My husband is a november born saggitarian. Basically a nice guy and very sweet but where temperaments and habits are concerened we are poles apart. I believe and thrive on little gifts, remembering dates, candle light dinners , barefoot walks on the beach, and flowers. Hubby tries hard but still requires reminders and prodes (sometimes as blatant as, "Hey, remember tommorrow is my birthday, what about a bouquet, huh?" ).
I remember dates and go all the way out and plan! It takes effort for him to get over the "shock" err...surprise of these episodes The first birthday after we got married was the one that caught him completely unawares. I got a made to order lovely, heart shaped birthday cake, a big bouquet, loads of balloons, candles, and returned from work early to cook a full fledged four course dinner. Conspired with our landlady who lived on the first floor to lock me in so that hubby would return as usual by 7PM, open the door using his own key, and then I would surprise him by suddenly switching on the lights and giving him a magnificent display of all the goodies bought and cooked.
Everything would have gone fine except for the fact that hubby's spare key refused to turn the lock that evening. I listened to him twist and turn it for a full five minutes before switching on the lights inside. The poor guy thought we had burglars inside! By the time I tried opening from within, he was at his wits end and thought I was deliberately playing the fool and locking him outside. Anyway, in all that ruckus our landlady rushed down and saved the situation by opening the door with my key which was with her.
After this I keep my surprises a little more predicatable! This time, with Abhi around and me being stuck without a driving license, decided the simplest way would be to just cook something special. Made a coconut flavoured wheat halwa. Did not have the time to patiently stir it till it reached the consistency where it could be cut into neat blocks. It was just as fine scooped by a spoon! And, guess what! Had just bought a Luminare juice jug set and upon opening found a pretty looking ashtray along with the jug, glasses, and snack jars. Both of us don't smoke or encourage smokers in the house. To cut a long story short, decided the ash tray would make a spectacular receptacle for my halwa! And, before you ask...No, I have not lost my nuts during pregnancy...well, not all...
Broken wheat (sambha godumai/bulgar) - 2 cups
Coconut palm jaggery - 150 gms (if unavailable, just use plain jaggery)
Coconut milk - 100 ml ( I used readymade coconut milk powder)
Cardamom (Elaichi) - 5 Nos
Fresh coconut pieces - 1/4 cup
Canola oil - 1/2 cup
Soak wheat overnight. Pulverize to smooth paste adding a little warm water.Place a fine pored sieve over a deep vessal or alternatively drape a thin muslin cloth over the mouth of the vessal. Strain the wheat paste through this. If using the sieve, coax out all the milk by pressing with a ladle. If using the cloth, secure it over the top of the vessal and allow the milk to slowly trickle out. The white whey you get is wheat milk.
In a seperate vessel boil about 150 ml water and dissolve jaggery. Filter to remove scum. Pour this into a thick bottomed skillet and simmer till it reaches a thick,syrupy texture. Pour in the wheat milk and the coconut milk, simmer stir till the mixture reaches a jam like consistency.
Cut the coconut into tiny bits and fry them till golden brown. Add these, the cardamom seeds, and canola oil to the halwa mixture. Keep stirring till the oil gives a glazy coating to the wheat mixture. Voila, halwa ready!
By the way, hubby loved it, huh.
Sending this across to the Food for 7 Stages of Life - DDPI (15-24 yrs) event being hosted at Sourashtrakitchen and co-hosted by http://bengalicuisine.net/
7 hours ago