- IPL spot-fixing case: Net widens, police watching 3 more players, other bookies
- IPL 2013: Imperious Brad Hodge powers Rajasthan Royals to qualifier
- Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh slam BJP for disrupting Parliament, stalling bills
- IPL spot-fixing: 'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law, say cops
- Jessica Lall case: Shayan Munshi to face perjury trial
The ingredients for the traditional Christmas pudding, once mixed, can last up to 10 months. Talk finds out what it takes to get that mixture right
It is a tad strange to imagine that the origin of what we know today as Christmas pudding ó made using fruits, dry fruits, flour, sugar and eggs ó lay, perhaps, in meats. A tradition that supposedly started in England in the 15th century as a way to preserve meats during the winter, by keeping it in a pastry case with dry fruits and spices, has evolved into one of the most popular celebratory sweets over time. With its creation ó often credited to King George I, also known as the Pudding King after his passion for sweet things ó came about the annual ceremony of cake mixing.
"A social event, it has roots in the 18th century Europe, where large families or the entire village would come together to mix the ingredients that go into preparing the Christmas pudding. Because the quantities of fruits, dry fruits, spices and the spirits that are used to ferment these ingredients are large, people would do it together, making a festivity out of it," explains Chef Ajay Chopra, executive chef at The Westin Mumbai Garden City, Goregaon, Mumbai.
Although becoming popular in India as a social event only recently, Christian households across the country, since the rule of the British, have been following the practice. "The idea is that the longer you soak the ingredients in alcohol, the more flavourful the pudding will be when eventually prepared closer to Christmas," explains Chopra, who believes that five to six weeks of fermentation is required for up to 20 kilograms of production.
The key ingredients for the pudding include apricots, prunes, green and red cherries, candied peel of lemon or orange, and tooti-frooti (essentially sweetened pumpkin). A variety in fruits lends colour to the pudding, something that Indians like, he adds. "It is the Iranian influence on our cakes," he says. These, along with a mix of dry fruits such as sliced and broken almonds, raisins or sultanas, are mixed with red wine, whiskey, dark rum and brandy. "For one portion each of the softer fruits, one adds half a portion each of the dry fruits," says the chef, explaining that the gooey fruits lend the pudding or the cake the soft texture while the dry fruits give it crunch. "The zest cuts the alcohol's bitterness with its tang," he explains.
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune Warriors guarantee, 'disgusted' Sahara walks out of IPL
- Sreesanth spent Rs 1.95L on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry, paid in cash: Police
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow