At the risk of sounding like a glib motivational speaker…there is an upside to being put in tough situations! Though I would tear up when watching a sad movie or reading a book with the gravitas of John Steinbeck’s, ‘Grapes of Wrath’, I was definitely not an empathetic girl in my earlier years. Then, I became mom to a child with multiple food allergies and a heretofore unknown element became a part my personality, empathy – go figure!!!
Read on for the recipe of a delectable AF (Allergy Friendly) dessert…
However, a positive change that I am even more grateful for is, ‘a heartfelt appreciation when a fellow human being goes out of his/ her way to do me a kind turn!’ Ooh – I cringe when memories of taken for granted and unacknowledged acts of kindness flash through my mind and am so glad to have found this new found appreciation. Recently, a college pal invited me over for dinner to celebrate my rare and short stay in India. From that moment on I not only found a new friend in his wife Seema but the word ’empathy’ took on a whole new meaning. She called me up multiple times before our dinner date to understand my son’s allergies and the dishes she could serve him. That in itself was a rare event for me but she went one step further…she so wanted little Arjun not to feel left out that she ensured that almost the entire spread of umpteen dishes was AF – Allergy Friendly and Arjun Friendly by making substitutions and alterations to traditional Indian dishes – from the soup, rotis, vegetable rice, curry and finally the dessert! Thank you girl…
So, this blog post is dedicated to friends, empathy and the delectable dessert that Seema churned out…
1) Fresh Coconut gratings: 1 cup (You can use frozen fresh coconut shreddings like that packaged by Goya)
2) Coconut milk/ Darifree milk: 1 cup (use oat milk/ hemp milk or water as a substitute)
3) Sugar: 1/2 cup
4) Saffron – 1-2 strings (optional)
5) Cardamom powder – a pinch (optional)
1) Place a heavy bottomed 1 quart vessel on small-medium flame.
2) Pour the milk of choice in the vessel and bring it to a slow boil and add the coconut shreddings to it.
3) Keep stirring occasionaly and let the coconut cook in the milk.
4) Meanwhile, take a tablespoon of warm coconut milk/ Darifree milk or whatever liquid you have chosen to use for this dessert and add the saffron strings to it.
4) When most of the milk has evaporated but there is still some liquid, add the sugar and stir.
5) Now add the soaked saffron strings and a pinch of cardamom powder to the vessel and stir.
6) Keep cooking till all the liquid has evaporated and the coconut becomes flaky and moist. Do not over cook else the coconut will clump together and become dry.
Mmmm – this is one dessert you are not going to regret whipping up…