Yakh Dar Behesht Ice in Heaven

This is an exotic, delicate, sophisticate  Persian custard laced rose water and sprinkled with pistachios and rose petals. I found it in a wonderful book Pomegranates and Roses by Ariana Bundy. It is traditionally made with milk but for a diary-free version use rice or almond milk, which worked best for me. Serve in individual ramekins or a large bowl and scatter with rose petals and edible gold leaf. I made it a couple of times now and each time I get better at getting the texture right. I state the cooking times below as in the original recipe but I found that it takes a lot longer for the mixture to thicken to the desired consistency. So feel free to double the times!

Ingredients
Makes 8 ramekins

1 litre (1 3/4 pints) 4 cups milk
75g (3oz) 3/4 cup rice flour
150g (5 oz) 3/4 cup sugar  unrefined – I used only 120g
2 tbsp rose water
5 cardamom pods lightly crushed
2 tbsp slivered pistachios – I used hazelnuts
rose petals and edible gold leaf to serve (optional)

Place the milk, rice flour and sugar in a saucepan. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, over a medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to thicken – about 10 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t catch at the bottom by scraping the bottom and sides of the saucepan with your spoon.

Add the rose water and the cardamom pods and continue cooking and stirring until the custard is thick and glossy – about another 2 minutes. The custard will resemble a white creme patissiere.

Pick out the cardamom pods, then pour the custard into ramekins, silicone moulds or a serving dish. Leave to cool in the fridge for a few hours, then sprinkle with slivered pistachios, rose petals and gold leaf if using.

Grilled Halloumi Salad with Pomegranate, Grapes & Thyme

I’ve wanted to make something with pomegranate for some time now. Ever since the chicken with pomegranate and yoghurt worked out so well, it’s become one of my favourite dishes.

Halloumi is a favourite so when I came across this recipe, it was just a matter of time and pomegranate. I didn’t fry the cheese in clarified butter, instead grilled the slices and then chopped into required sized pieces.

The salad was absolutely delicious and I shall be making it very soon. And then again.

 

Ingredients

Serves: 2 as a main salad, 4-6 as a side salad

400 g mixed greens (approx. 8-10 cups)
Seeds from one pomegranate (½ cup or more)
1 cup seedless green grapes, cut in half
Small bunch fresh thyme, washed, dried and stems removed
225 g halloumi cheese

Dressing:

3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 teaspoons sugar (sugar actually necessary as the molasses is not too sweet)
Juice from one lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed (less is more in this case, garlic I had must have been extra potent, so will go easy on it next time)

Method

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

In a large salad bowl, toss the greens with the fresh thyme, grapes and half the pomegranate seeds.

Blot the halloumi cheese with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Slice the cheese into slices just thick enough so they don’t disintegrate when on the grill. Grill for 7-10 mins each side. Turn and continue cooking until golden on both sides. Chop into bite-size pieces and toss the warm cheese into the salad.

Drizzle dressing over salad. Toss gently to coat. Garnish with remaining pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.