Tuesday, January 22, 2013



Take tea according to the number of people present, put it into water well seasoned with salt, bring it to the boil, then pour it out and serve with hot milk.  No sugar.


Take three ounces of ground rice, two pounds six ounces of milk, one pound three ounces of sugar, two ounces of ghee, two and a half dwts.* of pistachios, and a little saffron.

Mix the milk with the rice, and put it in a pot on a light fire, and keep stirring till it becomes granular and the milk is absorbed.  Then put in the sugar which you have made into a syrup, boil till nearly candy high, put in the ghee, stir for a little, and remove from the fire.  Put in sufficient saffron to give a good flavour, and beat well till it is light and creamy.  Form into small balls, and with the hands flatten them to about the size of half a crown.**  Sprinkle the pistachios, which you have chopped, on top of each tabloid.

* One tablespoon (more may be used if desired).

** The same size as a half-dollar.


Note:  I don't think I will ever settle in Kashmir, Pakistan or Mongolia, and I'm not sure whether I even would wish to visit those places. Our kidnapping in Mexico extinguished our desire for exotic, adventurous travel.  (Even the beautiful Marrakesh photo spread I saw last week featuring La Mamounia, a place we loved, didn't tempt me to re-journey, although I truly wish I could once again taste Moroccan orange juice and bread as they taste there.)   But these old, traditional recipes awaken something inside of me, and I think I would savor salt tea right now and get a quiet charge from some solitary saffron cakes.  Because alone is the way it is.  Really, I might as well disconnect the phone.

Recipes:  Twenty-Two Authentic Banquets From India, compiled by Robert H. Christie, New York, Dover Publications, 1975. 

Oh! Sweet Nuthin’: Velvet Underground -- Second Fret -- Live (Link).

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