No, no, no. I checked with myself before I typed that title and I say I’m not going overboard. There is nothing grand about that title. I’m diving right into life with this one. It’s about time I did too. I owe it to my friend.
Rudra (whom I wrote about waaaaay back in the far reaches of last month) and I had another one of our meetings in Bangalore in 2011. A big part of me wishes it was in 2012 so I didn’t have to feel it was so long ago. I loved that trip. I was there for a concert and for the rest of the days, I planted my muddy feet at his and his friends’ flat in New-Thippasandra. As the perfect friend, he took me to all the best places to eat in Bangalore, me sitting at the back of his bike. By best, I don’t mean fancy and by that I mean the food was extra loved.
The one fancy restaurant we went to, we waited forever for our food. It was a few hours before I had to catch my plane back. To say I was cutting it close would be an understatement if you knew how far the airport was. At the restaurant, they had a basket of bread and some fancy butters on the side. One of them was the garlic butter and we both liked that the most. Me being the sometimes show off that I am told him how easy it would be to make. I had never even tried it before but he held me to it. After all the food he led me to in Bangalore, I had to.
I love the way Rudra loves Bangalore; mostly from behind the camera. He’s a quiet person..I am too. We don’t talk TALK much but when we do, I sense his joy living the city as much as his pain looking at the monstrous change it’s going through. He never brags about his work but I love every single picture he makes. He’s one of those people that will stick a camera right at you and you wouldn’t even notice he’s there. He’s at home one day, Bangladesh the next and who knows where else. My cat Bidli got to travel and give me 2 small heart attacks because of him. I still like you Rudra Rakshit Sharan.
I like you so much that I sat and wrote down a garlic butter recipe for you. And because I made you wait so long, I threw in a rum butter recipe too.
Garlic butter + Rum butter
I’ll start with the Garlic butter because it’s been 2 years and I could live without the guilt that we’re going to have another one of these chats.
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened (If I break it down, that makes 7 tbsp for the garlic butter and 1 tbsp for roasting the garlic)
- Sea salt to taste
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the top of the head of garlic. I was confused about which side was the “top” so I went with cutting the pointy side (the side opposite the “brown cap”). It was easier to cut and also easy to let the garlic “sit” in the oven without toppling over. I can’t believe I had that question in my mind to begin with. My brain sometimes…geez.
Now when you cut it, you’ll notice that not all the garlic cloves on the side will have their tops exposed. You’ll need to individually cut these off so the butter seeps through. Don’t hesitate to peel off some of the flaky skin if it obstructs the cutting process. Just make sure you don’t completely peel them so the butter doesn’t just slide off. You want the garlic to roast with the butter.
Once this is done, line a ramekin or a baking dish of your choice with foil and place the garlic head within. Take a tbsp of butter and place it on the head of the garlic. Break it up a bit so it gets to all the cloves. Cover them up with the foil and roast for 45 minutes to an hour.
The garlic should look like this.
Let it cool for a bit and then pick out the mushy garlic from its skin with a fork or fine knife. Place it in a bowl and mash it into a paste.
In another bowl, whip the butter with a spoon until it’s smooth. Add the roast garlic paste to the butter and mix well. So fragrant. Can’t handle it.
Don’t forget to add the salt for taste. Put the butter in some parchment paper, fold and store in the fridge. You can spread it on bread or even use it to roast veggies or meats as you prefer.
- 4 tbsp dark rum (I used Captain Morgan Spiced Rum but I wish I could’ve used Old Monk. Indians please represent.)
- 1 stick of softened unsalted butter
- 6 tbsp brown sugar (I used sugar in the raw because I wanted crunch in my butter. But if you want smoother butter, use muscovado or brown sugar)
Pour the rum into the butter and mix well.
Add the sugar to the mixture and mix it with a hand blender for about 5 minutes. It breaks down the sugar slightly and make the butter easier to spread.
Place the butter in parchment paper and refrigerate until you’re ready to party with pastry in the AM.
I’ll go now.
Before Rudra pretends he doesn’t know me.