Here are two recipes from a cookbook by J.Inder Singh Kalra published in India (``Prashad: Cooking with Indian Masters''). KESARI KHEER (RICE PUDDING)
Here is the traditional Indian rice pudding - consumed on all occasions and served by rich and poor alike. This recipe comes from pastry chef Chandra B. Tewari, who explains that the expensive (optional) saffron garnish reflects the wealth of the host. 6 1/4 cups milk 3 ounces basmati rice 4 teaspoons ghee (clarified butter) or butter 2/3 cups sugar 1 teaspoon green cardamom powder 3 tablespoons almonds 5 teaspoons raisins 2 teaspoons saffron (optional) 2 tablespoons milk to dissolve saffron
Pick, wash rice in running water, soak for 1 hour, and drain. Blanch almonds, cool, remove skin, and split. Dissolve saffron in warm milk.
Boil milk and remove from stove. Heat ghee or butter in separate pan and add rice until it begins to color, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to avoid sticking.
Reduce to low heat and simmer until rice is cooked. Add sugar and continue to cook until reduced to a custard consistency. Add remaining ingredients, and stir for a minute. Remove to a silver bowl and serve hot. Kheer can also be served cold. Use an additional 2 tablespoons sugar and pour equal quantities of kheer into individual bowls after cooling, and refrigerate. Garnish with Indian edible silver foil (varq).
MEAT BELLI RAM
This lamb delicacy is chef Manjit Singh Gill's tribute to Lahore master chef Belli Ram - the undisputed king of Punjabi cooking prior to India's partition in 1947. Chef Gill says it was an integral part of every banquet created by the Punjabi master chef. 2 2/3 pounds spring lamb saddle cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks 2 2/3 cups plain yogurt 3 cups onion, sliced 7 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped 5 tablespoons chopped garlic 10 green cardamoms 5 cloves 2 one-inch sticks of cinnamon Salt 2 teaspoons Kashmiri Deghi Mirch or paprika 2/3 cup ghee (clarified butter) or butter 7 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
Mix all ingredients (except coriander seeds and ghee) with yogurt and marinate lamb in mixture 1 hour 45 minutes.
Heat ghee in large skillet, add coriander seeds and saut'e over medium heat until they crackle.
Add lamb and marinade and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then cover and simmer, stirring at regular intervals until meat is tender. Uncover, increase to medium heat, and cook until the fat leaves the sauce. (Total cooking time: an hour and 15 minutes.) Adjust the seasoning. Serves 4.
In India this dish would be served with Tandoori Roti - the common, unleavened whole-wheat bread cooked in a clay tandoori oven and eaten by northern Indians at every meal.