THEME: #169 MY BEGINNER RECIPE
When Amrita who blogs at The Food Samaritan suggested to recreate a recipe that we made for the first time, all by ourselves, it brought back so many memories for me. From the age of 7 or 8 I was already in the kitchen helping my mum. Simple tasks like washing the vegetables, laying the table for meals, smearing ghee over rotis etc. By 10 I was helping her to bake cookies, would get up early in the morning to help her peel tonnes of potatoes when she made chevdo. It then went on to rolling small puris for kachoris, helping her to roast bhakri, stirring khadi, making salads, chopping vegetables, etc. At the age of 12 I left for boarding school. When we came back home for our vacation, there was no pampering where housework was concerned. We had to help. My dad believed that if others are working how can the younger ones just sit and do nothing. We were at that time a family of 12-15 and most of the time my buas and their families would be at home for the weekend and school vacations. More hands makes lighter work and the task at hand gets over faster. Then all can relax- that was my dad’s motto.
When I completed my 10th grade and came back home, there was nothing like not helping during the weekends. Even during exam time, had to help in the kitchen. This habit formed at an earlier age means I just cannot sit and relax when anyone is in the kitchen working. When I came back home, my kaka (chacha) was married and my kaki (chachi) and I became a riotous pair. Every Saturday, after lunch when my mum would go to take her nap, we would open Tarla Dalal books (we had 3 at that time) and decide what to make. Most of the recipes turned out really good, one or two got spoilt. I remember once we tried out the Nougat Basket and it turned into a disaster. It would just not set and was just too liquidey to roll out. At that time didn’t know that we did not prepare the sugar syrup well. Neither did we know how to salvage a recipe. Before my mum woke up, we wrapped the disaster in an old newspaper and threw it away in the dustbin. When she got up she asked us what we’ve made and we said ” fruit with icecream”. My mum didn’t say anything then but who goes and tells her about our disaster… our househelp James! After that we both told off and the whole family knew about our disaster.
Whenever, I tried out new recipes, I would always have my mum or kaki helping me. I learnt to bake a cake before I learnt to make rotis! It was always drilled into me that I would have to know how to cook our basic lunch and dinner dishes before I got married. All the farsans (savory snacks) and sweet dishes I learnt from my mother in law. Things like cookies, cakes, breads etc were learnt by following recipes. After marriage, anything new I tried and the family would always shower me with praises. Every week my in laws would have parties at home and my mother in law would encourage me to try out different types of salads, mocktails, desserts, etc.
So what is the first thing I made all by myself without any help and back then I was probably 10 was Hot Chocolate. Nairobi gets really cold during the months of June, July, August and sometimes September too. The whole family would gather up on Fridays or Saturdays to watch a movie on the television (back then only one channel-VOK – Voice of Kenya) or a video movie (remember the time when a Hindi movie required 3 video cassettes?). That meant we would like to snug up with our shawls or blankets, sip on something hot and watch the movie.
It was a recipe that I had come across in a Cookery Book which was sold at our shop. We didn’t bring all the books at home. Whenever I went to the shop, I loved browsing through the Hamyln Cookery Books as they were so colorful. I had written down a recipe from one of the books and decided that Friday Movie Night, everyone will be treated to the delicious hot chocolate.
So here is my first recipe I made on my own, right from cooking to serving. The praises I got from all made me feel on top of the world. From then on, whenever someone wanted a hot comforting drink, I had to make it. The most encouraging thing about my huge family was that no one ever criticized the new dishes kaki and I tried. My misshaped rotis and parathas were devoured with love. Praises were never in short supply. Even today, I still get showered with praises which is really encouraging. Having a hubby who is not fussy about food, he will try whatever I make. Only one thing he will not have and that is mango sabji which I love so much.
Points to be noted:
I found clicking pictures for this hot drink even more difficult then learning how to make it the first time. Its so hot here that that cream kept of melting even before it touched the hot drink! My photo place aka my bedroom became a temporary kitchen as I quickly added the cream, sprinkled the chocolate and cocoa powder on top and took the photos. My maid couldn’t stop smiling…she now thinks I’m definitely mad.
As for the drink, it was just too hot for us to have it. Hubby suggested that I should leave it in the fridge and we could have it later as cold dessert.
2 cups milk
½ cup thick fresh cream
50g dark or milk chocolate (or mixed)
½ tsp cinnamon powder
For the topping:
¼ cup fresh cream, whipped
some grated chocolate for sprinkling on top
some cocoa powder
- Heat the milk in a heavy bottomed pan with the cinnamon powder till it begins to boil.
- Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the cream and chocolate. Mix well and let it become hot.
- Pour the hot chocolate into serving cups or mugs.
- Top with whipped cream, grated chocolate and cocoa powder.
- Use good quality dark/milk chocolate.
- No sugar is added as chocolate is sweet.
- Do you have any ganache left over? Use that to make hot chocolate.
- Add sugar if you wish.
A little request:
If you do try this recipe then please either
- add a comment below,
- send a picture to my email firstname.lastname@example.org
- tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
- or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962
You may want to check out some of my first few recipes that I made on my own when I was young:
Sending this recipe to the following events: