi events are organised and one can experience similar Holi fun just like in India. There are beaches and parks with designated areas where one can actually ‘play’ with Holi colours. For example – this year in Dubai (just like the previous years), the Holi event ‘Rang De 2012’ took place in Wonderland Park, amidst massive dancing and grooving to the beats of Bollywood and Bhangra while playing with colours under wet sprinklers. One of the DJs, DJ KAMYA, also touted as the first female Dhol player (Dhol is a double-headed Indian drum widely used, with regional variations) in Dubai supposedly set the drums and the event on fire.
Every year the temptation of playing with Gulal (the powdered colour), dancing to the DJ’s mixes and re-mixes, savouring on Mithais (Sweets) is very high but an event like Rang De 2012 can never be our idea of Holi fun simply because it isn’t going to be fun for our two little girls – the Z-SISTERS. Big Z would go crazy if strangers started smearing her with even more stranger colours. And L’il Z will eternally perch herself in my lap if there is a gathering of more than 15 people!
However, that didn’t stop us from experiencing Holi. Neither did it stop the Z-SISTERS from experiencing Holi. A special food is enough to make a moment special. I wish everything in life could be so simple. So we ventured into making a Holi-Special dessert, a sweet and colourful experiment in our very own kitchen.
The experiment was sweet because the sous-chefs have been my two little assistants.
And colourful because the procedure in making the dessert has been quite similar to playing Holi – putting colours on white. The final outcome even more satisfying than just splashing colours as this could also be eaten. After all it’s only on Holi that one can get away with doing anything. As the Indian saying goes – ‘Don’t Mind, It’s Holi!’ (In Hindi – )Bura na mano, Holi hai!)
Holi Image: courtesy Web
Following are the characteristics of all recipes doling out of our littlehands, big hearth –
♥ Easy to cook
♥ Regular canned products off the shelf may be used (However, we advocate using fresh products)
♥ Goes well both as a regular or party dish
♥ Children can easily help in making the dish (My two little sous-chéfs are aged 8 and 3 years!)
♥ And lastly, guaranteed to be tasty!
Icecream Rasgulla with Blueberry Sauce
Category – Dessert; Cuisine type – Bengali Fusion
This soft dessert creates a semi-crunchy, ice-creamy taste combined with the most famous of all Bengali sweets – Rasgulla or Rôshogolla. Here we’ve used tinned Rasgullas due logistical constraints. But there is a superb link here regarding the making of Rôshogollas and is a definite read for those who are attempting to make Rôshogolla at home. Anyway, this is how to make our very own Holi-Special dessert, Ice-cream Rasgulla with Blueberry Sauce!
Serves: 10-15 persons
Preparation time: 10 minutes (Can be served only after 2 hours)
1 can of Blueberry Pie Filling or Topping – Brand: Lucky Leaf
3 cans of tinned Rasgullas (30 pieces) – Brand: Haldiram’s
1 Lt Vanilla Icecream
1 Lt Strawberry Icecream
Method of Preparation:
Step 1: Open the cans!
Step 2: Pour the Rasgullas in a rectangular deep tray
Step 3: Take a huge ladle to scoop out the Blueberry Sauce
Step 4: Pour the Blueberry Sauce over the Rasgullas unevenly. Save a bit for the final touch-up!
Step 5: Melt the Vanilla and Strawberry Ice-creams and pour over the rows of Rasgullas – each Vanilla row alternated with a Strawberry row. Pour the remaining Blueberry Sauce over the Ice-cream layer and let it set.
Step 6:Freeze for a minimum of one hour so that the Rasgullas freeze as well.
Step 6: Take it out of the Freezer and let it thaw for half an hour before you serve. Otherwise, the Rasgullas will remain very hard.
The Above 18 Version:
You may pour a bit of Cointreau or Bailey’s Irish Cream to add more ‘spirit’ to the festive fervour. This recipe of Icecream Rasgulla with Blueberry Sauce has also been published by friend, Yummraj in the category of Guest Blogger on the occasion of Holi.
So that was an icy twist to the Bengali’s very own Rôshogolla. For those uninitiated to traditional Bengali Cuisine, here‘s my pictorial guide. Enjoy the absolutely delicious, semi-crunchy, colourful Holi-Special dessert – Icecream Rasgulla with Blueberry Sauce and be immersed in the spirit of India’s most colourful festival. Wishing all of you a very Happy Holi!
Unblogging it all – Ishita