Monday, January 28, 2013

First stop: India! ...and a recipe from Mexico for Horchata Eggnog!

Hi from Delhi, India! I've been here for a day and a half or so (a large part of which was spent catching up on sleep, haha), and I have some adventures (and food!) to share.

One of the temples we visited - Laxmi Narayan.
Between the airplane and the hotel we're staying in, I'm pretty sure I've already had the best Indian food that I've ever had. Think delicious, rich curries, warm daal and rice, soft breads, and everything bursting with vibrant flavors.

We had some time yesterday to do some exploring around Dehli before we had to get to work preparing for the upcoming workshop, so my co-worker Ernesto headed out and between the metro, a tuk-tuk, and a bicycle rickshaw (and of course our own feet) made our way to the downtown area and then to some temples.

The tuk-tuk we road in!

We were hoping to get out and see some more today (I was especially interested in seeing Humayun's Tomb and Jama Masjid, and some of the local markets), but unfortunately ended up having to spend most of the day preparing for work. We did get to go to the regional office here (which looks more like a castle than anything else!) and meet a lot of the people working here (and check out the cafeteria for lunch).

We still have another two days here before we depart for Nepal (!), but it's unlikely that I'll have time to do much more adventuring. Still, I feel so lucky and have really enjoyed the (brief and probably unrepresentative) glimpse of Dehli and of India I've experienced in the past day(s). I would love to have the chance to come back, spend more time, and see much more of the country! :)

Rice, split pea daal, potatoes with spinach, fried cauliflower, amchar and cucumbers.
But enough about India! I'm sure all you want to hear about is this fantastic Horchata Eggnog that we made a few months ago (harhar... that's a joke... though it was really good!).

I changed this recipe around a little from a classic horchata recipe to include oats with the hope of making the final drink creamier and thicker, and I think it worked! The result is a creamy thick drink with the qualities of both refreshing horchata and warming eggnog. A great way to mix up the holidays (or mix the holidays into every-day!)

Horchata Eggnog
yields about 6 cups

2 cups white rice

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup oats
1 large or 2 small cinnamon sticks
peel of 1 lime

1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (or fresh if you have it handy!)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5 cups water

rum or bourbon (optional)

1. In a food processor or blender (we found that a blender works better on this one), grind the rice into a coarse powder (I was skeptical at first, but yes, this is possible).

Dry rice in the blender. Yes really!
2. Set the ground rice, almonds, oats, cinnamon sticks, and lime zest in a large bowl or pot with enough water to cover overnight to soak.

Beware of puppy noses!
3. Once it has soaked for 8 - 10 hours, remove the cinnamon sticks and lime zest, and blend/process the remaining mixture until smooth.

The soaking mixture.
Now, you have two options. Most conventional recipes suggest that you strain this mixture through a cheesecloth to remove the solids and save all the liquids. We tried doing this with a t-shirt, with little success. So, you can attempt this, or, instead...

4. Combine your blended mixture with the water, sugar, and spices (if your blender's too small then you can do this in batches) and blend/process. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher or jug. We put ours through a couple of times to get out more of the solid particles.

5.  If you'd like, add rum and/or bourbon (we didn't really measure, but we probably put ~1/2 - 3/4 cup in ours).

6. Pour in a glass, top with a decorative sprinkle of cinnamon, and enjoy. Yummmmm.


Julien said...

Yummmmm that looks good!

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