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Desserts have always a most wanted section of culinary field. It is when I post these recipes that I get the maximum interest and response from people. Occasions are always a reason for making desserts. Though this video was posted during new year to celebrate new year, this simple, quick, easy and luscious pudding can be made any day. Few ingredients which are often found in our pantries, that is if you are dessertaholic and a passionate cook 🙂 are simply needed to make this. This dessert goes well down with vegetarians too as it is binded by china grass/agar agar.
China grass/agar agar is extracted from sea weed which has many health benefits. It is extracted and dried to be used as China grass. This is the vegetarian substitute for gelatin. This is used extensively as food and also in the preparations of medicines. Gels, suppositories and emulsions are made with this. It also aids in weight loss. Japanese used this widely for cooking and weight loss. A diet known as Kanten diet is based on this. This plant based food has no color, odor or taste. It is available in powder, flake and dried form.
Agar is a very good laxative since it contains fiber in major portions and easily moves through the digestive system. It bulks up in the digestive tract and there by helping in the movement of the bowl quicker. In Eastern traditional medicines, it is used to treat diabetes and constipation. It also makes you feel full due to its bulking effect which aids in weight loss and it suppresses the hunger. Rich in calcium, magnesium, folate, potassium, this dried weed does not contain any carbohydrates and sugar. So you can easily use this for thickening soups, curries, custards, sauces and desserts.
I usually soak it in water for half an hour minimum so that it melts easily without any residues. I also feel that it aids not to split the dessert you make. I have used a combination of milks like fresh milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk for the richness of this dessert. Boiling down all these for sometime will help to balance the texture and thickness of the milk when you add the melted china grass, which otherwise would give a watery taste. Always weigh the china grass before you make any dish with this. If lesser in amount, it’ll not set in the desired format, if excessive, you will get a hard mass which will be not palatable or enjoyable. I always add in such a way that you get a wobbly dessert.
I have used ice-cream essence for this pudding. You can replace it with vanilla if the ice cream flavor is not available. You can serve this as it is or with a sauce, couli for topping of your choice. You can even add nuts or fruits of your choice. My family prefers either plain or sauce for this. Hence I made a fresh strawberry couli for this. Hope you all will make this easy creamy dessert and flood me with all your experiences, comments and feed back. I promise I’ll be updating the website as quickly as possible.
Soak the china grass in water for 2 hours. Thats what I do. You can make this half an hour too.
Boil the china grass after soaking. Keep stirring. Once melted completely, keep on low flame.
While the china grass is melting, alternatively make the milk base by boiling milk, evaporated milk and sugar. When the milk is almost boiling point, add the condensed milk and combine well. Keep stirring. Boil the milk for 5 minutes on low flame.
Switch off the flame. Using a seive, add the melted agar agar gently, all the while stirring.
Give a quick mix and put it back on stove and allow it to boil again. Be careful not to burn. Keep stirring. Boil for 30 seconds and switch off the flame.
Rest for couple of minutes. When the temperature comes down a bit, add the essence and stir gently. Transfer to a pussing bowl. Let it cool down. Once its cooled, transfer to fridge and allow it to set for 3-4 hours.
Cut in desired shapes and serve with the sauce of your choice.