Exotica with Lavender, Sandalwood &Chamomile

The Chef Post’s recent dessert extravaganza in early December, Cold War 2019 witnessed over 100 talented chefs from 21 uber luxury hotels and standalone restaurants in Bangalore come together and display their culinary skills and baking expertise. Themed around ‘’Progressive Desserts’’; desserts that herald a new beginning come 2020, the event erupted into a riot of ideas, concepts, flavours, textures and tastes!

As each hotel put their best chefs forward, what caught our particular attention was a very young, dynamic team from The Chancery Pavilion showcasing an expansive dessert spread with ultra-unique ingredients such as lavender, sandalwood and chamomile being the stars of their presentation. Titled Lullaby – The Sleeping Song, the dessert was actually a platter comprising the milk-saffron-ghee laced Ghevar from the dessert state of Rajasthan, rabri with chamomile tea, lavender panna cotta, soft and crunchy petha with sandalwood, saffron and white pumpkin, sandalwood ice-cream, lavender snow and milk and turmeric chards. That’s quite a mouthful!

Hats off to the team led by Executive Chef Gaurav Paul who brought together ingredients as vastly different as chamomile tea, turmeric, sandalwood paste, white pumpkin and lavender essence, amongst others, and curated a platter that could soothe nerves and relax the body, mind and soul.

Here’s the recipe…

Ingredients for Ghevar

90 gms all-purpose flour

50 gms ghee

2 ice cubes

40 ml milk

300 ml water

1 gm saffron

5 litre ghee (for frying)

Malai Chamomile Rabri

200 gms khova

5 gms Milk

50 gms chamomile tea

A handful of green pistachios

Chamomile Syrup

200 gms sugar

5 gms chamomile tea

100 gms water

Method

  • For ghevar, melt ghee in a bowl; add ice cubes and mix to emulsify the ghee and water from the melting ice till it comes out thick.
  • Add all-purpose flour, saffron milk and water and mix gradually to avoid curdling of the mixture.
  •  Heat ghee in a pan with a ring in the centre and pour the mixture using a ladle and fry on medium heat till crispy.
  • For chamomile rabri, steep chamomile into hot milk, strain and mix the milk with khova and heat till the desired texture is attained.
  • For the syrup, steep tea into hot water and make syrup using chamomile tea and sugar.
  • For crumble, soak the pistachios in hot water for an hour and then peel off the skin, dehydrate and chop into fine crumble.

Lavender Panna Cotta

200 gms milk

200 gms cooking cream

80 gms sugar

12 gms gelatin

10 ml lavender essence

Violet food grade colour (as required)

Method

  • Heat milk, cream and sugar together till sugar melts and cool down till 50C.
  • Add melted gelatin, lavender essence and food colour and set in tube-shaped moulds and chill for 5 hours.

Sandalwood and Saffron Petha

1 kg white pumpkin

15 gms calcium bicarbonate

10 gms sandalwood paste

1 gms saffron

1 kg sugar

5 litres water

Method

  • Peel and cut the white pumpkin into strips. Soak it into a bowl containing calcium bicarbonate water for 8 hours.
  • Strain the water and wash properly. Then wash once in hot boiling water.
  • Prepare sugar syrup.
  • Cook pumpkin strips in the sugar syrup for 10-15 minutes and add saffron and sandalwood paste. Cook for a minute and then cut it into thin strips.

Sandalwood Ice-Cream

250 gms milk

250 gms cream

120 gms sugar

5 eggs (yolk)

Drops of vanilla essence

10 gms sandalwood paste

1 drop of sandalwood oil

Method

  • Mix cream, milk, sugar, yolk and cook over a double boiler till it reaches 85C. mix occasionally. Add flavours; fill it into moulds and freeze or 12 hours. Churn and use when required.

Lavender Snow

200 ml whipping cream

5 ml lavender essence

5 litre liquid nitrogen

Method

  • Mix lavender essence in the whipping cream and fill it in syphon gun. Charge using N2O charger and freeze in liquid nitrogen.
  • Crush with a strainer and use.

Milk and Turmeric Chards

200 gms milk

15 gms milk powder

15 gms sugar

3 gms turmeric

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients
  • Heat a thick bottomed pan. Pour the mixture and allow it to evaporate.
  • Let it caramelize when dried. Use a steel scraper and scrape chards.

Delicioussss!!!

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