My grandmother would freak out if she saw what I made on Pancake Tuesday earlier this week.
I’m not sure how it started, but traditionally my grandmother (who still lives in India), and then her daughters (including my mum), would make these delicious crepes stuffed with a sweetened coconut filling on Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Tuesday/Mardi Gras. I’ve never come across this concoction anywhere else in the world; neither in stores or home-made by other people. So it is something special for me and over the last couple of years, I’ve continued the custom.
Since I didn’t have a recipe, I went by taste. The secret ingredient (I suppose not so secret anymore) is cardamom infused into a mixture of coconut, sugar, milk and almonds. The aroma is heavenly – exotic and somehow evocative. I had made a little bundle of cardamom pods in a square of muslin and let it simmer in a saucepan with the other ingredients.
The way my mum and grandmother used to make it, the coconut was delicately coloured a pretty pastel pink. So this year I did make half a batch of pink coconut as a tribute to them. But the little bottle of blue food colour was much too tempting. Honestly, why would they make blue food colour if you weren’t supposed to use it? I made blue coconut mix. My aunt practically screamed when she saw it on Skype, and I definitely heard my mum mutter, “Good Lord, that child!!” (yes, she still refers to me as “that child” despite the fact that I’m 28), but they were every bit as delicious as the pink ones.
See the full recipe here.