Friday, April 08, 2011

Spring 2011 Recipes as Seen on Shaw TV

Caakiri - a West African Dessert

Typically made with couscous (a durum semolina product), this rice-pudding-like dessert would have originally been made with a grain similar to millet. If you love rice pudding, but the idea of standing at the stove for half an hour is unappealing, this recipe is for you. Light versions of one or both of the yoghurt and sour cream can easily be used in this recipe, as they do not get cooked. I don't add any additional sugar to the mixture, as I find the caakiri sweet enough with the condensed milk and the sweetened vanilla.

2 cups uncooked couscous
4 cups water
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 TSP salt
1 TBSP butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 TSP vanilla
2 cups yoghurt (vanilla-flavoured, preferably)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP freshly grated nutmeg
sugar, to taste
cinnamon (for garnish)
any combination of fruit/seeds/chopped nuts for garnish

Bring the water, sugar & salt to a boil. Place the uncooked couscous in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water mixture over the couscous, stirring briefly to make sure there are no lumps. Cover with saran wrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and fluff with a fork. The couscous will be wetter than normal couscous recipes, where the ratio is closer to 1:1. If the couscous is too dry at this stage, the pudding will eventually solidify. Add the butter, fluffing with fork until melted. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the condensed milk, vanilla, yoghurt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sour cream. Pour over the couscous, mixing to combine. At this point, taste for sweetness. Add additional sugar, if desired. Pour the mixture, or part of the mixture, into a serving platter.

Garnish elaborately (think strips, swirls, etc). Leave some space(s) for sprinkled cinnamon (or sprinkle cinnamon over the entire dish before garnishing so it can be seen through the garnish) Serve warm, or chilled. Store in the refrigerator.

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