‘Haldi Kunku’ Pudding

IMG_0784I’m sure the title caught your attention and for those who are familiar with Haldi Kunku, I can imagine the title intrigued you 🙂

In my never-ending quest to take traditional recipes and find new ways to serve them on the Bombay Howrah Dining Car menu, the latest Marathi dish I have decided to play with is an unusual coffee preparation that gets served at a ‘Haldi Kunku’, a fun, social gathering typically amongst married women who exchange haldi (turmeric) and kunku  or kumkum (vermillon), give each other small gifts and eat typical Marathi snacks which usually include a sweet & a savoury item.

IMG_0767

Haldi (turmeric) and Kunku (vermillon) with attar dani (cotton soaked with traditional perfume)

Haldi Kunku coffee is a hot beverage served at these gatherings and is made with instant coffee powder, milk, sugar and flavoured with cardamom powder. At some houses, the host would make it quite milky and sweet, which I didn’t enjoy. But if you added more coffee and cardamom to the recipe, the stronger flavour ended up being surprisingly delicious!

I have been toying with this dish for a long time, not knowing exactly how to bring it on the menu. And then for a recent dinner, as I was flicking through my recipe collection to figure out something for a strict vegetarian diner, I rediscovered a chocolate pudding recipe from one of my favourite food blogs – Smitten Kitchen. Inspiration struck! I decided to combine the chocolate pudding and haldi kunku coffee recipe to produce….ta da! my Haldi Kunku Pudding.

A dense chocolate pudding with instant coffee-chicory powder, a good dash of freshly ground cardamom, served with a lovely slice of my homemade orange crisp and homemade nankhatai crumble. However I went a step ahead, well far ahead of what any traditional haldi kunku ceremony would ever have done….I decided to serve the pudding with a digestif! A shot of Dom Benedictine mixed with my homemade cardamom bitters, thereby trying to elevate the cardamom notes in the overall dessert experience! As to how best to enjoy this combination – I leave that to the guests. Eat the pudding first, followed by the digestif, reverse eat it or enjoy them sequentially 🙂

Priya

 

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