Ghau nu Doodh Custard

Recipe contributed by Shernaz Bardoliwalla

Ghau nu Doodh (Milk of Wheat) is one dish that used to bring a frown on my face when I was younger. My Bapaiji used to ask my mom to regularly feed it to me. She would say ‘Feed her Ghau nu Doodh now so that she doesn’t get backaches when she is older’

In its simplest and purest protein-rich form, Ghau nu Doodh can be eaten as a delicate jelly. The powder is also used in the Parsi winter special, Vasanu. My granny however, used to mix it in milk like Bournvita and make me drink it which I used to hate. Then, my Mom and Masi stepped in. They made a custard from Ghau nu Doodh which I started liking. They used to add flavours like rose, mango to it and that meant I ate it more often.

Ghau nu Doodh - Milk of Wheat Custard

G for Ghau nu Doodh by Shernaz Bardoliwalla

Now years later, I make the same custard for my children and for them I have given it an international name, ‘Pannacotta’. My daughter loves it, especially with lots of cardamom and nutmeg powder. For summers, I add a rose flavouring and that is very cooling in the heat.

According to Bindi & Beard, the traditional steps in making ghau nu doodh require the grains of wheat to be soaked in water for two days. The water-sodden grains are ground and hung in a muslin cloth until all the milk from the wheat is collected. The extract dries into hard rocks that are pounded and powdered ready to use. Nowadays, we are  lucky to get this powder readymade in kirana stores that stock Parsi spices like M. Motilal Masala in Grantroad and Gangar in Dadar.

Now as an adult, I love having Ghau nu Doodh this way and it forms a part of many desserts in my home.

Bawi Bride’s Note:
The website, Bindi and Beard has some lovely additional facts about the benefits of adding Ghau nu Doodh to your diet as well as another interesting recipe of Ghau nu Doodh with fresh blueberries. Do check it out as well.

Ghau nu Doodh (Milk of Wheat)

Parsi Ghau nu Doodh - Milk of Wheat Custard Our elders were brimming with nutritious recipes and one such recipe is Ghau nu Doodh that is best for preventing backaches. Here we've made it into a custard to make it more interesting.

  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 40m
  • Total Time: 1h 10m

Ingredients

  • 125 grams dried cream of wheat powder
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 1 liter milk
  • 25 grams almonds and pista slivers
  • 25 grams raisins washed, dried
  • 1 teaspoon rose essence
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg-cardamom powder
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Soak the wheat milk powder in the water for half an hour.
  2. In a vessel, add milk, sugar, butter and raisins. Strain the wheat powder mixture into the vessel.
  3. Put the vessel on the stove and keep on stirring till it thickens. (Do not thicken it too much as it will further thicken on cooling).
  4. Remove from the heat, add the nutmeg & cardamom powder and both the essences.
  5. Quickly pour into any mould in which you want the dessert to set.
  6. Decorate with almond and pista slivers.
  7. Cool for atleast 4-5 hours or preferably overnight.

This post is part of my ongoing series on the blog, the A to Z of Parsi Food which has been curated in collaboration with Parsi food enthusiasts globally. For more interesting recipes follow the hashtag #AtoZChallenge mentioned below.

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