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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guest Blog: Prasad, an Indo-Caribbean Treat

The recipe is from Ramin Ganeshram's, "Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago," (Hippocrene Books, 2006). Although the first edition is sold out, a second edition with an updated and expanded recipe section is slated for February 2010.


8 servings
When I was a child visiting Trinidad, the only way my father could persuade me to go to the many Hindu prayer meetings was with the promise of prasad, a sweet dessert that is given to guests at the end of a Hindu religious ceremony. The basic “pudding” is garnished with coconut, raisins, and nuts, which are collectively called panjaree. It’s generally accepted that panjaree is only for actual religious functions although plain prasad—called mohan bohg—can be served any time.
2 cups ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups farina
2 cups whole milk
3 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
2 pounds sugar
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Raisins, grated fresh coconut, coarsely chopped almonds, and a few cooked chickpeas, for garnish
  1. Heat all but 2 teaspoons of the ghee in a large, deep frying pan. Add the raisins and fry over medium-low heat until they plump. Add the flour 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until it becomes light brown.
In a separate pan, combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, ginger, and cardamom. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, until the prasad forms semi moist clumps. Remove from the heat. Garnish with grated coconut, almonds, and raisins. Place a few chickpeas on top.

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