Sharmin Pasha

Sharmin Pasha is a food writer currently based in Dubai, UAE, where she teaches privately-organised cooking lessons on different techniques of cooking. She also hosts an informative page featuring Assamese recipes on Facebook, which was created to showcase the culinary treasures of Assam to the world and to preserve ethnic recipes for generations to come.

Indian carrot pudding

Ingredients:

Red carrots      ½ kg

Green cardamoms, crushed............... 3

Milk............................................... ½ litre

Sugar........................... 1 cup or to taste

Khoya, crumbled.......................... ½ cup

Ghee.......................................... 4 tbsps

Method: Wash, peel and grate the carrots. Place the carrots, two tablespoons of ghee and the cardamoms in a pressure cooker. Mix well. Close the pressure cooker and pressure cook for one whistle. Remove the pressure cooker from heat and allow it to cool naturally. Add the milk and the sugar and cook, stirring, until the liquid evaporates. Stir in the remaining ghee and cook until glossy. Mix in the khoya. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot.

Note: Khoya is evaporated milk solids. It is easily available in Indian sweetmeat shops.

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Toffee cake

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

Condensed milk, sealed.......... 1 can

For the cake:

Unsalted butter........................ 1 cup

(at room temperature)

Granulated sugar.................... ½ cup

Sweetened condensed milk.... ¾ cup

Eggs (large).................................... 3

(at room temperature)

Vanilla essence....................... 1 tbsp

Flour................................... 12/3 cups

Baking powder.......................... 1 tsp

Salt........................................... ¼ tsp

Method: Place the sealed can of condensed milk in a pressure cooker. Fill a pressure cooker with water up to one-inch below the top of the can and bring to a boil. Close cooker. Pressure cook for one whistle. Reduce heat and pressure cook for another 30 minutes. Remove the cooker from heat and allow to cool naturally. Remove the can and cool completely before opening. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a nine-inch loaf pan with baking paper. In a small bowl, sift the flour, the baking powder, and the salt together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla essence. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Bake the cake at the centre of the oven for 50 to 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer cake to a wire rack to cool.

Poke holes on top of the cake and drizzle the toffee sauce over the cake. Serve with tea or coffee.