How to make fresh cream or malai at home

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The streets of old Lucknow have many a story khổng lồ tell…..Everytime I visit these narrow streets và get lost in them I discover something new. Balai is one such discovery made some time ago in the “gullies” of Chowk. It has the nuttiness of our clotted cream (malai ) along with a rich creaminess that comes from the reduction of milk.Milk is slowly heated (never boiled) in thick- bottomed, flat

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and shallow kadhais on cowdung “uplas” and a layer of balai forms, the milk is allowed lớn reduce to lớn a very thick consistency và the balai is removed & stacked on đứng đầu of each other. These gateaux-like stacks are sold in the streets especially Victoria street in the mornings. In this street they have a specialty called Kashmiri chai being sold in the winters; its not the kehwa but a light pink colored very sweet milky tea, the nawabs called it Kashmiri because they felt the color and the sweetness was just lượt thích the people of Kashmir, royal comprehension does affect cuisine you see !!

Here’s the interesting part though, this tea is ”eaten“ with a spoon & not sipped. Kagazi samosa, a light flaky puff is crumbled into a cup and this pink tea is poured into it và then its topped with a huge dollop of Balai.This rich & royal winter concoction warms you up instantly.


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On my last visit I went to Banwali gali in Chowk, khổng lồ the 200 year old Ram Asrey Mishtaan Bhandar and discovered this wonder all over again, this time in the khung of a Gilori or a paan. “Nanhe”, their balai specialist guided me through the complete process of making the Balai and then filled it up with a inique mixture of nuts và “Kesari Misri” – a saffron flavored rock sugar. We rolled up the Giloris when the balai was still warm and I stole a moment to make one for myself!! The taste, the mouth-feel ,the contrast between the creaminess of Balai & the crunch of the rock sugar… created a perfect moment và gave me a food memory forever…
Here’s an inspired recipe, dedicated khổng lồ Nanhe, the Balai maker….

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Bruleed Balai éclairs
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Ingredients:

Choux buns or éclair shells 3Balai or half cream half malai 1 cupRock sugar 1 tbspGulkand ½ tspChopped nuts 1tbsp

Method :

1. Roll the gulkand & the nuts in the balai.2. Cut and retain the tops of the éclairs3. Fill the éclairs with balai mix and top with rock sugar & brulee with a torch.4. Put the tops of the éclair back and serve immediately.