Recipes: Desserts

Indian Granita with Rice Sticks and Sour Cherries

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 oz. thin rice-stick noodles, snipped into 3-inch lengths using scissors, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, drained, and rinsed with cold water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. cooking rose water

Combine the water and sugar and stir well until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the garnish ingredients) and stir well.

Pour into a wide and shallow (about 1-inch deep) Pyrex or metal pan and place in the freezer for about 1 hour, or until firm.

Using a spoon, break up the granita in the pan; return it to the freezer. Repeat, until all the juice has formed into ice crystals.

Scoop into individual dishes and garnish each with some pistachios, sour cherry syrup, and lime juice.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Setting time: 3 hours in the freezer

Makes 6 servings


Coconut Squares

2 cups coconut, grated
3/4 cup soy milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. vegetable spread
3 Tbsp. lemon rind

Place the coconut, soy milk and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer until a soft ball is formed when a teaspoonful is dropped into cold water. Add the vegetable spread and lemon rind and mix, then allow to cool to room temperature. Place in an electric mixer and mix until thick and glossy. Pour into a small greased pan and chill, then cut into squares and serve.


Deep-Fried Sweet Balls

2 cups flour
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 oz. package dry yeast, dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp. syrup
2 cups cooking oil

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt, then pour in the yeast and mix well. Add the water and stir until the mixture resembles the texture of pancake batter. Cover and set aside for 1 hour. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, then dip a tablespoon into cold water, spoon up 1 tablespoon of batter and drop it into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown then remove with a slotted spoon and place the ball on a paper towel for a few minutes until the oil is absorbed. Continue until all the batter is used. Dip the balls into the syrup and arrange on a serving platter.

Simple Halva

15-16 strands saffron
1 /2 cup margarine
1 cup cream of wheat
1 1/2 cups water
4 Tbsp. almonds, slivered
3 Tbsp. golden raisins
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cardamom, ground
1/2 Tsp. nutmeg, ground

Make a paste of saffron with 3 to 4 drops of water. Heat margarine in a pan on low and roast cream of wheat in it for 6 to 8 minutes, until light brown. Add water, 2 tbsp. almonds, saffron and raisins and stir carefully with a wooden spatula until the cream of wheat absorbs all of the water. Add sugar and continue stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Add cardamom and nutmeg. The mixture will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and form a ball. Empty into a glass bowl, garnish with remaining almonds and serve warm or cold.

Sweet Cream Topping

1/2 lb. firm tofu
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Chill and serve as you would whipped cream.

"There is not an animal that lives on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but they form communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they all shall be gathered to their Lord in the end" - Al-Qur'an, 6:38
"Whoever is kind to the creatures of God, is kind to himself." - The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), narrated by Abdallah bin Amru in Bukhari and Muslim collections