The festivities at the D’Souza residence have simmered down. At an average of two weddings per person, we’re exhausted and thankful that nothing in this world can make us feel like we’re getting older like an open bar. That and the fact that people you used to make mud food with are wearing white dresses/red saris. I should be one to talk.
But just as adulthood starts to become more real, I see a new coloured vegetable and that’s the end of my plan to have a mortgage and a ceramic animal collection. “OH MY GOSH. That purple string bean looking thing is spicy! Taste it taste it. What is it?” And it’s always the purple ones.
I’ve come to realise that on some days I want to have it all figured out. I want to know if it’s okay that I still can’t understand what bank lady is saying when she’s trying to convince me to keep my bank account. Just like that, I also want to know why I should be so concerned about this “remittance” bank lady just told me about. As the offspring of a bank employee, I’m sometimes embarrassed. As grown up as I am, this holds me back.
I joke that my new brother-in-law is always counting money. Everytime I see him, he either has a big wad of cash or tea or he’s talking about fixed deposits and tea. All in very adult-like fashion. I have yet to figure out a savings plan that does not include stuffing loose change in a glass jar. I really think it will buy us a nice vacation but I also want a dining table and maybe, a house.
WE want a house.
Scared as I am about the possibility of having to start looking for this place, I think I’m ready. Getting to watch my sister get married took me back (look at me sounding like an old purse) to the day where I had to wake up to January 2, 2012. I was (still) sleeping on the sofa while Matt got my bed (thus setting a foundation for a solid marriage). I felt like i was having an out-of-body experience and that lasted the whole day. Actually it lasted two weeks. It’s a strange feeling when you know nothing is going to be the same again. That day was our big adult decision.
It’s been rough but it sure is sweet.
Everything else is just a big fat piece of a purple string bean-looking thing.
For the cashew milk
- 1 cup cashew nuts
- 2 cups water, to soak + 3 1/2 cups water, to grind into milk
Soak the cashew nuts in water overnight or for 12 hours. Drain out the water and put the nuts in a super amazing food processor or blender. Add 3 1/2 cups of water to the cashew nuts and grind until it all blends well into a liquid. Depending on your kitchen machine or choice, the milk might have some nut bits. You can strain these bits out through a cheesecloth or strainer. Or you can leave it be to add texture to your drink. This keeps (in the fridge) for a week and makes three faloodas.
For the rose water syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup rose water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 small red beet, chopped unevenly, but not too small (to colour the syrup)
In a small pot, mix together the water and rose water. Bring the liquid to a boil. Once it starts to boil, add the sugar, a little at a time, stirring constantly to let it dissolve. Throw in the beet bits for the colour. Keep it on the stove for about 1-2 minutes more (don’t stop stirring) and then you’re done. Don’t over-boil or the syrup will get too thick. If it does happen to you, just add a tablespoon or two of water and put it back on the stove and stir to thin it out.
For the coconut milk ice-cream
- 1 can of creamy, full-fat coconut milk
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tbsp honey or sugar to sweeten (optional. Amount of sweetener depends on your taste buds but remember that you’re also using rose water syrup in the drink)
Would you have guessed this is my favourite part? It’s also my first time making ice-cream without an ice-cream maker. Happy to report that you don’t need one to make it! You just need to make sure the can of coconut milk is chilled before you work with it.
Empty the can of coconut milk in a freezer-safe bowl and to it, add the vanilla bean seeds and your sweetener of choice. Put all the contents in a mixer/blender and let it all mix together for about 5 minutes. This process will help add “air” to it, which is responsible for the the fluffiness* that you see in regular ice-cream. If you don’t have a blender, you’ll just need to use thy favourite arm and whisk it vigorously.
Add the coconut milk back into the bowl and pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes. After the time has passed, pull the bowl back out and whisk the contents of the bowl, scraping the slightly frozen sides of the bowl for as long as you can. I could do 3 minutes so 3 is what I did. This also adds air to the mixture so don’t forget to add vigour. Repeat this process every 30 minutes until you see the coconut milk start to look and taste more and more like vanilla ice-cream. (YUM). For me this took 3 hours because I was making sure I didn’t under-whisk it. That would be a complete downer. Once you’re done whisking it for the last time, put it back in the freezer and let it set before you use it in the falooda.
* This is coconut milk based so it’s won’t be the fluffy you’re used to.
For the falooda
- 3 tsp tukmaria seeds (also called basil seeds or sabja. Very similar to chia seeds)
- Crushed cashew nuts
- Pomegranate seeds
To assemble the drink, you’ll need to soak the tukmaria seeds in water for about 30 minutes. They expand pretty quickly so as usual, it’s better to add more water than less. Add the seeds to a small bowl with water. They’ll expand almost instantly but be patient anyway and let them all get to the size they’re supposed to. I added seeds to fill a little less than a quarter of a glass. If you like more, go for it.
Once the seeds are done soaking, coat a tall glass with the rose water syrup. This is going to sweeten and colour the drink so add as little or as much as you’d like. I coated the sides of the glass and added a little more syrup to the bottom of the glass. Next, add the seeds. Pour the cashew milk to almost the top of the glass (so you leave enough space for ice-cream. Of course). Add a scoop of ice-cream and top with a little drizzle of syrup, crushed cashew seeds and pomegranate seeds. This is falooda. Drink it.