Hello, Foodies and Buddies!
We have the final Dish of the Week feature for the month of October and this one is special. Chef Shwetha Sharma’s Gil-E-Firdaus is the latest delicacy to join the elite Dish of the Week column.
Before we get started with the dish, Chef Shwetha had some words of her own for everyone:
“Hello! My name is Shwetha Sharma. I am a homemaker, mother of two beautiful daughters. I was never into cooking until I got married almost ten years back.
People used to consider me as a talented artist as I pursued my graduation in fine arts from Chitrakala Parishath and made a lot of nice paintings. Cooking was more of a thing that came along with marriage.
I soon discovered how certain variations and style changes can help create magic with food. I also realized that cooking was not really a routine, boring activity but an art in itself. I stay with my husband, two beautiful daughters and my mother.
I was born and raised in Bangalore and my husband is from Delhi. This geographical difference fueled my passion for cooking further as I could taste authentic food both in the North of India and South. I learned a lot of dishes both from my mother and my mother-in-law. I’m always game to learning and experimenting with ingredients and love creating new flavours
Foodybuddy gave me an opportunity to extend my reach to serve great food outside of my own house. Every time people tell me that something I made tasted awesome, it brings a smile on my face and I feel further motivated. It’s not always easy to stay committed to preparing dishes too frequently, as I have two kids at home….but passion can do great things to a person!”
Now, we have our interview with Chef Shwetha where she gave us all the details about her awesome dish – including a full recipe!
So, what exactly is Gil-E-Firdaus? Chef Shwetha answered, “Gil-E-Firdaus is a Hyderabadi kheer in a contemporary style. It is made using bottle gourd, rice, dry fruits, khoya and rose petals. It’s an amazingly rich and delicious dessert.”
It is one of Chef Shwetha’s favourite dishes as she described to us.
She said, “This dish is one of my favourites and is also loved by my family members. People trust my culinary skills, even more, when it comes to desserts, cakes, and pastries.”
“I tasted this dessert for the first time in Hyderabad when visiting my friends. I instantly had a liking for it and asked what it was made of. I decided then that I would definitely try it out once at my home,” she added.
How did Chef Shwetha become such an expert at this dish? “I asked for the recipe from my friends. Also, looked around for a few recipes but gave it my own style. Prepared this dish purely in a trial and error way. Surprisingly it came out pretty good for the first attempt,” she replied.
Chef Shwetha also provided us with a full recipe which you can find below:
1/2 cup grated bottle gourd (Lauki/Doodhi)
1 tbsp ghee
1/4 cup basmati rice, soaked, drained and coarsely crushed
1/4 cup grated Khoya/Mava
1/2 cup sugar
6 green cardamoms
6 crushed almonds
6 crushed cashew nuts
2 tbsp dried rose petals
1 tbsp rose water
Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a non-stick pan.
Add the grated bottle gourd and saute till all moisture dries up.
Add pre-soaked and crushed rice and saute for another 5 mins.
Now add the milk and cook, stirring continuously for ten minutes.
Peel the cardamoms, crush the seeds and add them to the pan. Continue to cook for 10-15 mins. Ensure that you are continuously stirring.
Add the almonds, cashew nuts, and dried rose petals and mix well.
Now add khoya and mix well. Add the sugar and cook, stirring for another 10 mins or till all the sugar has dissolved fully.
Add rose water and mix well.
Serve chilled or warm as per your choice. I personally prefer to use earthen bowls to serve this dessert.
Chef Shwetha added, “This dish never leaves the impression that it’s easy. However, It’s an extremely simple yet delicious dessert. The only challenge is to continuously stir while preparing this dish.”
Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipe with the FoodyBuddy family, ma’am 🙂
Chef Shwetha also had a lovely answer when we asked her what other dishes she was looking to make famous on FoodyBuddy. She said, “Well, I can’t think of a specific dish because I feel every dish that comes out from my kitchen should be great and people should find it special because of its taste and quality.”
Finally, in closing, Chef Shwetha said, ” I would like to thank FoodyBuddy folks who provided a platform for passionate home chefs like me. I take utmost care and precaution to ensure that the foodies must get the cleanest and hygienic food exactly the way my family does. I love to hear people’s feedback and am always looking to improve my culinary skills.”
You have our gratitude for being such an integral part of FoodyBuddy and sharing your superb food with all of us!
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Featured Image Credits: Pepper Chilli and Vanilla