Tag Archives: Sugar

Absinthe, a Tale of the Green Fairy!!

By Antara Roy

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Let’s start this post with a quirky food fact…Did you know a certain green fairy (read as absinthe) was banned for a century after a European Highness decided that crime evolved from this bottle of alcohol!!! Arguably the most delusional drinking spirit, it came back into productions only in 90s, and see, how our world decided to break free.

But drinking this spirit is a bit of a science in itself, I admit. Absinthe is one the most alcoholic distilled spirit found in the world, with a total alcoholic volume of 65% to 75%.  And so having it the right way is most crucial and important. It cannot be treated as a shot of tequila. Because of the simple reason, that it isn’t tequila. It is not a drink for a round of “bottoms-up” in a party!! Moreover it should never be consumed like that. Take your time to make it right. It’s an expensive bottle with a delicate flavour which has to be savoured, rather than gulped down the throat! In this post, I have mentioned a way I tend to use this green magic, which is quite appealing to our Indian taste and never-ever, will propel your minds criminally!!

Absinthe portrays a strong flavour of fennel (saunf), something that we Indians don’t consider a cocktail flavour. Our tastes compel us to associate fennel with mouth fresheners. After a hearty Indian meal, that paan walla’s paan (betel leaf laden with a sweet cocktail of fennel seeds, betel nuts and sweetened dry fruits) is what we grab out for. So for me, my first thought while having absinthe was, Paan!! And so I introduced my friends to an after meal liqueur, which is just about right for our matured, yet hearty Indian Tastes!!!

So if you are having a cocktail party, indulge your guests to a small helping of absinthe to end the party. Making a perfect glass of the green fairy is laborious, never-the-less very satisfying. One helping is good enough for 6 shot glasses and tends to be a well deserved end to a beautiful meal, the Indian way!!

Ingredients:

  • 30 ml absinthe
  • Ice (optional)
  • Cold water
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Absinthe strainer, comes with the bottle
  • 6 chilled shot glasses
  • 1 tall water tumbler

Method:

The first step is to make the apparatus required. Assemble the absinthe strainer and the sugar cube on tall water tumbler as shown here.

IMG_0011-004 Now pour in 30 ml of absinthe, passing it through the sugar cube.

IMG_0003-001 Slowly drip in cold water (drop-by-drop), and let it slowly dissolve in the sugar cube.

IMG_0005-001 Once the sugar dissolves in, adjust water to suit your taste. Remember, it is at least 60 % alcohol, so filling up the glass with a bit more water will be a good idea.

IMG_0016 Divide it equally between half a dozen shot glasses and enjoy!!

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For any further clarification, feel free to write in. Cheers!!

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Rosogolla Revisited!

Bengal and rosogolla are synonymous to each other! Being a true blue Bengali, Sampurna Majumder offers a delicious peep into the sweet’s history.

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It was during the British colonial days that the rosogolla suddenly made its appearance on Bengal’s platter. To trace its origins one has to travel way back in time, nineteenth century Bagbazaar, a famous north Calcutta locality. It is where, Nobin Chandra Das, the man who invented the rosogolla resided. He was poor and fatherless and his only source of income came from the sweets that he sold from a ramshackle sweet shop in the by lanes of Bagbazaar. Little did he know that one day he would become a legend.

Nobin Chandra’s rosogolla was born in an age when Bengali sweets meant the ubiquitous sandesh made from sugar and cottage cheese. As was the trend, Nobin Chandra also made sandesh but he itched to do something new, create a sweet that would be juicy and succulent. He decided to experiment the same cottage cheese by boiling it in sugar syrup. Many of his attempts ended in a failure, as once put in the sugar syrup the cheese crumbled. He found that the sugar syrup had to be kept in even temperature so that the casein stays intact. So on one fine day in 1868 the rosogolla was born. However the rosogolla had humble beginnings.

rosogolla4Nobin Chandra waited patiently for the recognition of this wonderful creation. It did not happen until Bhagwandas Bagla, a wealthy non-Bengali merchant made his appearance at Nobin Chandra’s sweet shop along with his family. One of his children was thirsty, and stopped in front of the sweet shop in search of water. Nobin Chandra met their demand. The child was given a glass of water and a rosogolla. He was delighted at the taste of this unique delicacy and asked his father to share it as well. No doubt the father was equally impressed. He bought huge quantities of rosogolla for his friends and family. Though a rudimentary publicity, it proved to be immensely helpful. The rosogolla became a hit and over the years acquired the status of Bengal’s most famous sweet.